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5 Essential Weekly Exercises Women Can Do to Maintain Fitness

Ladies, achieving top-notch fitness is straightforward—at least in theory. Numerous articles suggest simply moving more and cutting calories will transform your physique. But, what happens when life’s responsibilities, a demanding job, and adult duties dominate your time? I’ve curated five superior weekly exercise programs for ladies that easily integrate into your busy schedules.

Here’s a tip: Forget about adhering to strict guidelines (such as “150 minutes a week”) and instead, set a flexible weekly “base.” Aim for a minimum of two workouts each week. Anything extra is just icing on the cake, but those two sessions are your non-negotiable foundation. This approach eases pressure and ensures you keep up a decent fitness level.

Another issue is ineffective workout routines. Many settle for a casual treadmill walk and a couple of bicep curls, mistakenly labeling it as “exercise.” But to truly maintain fitness, opt for a holistic regimen. It should bolster key muscle groups and elevate your heart rate, ensuring you’re not just fit, but also thriving and robust.

In this article, I’ll walk you through five fabulous weekly workouts for women to stay fit. These are fast and high-octane so you’ll get more results in less time than before. Pick any two (or more), do them weekly, and you will see your fitness soar.

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Keep reading for the five best weekly workouts for women to stay fit. And when you’re finished, don’t miss People Swear by the ‘Drunken Monkey’ Exercise for Better Sleep: ‘You’ll Sleep Better, I Promise’.

Workout #1:

Set a timer to 20 to 30 minutes and do as many circuits with as little rest as possible.

A1) Goblet Squats, Reps: 6

dumbbell goblet squat illustration

The first of these weekly workouts for women to stay fit begins with goblet squats. Grab the end of one dumbbell in both hands, and hold it by your chest with your elbows underneath. Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backward and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom, drive through your heels, and keep your knees apart.

A2) Pushups, Reps: 6

illustration of pushups

Get in a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your lower back flat, and don’t let your hips sag. Lower yourself, and keep your elbows close to your body as you descend.

A3) Inverted Rows, Reps: 6

inverted row illustration

Set a barbell on a power rack or Smith Machine and, from underneath, pull yourself up and touch your chest to the bar. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and keep your body straight like a plank.

A4) Stiff-Arm Pulldowns, Reps: 10

Set a cable pulldown bar to the highest setting or use a lat pulldown machine. Stand facing the cable, and grab the handle with your arms fully extended. Keep your arms locked, and pull the bar to your hips without rounding forward. Repeat.

A5) Prisoner-Hold Jump Squats, Reps: 5

jump squats

Stand shoulder-width apart with your feet slightly turned out. Place your hands behind your head. Squat down by sitting back and spreading your knees apart. Keep your weight on your heels. Once you descend below parallel, explode up and jump as high as you can.

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Workout #2:

A1) Split Squats, Sets: 4, Reps: 6 per leg

reverse lunges

Next up on this list of weekly workouts for women to stay fit, it’s time for some spilt squats. Stand with one foot about three feet in front of the other so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom. Drop straight down, and drive with your front heel. Don’t let your front knee drift past your toe.

A2) Dumbbell Overhead Presses, Sets: 4, Reps: 6

illustration of overhead press exercise

Grab two dumbbells and hold them by your shoulders. Keep your core tight and glutes squeezed, and push the dumbbells directly overhead. At the top, your biceps should be next to your ears. Don’t lean back or arch your lower back.

A3) Chest-Supported Dumbbell Rows, Sets: 4, Reps: 6

Set an adjustable bench to a short incline, and lie face down with a dumbbell in each hand. Start the movement by pulling your shoulder blades together, and row. Don’t let your elbow pull past your ribcage.

B1) SHE, Sets: 3, Reps: 12

Lie on your back with your feet on the top of a stability ball. Squeeze your glutes, and extend your hips. Do not use your lower back to “pull yourself up.”

B2) Crab Walk, Sets: 3, Reps: 15 yards

woman doing crab walks

Start in the “crab position:” hands and feet flat on the ground, chest facing up, knees bent, hips an inch from the ground, arms straight, hands directly underneath your shoulders, and fingers pointing behind you. Crawl forward by taking a tiny step with your right arm and left leg at the same time, and then another step with your left arm and right leg. Alternate while keeping your hips low and your chest up.

