The Bare Bones Workout

Your exercise routine doesn’t need to be glamorous or complicated to get great results. Sometimes simple and straightforward is the best way to go.

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Choose a variation that suits your level, based on these moves listed from least to most demanding: stationary lunge (start with feet in a split stance, one in front of the other, and then simply lower and lift your center of gravity with no movement of the feet), forward lunge or back lunge (start with feet together, step forward into the lunge and push off with the front foot to return to the starting position, or step back into the lunge and push off with the back foot to return to the starting position), side lunge (step out to the side and bend the leading leg, and then push off that same foot to return to the starting position), walking lunges (moving forward while alternating sides) and plyometric lunges (step back into the lunge, and then push off both feet to spring into the air, landing with your feet together).

To make sure you’re doing a proper lunge, follow these technique basics:

  1. Keep the leading knee over the ankle by lowering your center of gravity without shifting your weight too far forward.
  2. Your knees should point and bend in the same direction as your toes. Watch the back foot and knee and try to keep them pointing forward.

The Simplified Workout Regimen

1. Walk quickly for 30 minutes or jog/run for at least 15 minutes.

2. Perform a push exercise—as many as you can with proper form and no pain.

3. Perform a pull exercise—same rule as the push exercise.

4. Do either a squat or lunge exercise and complete as many as you can, once again using proper technique and without pain.

Do this three times per week and not on consecutive days. To burn more calories and gain more strength, do multiple sets of the exercises (two to four) and select progressively more challenging exercises in each category as your strength and proper exercise form allow.

Feel free to split up the exercises and do them whenever you can fit them in. Do your push-ups while something is heating up in the microwave. Do your squats while you brush your teeth. There is nothing magical about doing them all in the same time frame. This is about making fitness simple.

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