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Good Vibes Workout Day 12: Low-Impact Punch and Plank
From Self Magazine-By Christa Sgobba, C.P.T.
You’ll strengthen your arms, core, and legs while feeling like a boss.
The workout below is for Day 12 of the Good Vibes Workout, a four-week workout plan. It’s pretty great on its own, but you can also check out the full program right here or browse the calendar here. If you’d like to sign up to receive daily emails of these workouts, you can do that here.
We hope you enjoyed your rest day yesterday and are feeling energized for this circuit routine today! You’ve got a cardio workout in store for tomorrow, so today’s routine is going to focus a lot more on strength—and it’s going to be a fun one.
In today’s routine, you’ll be working with exercises that, in some way, emphasize either the squat or the plank motion. That means this routine is really going to be legs- and core-focused. But don’t worry: You won’t just be doing regular squats or regular planks. Instead, you’ll be doing some fun variations of them that invite other muscle groups to the party, such as your back, shoulders, and arms.
You’ll start with the most cardio-focused move of the bunch, the crossover punch in squat, which will challenge you to hold the squat position while you alternate punches. Next up is the plank to row, which brings in some back work, followed by the sumo squat, which targets your inner thighs more than the traditional squat. Then you’ll take on the plank up-down, which is great for building strength in your arms as well as your core, and end with the alternating reverse lunge, a single-leg exercise that’s similar to the knee-flexing movement of the squat.
Your optional bonus at the end of this routine is also going to focus on your core: You’ll perform two movements back-to-back for 30 seconds apiece, then repeat the sequence. Like in your last circuit workout, we’ll be changing positions for these moves (from high plank on your hands to lying faceup), so your arms won’t tire before your core does.
And if you haven’t been doing the bonuses, might we suggest you give one a shot? You’re almost halfway through this program now, so you might be more prepared to handle these finishers than you may think. Remember, you can always modify the bonuses. Instead of doing the two rounds suggested, start with one and see how your body feels. It’s your workout; do what feels best for you!
Complete each exercise for your chosen work/rest interval:
- 30 seconds work, 30 seconds’ rest
- 40 seconds work, 20 seconds’ rest
- 50 seconds work, 10 seconds’ rest
After all 5 exercises, rest for 60 seconds. That’s 1 round. Complete 2–5 rounds.
- Crossover Punch in Squat
- Plank to Row
- Sumo Squat
- Plank Up-Down
- Reverse Lunge (Alternating)
Bonus: 2-Minute Core Finisher
After your last round, do the 2 moves below for 30 seconds each, back-to-back, without resting, for 2 minutes total.
- Triple Climber
- V-Up (Alternating)
- Stand with your feet wider than hip width apart, toes slightly turned out. Engage your core and tuck your hips to engage your glutes (so your lower back is not arched).
- Bend both knees and sink into a low squat, with knees bent to 90 degrees and thighs coming parallel to the floor, or as close as your flexibility allows.
- Draw hands into fists and bring both fists to chest height close to your body (as if preparing to punch).
- While still in the squat position, punch your right fist to the left, crossing your body and allowing your upper torso to rotate naturally in the direction of the punch. Be mindful to keep your core engaged, shoulders down, and chest up as you punch.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Continue alternating sides, punching as quickly as possible while staying low in the squat position.
- Make it easier: If you need to take a break, simply stand and continue punching. After 5–10 seconds, sink into the squat again.
- Start in a high plank with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged. From this position, perform a bodyweight row. Raise your right palm off the floor, drawing it toward the side of your chest, keeping your elbow hugged close to your body (do not wing out your elbow as you lift your hand). Think about your triceps facing the ceiling. Lower your right hand back to the floor. Repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate sides, keeping the rest of your body as still as possible. Make it easier: The wider apart you spread your feet, the easier this move will become.
- 3. Sumo Squat
- The main difference between a sumo squat and standard squat is the position of your feet. For a standard squat, your legs will be in line with your hips, toes facing forward, while in a sumo squat, feet will be wider and toes turned out.
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out, hands at your sides. (You can also clasp them in front of your chest if you prefer.)
- Engage your core and keep your chest lifted and back flat as you shift your weight into your heels. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat as you extend your arms forward.
- Drive through your heels to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top for 1 rep.
- Start in a high plank with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
- Lower your right arm down so that your forearm is on the floor. Then do the same with your left. You should now be in a forearm-plank position.
- Place your right hand back on the floor to extend your arm and follow with your left, so that you end back in a high plank. That’s 1 rep.
- For the next rep, start by lowering your left arm and following with your right.
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and engage your core.
- Step backward with your right foot, landing on the ball of your right foot and keeping your right heel off the floor.
- Bend both knees to 90 degrees as you sink into a lunge. Focus on keeping your core engaged and your hips tucked (don’t stick your butt out). Sometimes it can be helpful to place your hands on your hips so you can make sure your hips aren’t tilting to the side or forward and back.
- Push through the heel of your left foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. This is 1 rep. Continue alternating.
- Start in a high-plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders, core engaged, hips level, and legs extended straight behind you. Lift your right foot a few inches off the floor.
- Draw your right knee to your right triceps. Then extend your right leg to return to a high-plank position, hovering your right leg a few inches off the floor and holding your weight with your left leg. This is called a three-legged plank position.
- Draw your right knee to your chest (like a mountain climber), then return to a three-legged plank position.
- Draw your right knee to your left triceps (like a twisting mountain climber), then return to high plank (returning your right foot to the floor).
- Repeat on the other side.
- 7. V-Up (Alternating)
- Lie faceup with your legs extended and hands overhead so all limbs are resting on the floor. Engage your core so your lower back gently presses against the floor.
- Simultaneously lift your right leg and left hand to meet in the middle above your hips. Keep your core engaged as you lower your right leg and left hand to return to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side, lifting your left leg and right hand.
- Continue alternating sides.