This 20-minute pyramid workout is a do anywhere, no-equipment, low-impact full-body routine you can add to your daily cardio or when you are short on time.
Has your exercise routine gone from beast mode to “Eh, maybe tomorrow?” Mine certainly has! I am a gym-goer. I need my tribe. In March, my routine went from burning 500 calories each workout to “did I even walk 500 steps today”? I’m exaggerating. Maybe.
Since then, I’d been exercising here and there — a video, some yoga, hikes with the dog, and bike rides with my son — until a short jog to retrieve something from my car. Big mistake. I don’t run. My knees get very angry when I run. I could barely move my left knee the next day and it was rendered useless for a week after that. I had no choice but to stay off it and give it time to forgive me.
It’s going to be some time before I can return to the gym, so I’m making a promise to myself to up my game by adding to the daily walks. It might not be a 500 calorie burn, but I can certainly put these old muscles to work with a no-equipment necessary, full-body, low-impact routine (the knees, remember?).
Why a pyramid workout? It’s strictly a personal choice, but doing every exercise for the same amount of reps and sets over and over sounds a little boring. In selecting which moves to do, I concentrated upper body moves at the bottom of the pyramid (lower rep count) because those are the most challenging for me. Conversely, I stacked more lower body moves at the top of the pyramid (higher rep count) since my lower half is much stronger.
My requirements for this workout:
- Compound movements – these give you the most bang for your buck by working multiple muscle groups at the same time.
- Full-body coverage – the workout needs to include upper body, lower body, and core.
- I can do it anywhere without special equipment.
- It can be scalable – when I can easily complete all the reps, I can increase the number or repeat the pyramid, or modify the move, etc.
- It can be modified – I’m hoping my husband will join me for these workouts. Since he doesn’t suffer the same orthopedic issues I have, he can intensify the moves.
- It has to be short – I’ve got things to do people!
Fuel Your Workout with a Healthy Breakfast
Try one of these healthy recipes to kickstart a healthy day:
The 20- Minute Pyramid Workout
You may finish this routine in less than 20 minutes (I’ve been doing it in 15), but by concentrating on form and muscle contraction, you will feel it!
Check out these links for descriptions and videos on proper form:
- Spiderman Mountain Climbers
- Tricep Dips
- Glute Bridge
- Elbow Plank
- Sumo Squats
- Pulsing Lunges (w/o weight)
Quick note: I am NOT a fitness professional. Please consult a physician or other healthcare professional before you begin any fitness program. If you are ever in doubt about how to properly execute an exercise, consult a certified trainer. Good form prevents injury. Stay safe & have fun!