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A Three-Day Workout Schedule for the Busy Collegiate Girl

Lacking motivation to get down to the Rec? Workout schedules are a good way to keep us on track with our fitness goals. They hold us accountable and make it so that minimal brain power is required to form a workout. We compiled our favorite exercises for a girl aiming to get to the gym three times a week. However, if you’d like to go more than that, feel free to complete the cycle twice to accustom going six days a week, or add your own ideas in on the days we didn’t mention. 

Monday: Legs and Butt

Warm up/ Cardio: Everyone has their own cardio preferences. Ours are elliptical, StairMaster, treadmill, and bike. Find one that works for you and aim for 20-30 minutes every time you make it to the gym.

Exercise: Complete each exercise for 30-60 seconds and repeat up to three times, depending on how tight your schedule is.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge:

Lie on your back with bent knees and your feet on the ground. Lift one leg as you squeeze your glutes and push your hips toward the ceiling. Pause to feel the burn a little extra, then lower your butt without touching the floor for one rep. Continue for the time you selected and repeat on the other side.

Lunge-Squat jumps:

*Read description as gif does not show full exercise*

Begin by jumping into a lunge with your right foot in front. Jump again as shown with left foot in front. Next, (not shown) jump 45 degrees to the right swiveling so that your feet turn to face forward and squat. Then, swivel and jump again 45 degrees so that you are again in a lunge with your right foot in front. Switch legs during another jump so your left leg is again in front. Turn again as you jump to the right another 45 degrees and squat to complete one rep. Continue for the time you selected.


*Band shown in gif is unnecessary*

*Model is not seen doing leg extension as described below*

Begin on all fours. Keep knees bent to a 90-degree angle, lift one leg (still bent to the side), then extend so it is straight and parallel to the ground. Return knee to the ground for one rep. Continue for the time you selected and repeat on the other side.

Curtsy Lunges:

*Can be done with or without weights*

Stand with feet hips-width apart. Extend one leg out to the side and behind you, pressing into your heel. Return to starting position as you rise and finish in a standard squat to complete one rep. Continue for the time you selected and repeat on the other side.

Core and stretching:

Finish your workout with 5-10 minutes of your favorite core exercises and stretch to avoid soreness and injury.

Wednesday: Full Body Conditioning           

Warm up/ Cardio: Again, pick your fav cardio and aim for 20-30 minutes.

Exercise: Complete each exercise for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds in between, and repeat up to three times, depending on your schedule.

Jump Squats:

     Begin in squat position and complete a traditional squat. Instead of just standing up as usual, jump off of the ground. Return to the ground softly and sink right back into the squat before repeating.

Plank row:

Start in a plank position with both arms resting on a dumbbell. With one arm, row the weight to your chest. Return to start to complete one rep. Repeat on other side.

Single-leg bench squats:

Position a knee-high box behind you (or use a step) and stand far enough away so that when you bend your front knee, it doesn’t go over your toes. Keep your back straight and your hands on your hips and rest the top of one foot on the bench. Bend your other knee and lower your body until your left knee almost touches the floor. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 40 seconds. Swap sides and start again. To increase the intensity of this exercise, hold a dumbbell by each side.

Plank knee-tuck:

                                    Start in a normal plank position. Bend your knees, jump up and land in a tuck position on the balls of your feet. Quickly jump feet back out to plank position to complete one rep.

Hamstring curl with exercise ball:

Start by lying with your back on the ground with your calves resting on the ball out in front of you. Lift your butt off the floor while lifting hips toward the ceiling. Pull the ball in with your feet, then push it back out to the start position, completing one rep.

Core and stretching:

Finish your workout with 5-10 minutes of your favorite core exercises and stretch to avoid soreness and injury.

Friday: Intense Cardio and Core

            Cardio Intervals:

If you have bad knees, try an adaptive motion trainer instead of a treadmill. (Yes, we had to google this to figure out the name, too.) Instead of your usual warm-up and cardio, you can switch between the treadmill, elliptical machine, and stationary bike during this one session. After warming up nce you feel thoroughly warmed up you should increase the intensity of cardio for about 30 seconds before returning to a moderate pace for about a minute. If you are using a treadmill you will sprint for those 30 seconds. Repeat these intervals for 10-15 minutes. Cool down.    


                        Complete one rep of each exercise for 30 seconds. Repeat circuit up to three times if desired.

Plank hip dips:

     Start in a lowered plank position with your elbows bent and on the ground. Rotate your hips to one side and dip your body almost to the floor. Return to starting position. Repeat on the other side. 

Thread the needle:

Come onto your side and stack your feet in a side plank. Raise your free arm so it opens the chest. Bend the elbow and thread the hand underneath you, allowing your head to drop and follow it. Open chest and lift arm back to starting position to complete one rep. Continue for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

                        Infinity Abs:

*Description is different than shown in gif*

Lie on your back with your arms extended out to each side and your legs extended straight out in front of you. Raise your legs 6 inches and move them to one side. In a circular motion, lift to other side. Pretend as if your legs are forming an infinity symbol in the air as they cross back and forth. 

Mason twists:

Sit with your legs fully extended and your upper body upright. Cross your ankles and raise them off the floor slightly and bend your knees slightly. Lean upper body back. Turn your torso to the left and touch the floor with your hands. Twist to the right and touch the floor. Repeat, switching between sides.                       

V-sit ups:


Lie flat on your back with your hands extended behind your head and your legs extended out in front. Bend at the waist and lift your legs as you extend your arms toward them. Return to start position to complete one rep.

Alternate arm-leg plank:


                                    Begin in plank position. Lift and extend one arm out in front while simultaneously extending your opposite leg behind you. Return to start. Repeat on other side.

Shoulder taps:

                                    Begin in plank position. Quickly bring one hand up to tap the opposite-side shoulder. Place hand back in starting position and repeat on other side.

If you stick to this schedule and develop a routine, you’ll be stronger than ever in no time!

I am a first-year Sociology major at Cal Poly with a love for writing researching, and arguing. I plan to have a concentration in Criminal Justice and minor in Anthropology and Geography. If you know me you know I trip at least twice every day, bake often (especially when I'm stressed), and binge-watch the same shows over and over again.
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