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Training Program Just in Time for Summer (Part 1)

Happy fitness girl

Summer is knocking at our door, and you are probably looking forward to enjoying it by being more active. Today, I am suggesting a super effective home training program. It should be noted that performing these exercises in a gym is much simpler, if only to increase the weight. Much less complicated than finding a stone with the right weight somewhere in your backyard…

Program #1
Duration: About 30 minutes
Frequency: 2-3 sessions/week 

Warm-up: Should last from 3 to 5 minutes, enough to break a sweat. Can be done on the elliptical, bicycle, or treadmill, using a jump rope, or simply by running. If you don’t have any equipment, you can go up and down the stairs. As soon as you begin to sweat, you are ready!

Exercise 1: Goblet Squat

Goblet squat

Main target areas: Glutes, quadriceps, back muscles responsible for good posture
Accessories: Barbell, kettlebell, or any substantial weight
3 sets of 15 repetitions
1 minute rest between each set


  • With your feet hip width apart, bend your knees and push your glutes backwards.
  • With your back straight and head up, act as if you were sitting down further behind (use a chair if you need to). Lower your body until your knees reach an angle of about 90 degrees.
  • Once in this position, stand back up while making sure your glutes return to their initial position by contracting them (they should be squeezed at the end of the movement).


  • Knees crossing over past your toes;
  • Knees caving in during effort;
  • Arching your back;
  • Any kind of turning or twisting motion (for example, turning your head to speak to someone);
  • Holding your breath;
  • If you do not push your pelvis completely forward at the end of the movement, you will be slightly bent over (as an old man leaning on a cane). Make sure to squeeze your buttocks.

Exercise 2: Sumo Lift

Sumo lift

Main target areas: Glutes, hamstrings, lower back, back muscles responsible for good posture
Accessories: Barbell, kettlebell, or any substantial weight
3 sets of 15 repetitions
1 minute rest between each set


  • Stand with your legs double hip width apart.
  • The weight should be on the ground right below you.
  • Push your glutes backwards, and bend your knees in order to grab the weight.
  • Keeping your arms straight at all times, grab the weight and stand up while squeezing your glutes at the end of the movement.


  • Pushing your knees forward on the way down instead of pushing your glutes backwards;
  • Arching your back;
  • Twisting motions during the movement;
  • Lifting the weight by flexing your arms;
  • Taking advantage of the weight dropping on the floor to give your back a break. AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS! Keep your muscles under tension. You will rest after! : )

Exercise 3: Push-ups

Push up

Main target areas: Pectorals, triceps, abs
Accessories: You own body. Maybe a bench.
3 sets of 12 repetitions
1 minute rest between each set


  • With your hands at shoulders width, and your weight on your feet (or on your knees, depending on your fitness level);
  • If you can already perform 12 repetitions, consider using a small bench to elevate your feet. You can also increase intensity by using a slower tempo;
  • If you are not yet able to perform 12 repetitions, use a bench to elevate your hands, or use your knees to support your weight;
  • With your hands on the ground and your fingers pointing forward, lower yourself as low as possible, and push yourself back up without locking your elbows.


  • Holding your breath.  Fill your lungs with air on the way down, and exhale on the way up;
  • Lowering your hips. If you mysteriously take the shape of a banana when performing push-ups, first try to correct the situation by slightly lifting your glutes while tensing your abs. If this is not enough, use a bench to elevate your hands, or use your knees for support.

Exercise 4: Dumbbell rows


Main target areas: Latissimus dorsi, biceps, rear deltoids (back of shoulder)
Accessories: Dumbbell, kettlebell, elastic, or any weight with a handle
2-3 sets of 12 repetitions per arm
45 seconds rest between each set


  • With one knee and one hand on the bench, your back parallel to the floor, and the dumbbell in the opposite hand, lift your elbow and pull the dumbbell toward your chest. On the way down, straighten your arm completely, and repeat.
  • Perform all repetitions on one side, and then do the same for the opposite side. Once you are done with both arms, take a 45-second rest.


  • Lifting or twisting your torso while lifting the dumbbell. Keep your back parallel to the bench as much as possible during the entire movement.

Exercice 5: Plank


Main target area: Abs
Accessories: Your own body.
Total of 2 minutes. Minimum 20 seconds per set, maximum 60 seconds per set.
30 seconds rest between each set


  • Support your weight with your forearms and feet.
  • Tense your abs, lift your glutes in such a way as to keep your legs, torso, and head in line. Hold the position for 20-60 seconds. If you can hold it for longer than one minute, spread your elbows apart from your feet by 1-2 cm during the next set.
  • If you feel discomfort in your lower back, slightly tilt your pelvis (the lower part should lean toward the ground while you lift the upper part).
  • When you reach an overall total of 2 minutes, you can pat yourself on the back, because you have earned the right to rest on the next day!


  • Holding your breath.  Make sure you breathe deeply;
  • Lowering your hips.

Cool-down: If you have a lot of time available, I suggest you use it to do some cardio at a low-to-medium intensity. If you are strapped for time, 3-4 minutes at low intensity will suffice to cool down at the end of your session.

All these exercises are relatively easy… Unfortunately, they are also easily done wrong. I strongly suggest you use the services of a kinesiologist, if only to make sure that you are using the proper form.

Have a great workout!

By Xavier Jutras

Xavier Jutras

Holder of a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the Université Laval, Xavier has decided to join the ranks of Nautilus Plus during the winter of 2012 to share his passion about training and sports in general. In sports, he has tried it all (soccer, tennis, dek-hockey, hockey, mountain biking, running, crossfit, etc.), so we could say he qualifies as a hyperactive person. That being said, between two sports, he particularly enjoys writing. Philosopher and blogger in his spare time, he gave himself the mission of selling you physical activity as the (sometimes unsuspected) solution to many of your questions and problems. With a very pragmatic approach, he will know how to guide you through the steps that will lead you to succeed in what should be one of the most important projects of your life: your own well-being. His motto: A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.

Training Program Just in Time for Summer (Part 1)is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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