As the final hours of the second decade of my life quickly fade into history, I pause for a moment to review what I have accomplished in the last twenty-nine years. Then I scope out what I still need to work on to continue staying healthy as my body begins to fight against me. Literature states that your body’s performance peeks in your twenties and begins to level off once you hit the big 3-0. This translates into, “work harder or work longer to achieve your goals.” I also know that my body will need more time to recover after workouts (those all-nighters before a hard workout are pretty much over). As long as I can keep stimulating my muscles with cardio and resistance training my metabolism will still be high enough to burn my meals. Yet when it comes to meals I will have to change accordingly just like I did when I went from my teens into my twenties. This is a common mistake that many people make because they’re so accustomed to their old diets.
This is the age where you know that you’re either cut out for the pros or not. For 99% of us who are not cut out to be an elite athlete, we must focus our workouts on what matters the most: longevity. Ladies, if you want to tighten up your tush, tummy, and thighs, you have to change it up after you hit 30 years. So do the men. Your body’s changing, so why aren’t your workouts? For all who are about to take the big leap into the next installment of their lives, here is a workout for you to make that seamless transition. And if you’re a veteran of this age, you can still do it to challenge your core stabilizers and continue to improve your health. If you are still rocking the teens and twenties, try this workout too. Before starting any new workout plan, remember to always consult your physician if you have any medical conditions or haven’t been exercising within the past three months.
The 30 Year Old Challenge
This workout uses functional movements to target commonly missed areas to give you a body that will transcend well past your thirties. You will run through the exercises in a circuit. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, moving from one exercise to the next. Rest for 2 minutes before starting back at the top and doing another round. Complete 3 rounds total.
1. Squat to Rotational Press
Starting in a squat with a weight in your hands, lower your weight to one side just outside your knees. Then press with your heels and stand up, while rotating your body to the other side and press the weight overhead. Switch to the other side for the next 30 seconds.
2. Normal/Narrow Pushups
Start in a pushup position (you can modify it by using your knees) with your hands placed a little wider than shoulder width. Perform a pushup and then move your hands to shoulder width and perform a push up with your elbows close to your side.
3. Lunge with Twist
Start in a long staggered stance. Place a weight in your hands and keep your elbows bent at a 90° angle. Drop your back knee down into a lunge and stop before your back knee touches the ground, forming a right angle with your front knee. Rotate the ball and your torso to the side of your front knee. Make the movement come from your abs and obliques. Rotate back and push with your front quads to stand back up. Stay on the same side for 30 seconds then switch sides.
4. 1 Arm High Row with Knee Lift
Place a handle to a pulley machine and adjust the pulley to the top setting. In a staggered stance with your right hand on the handle and your left foot back, pull the handle to the side of your chest while lifting the back knee forward and up to hip level. Return your hand and leg back in a controlled movement. Stay on the same side for 30 seconds then switch sides.
5. Plank with Hip Drop
Place your forearms on the mat with your elbows under your shoulders. Keep your body in a straight line and raise your hips and knees off the mat. (Place your legs apart wider to make it easier.) Then drop your hip to one side and touch the mat. Bring your hips back up and drop down to the other side.
6. Pushup to 1 Leg Stand
Start in a 1 legged standing position. Bend forward and drop your hands to the ground while staying on 1 leg. Lower yourself down into a pushup and explode back up to a 1 leg stand. Switch leg after 30 seconds.
7. Incline Bench Superman’s
Lie on your stomach on an incline bench. Place your arms by your side with your fingers pointed up. Without lifting your chest, extend your arms straight up slowly and return back slowly.
8. Crossover Lunges
Start in a standing position. Cross one leg behind the other and drop down into a lunge while extending the back leg to the side. Tap your back foot on the floor then push yourself back up with your front leg to a standing position. Perform one side for 30 seconds then switch sides.
Position yourself on all fours on the mat. Keeping your abs, glutes, and back tight, extend one arm straight out while extending the opposite leg behind you. Return to start and switch sides.
10. Side Planks
Lie on your side and stack your legs on top of each other. Place your bottom elbow under your shoulder and forearm on the floor. Lift your hips and knees off the floor. To modify, bend your bottom leg behind you at the knee. Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.