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Workout #3

A1) Kettlebell Deadlifts, Sets: 6, Reps: 5

kettlebell deadlift

Stand shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell between your legs and the handle in line with the bony part of your ankles. Bend from hips, and grab the kettlebell with both hands. Before you lift, your shins should be vertical, your back should be almost parallel with the ground, and your lower back should be flat.

Squeeze the handle hard, pull your shoulders backward, and crush your armpits. Lift the kettlebell by pushing through the ground, not by pulling up. Stand tall and squeeze your glutes at the top. On the way down, place the kettlebell at the same exact spot you lifted it from.

A2) Hip Flexor Stretch, Sets: 6, Reps: 20 seconds per leg

half kneeling hip flexor stretch

Get on one knee with your feet inline and your knees making 90-degree angles. Squeeze the glute of your rear leg, push your hips forward, and feel a deep stretch through the front of your hips and quads. Switch sides.

B1) Hip Bridges, Sets: 3, Reps: 10

woman doing bridge pose, concept of weekly workouts for women to stay fit

Lie on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Drive through your heels, and squeeze your glutes to push your hips up. Repeat. Do not use your lower back you pull yourself up.

B2) Single-Arm Cable Rows, Sets: 3, Reps: 8 per arm

Set a cable handle to chest height. Grab the handle, take a step back, and stand facing the cable. Start the movement by pulling your shoulder blade toward your midline, and row without twisting your torso. Once you finish all your reps, switch sides.

B3) Dead Bugs, Sets: 3, Reps: 5 per side

dead bug exercise illustration, concept of weekly workouts for women to stay fit

Lie on your back with your arms and knees in the air (like a dead bug), press your lower back into the ground, and lift your glutes. Reach out with your right leg and left leg at the same time while keeping your lower back flat on the ground, keeping your hips off the ground, and exhaling all of your air. Switch sides, and repeat.

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Workout #4

A1) Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts, Sets: 4, Reps: 6 per leg

illustration of single-leg romanian deadlift

With dumbbells in your hand, slowly bend forward, and pull one leg behind. Once the weights are below your knees, drive back up and squeeze with your glute. Don’t twist your hips to the side—keep them square and facing forward.

A2) Dumbbell Bench Presses, Sets: 4, Reps: 6

Dumbbell Chest Press, concept of weekly workouts for women to stay fit

Lie on a bench with your chest up, shoulders squeezed together, and feet flat on the ground. Drive the dumbbells upward, keeping your shoulders back. Drive through your heels as well, keeping your glutes on the bench.

A3) Seated Cable Rows, Sets: 4, Reps: 6

woman seated cable row illustration

Start the movement by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Row and touch the bar to your chest with every repetition. Do NOT lean backward to cheat, as you’ll put unnecessary stress on your lower back. To emphasize your back muscles, use a wide grip; to get more arm work, use a narrow grip.

B1) Mountain Climbers, Sets: 3, Reps: 30 seconds

mountain climbers exercise, concept of weekly workouts for women to stay fit

Get into a pushup position. Keep your core tight, and lift each knee toward your chest in an alternating way. (It’s like you’re sprinting in place.) Keep your head up and your hips low.

B2) Stir-the-Pot, Sets: 3, Reps: 8 in each direction

Get into a plank position on a stability ball. While keeping your torso still, move your forearms in a circle. Then, switch directions. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and don’t let your lower back sag.

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Workout #5:

A1) Reverse Lunge from Step, Sets: 4, Reps: 5 per leg

The last of these weekly workouts for women to stay fit kicks off with the incline reverse lunge. Start by standing on a 4-inch (10cm) step while holding dumbbells. Take a long step back onto the ground—long enough so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom—and pull yourself back up onto the step with your forward leg.

A2) Three-Point Rows, Sets: 4, Reps: 5

Facing parallel to a bench, place your right hand and right knee on the bench, getting your torso parallel to the ground. Grab a dumbbell with your left hand, squeeze your shoulder blades, and row.

A3) Lean-Away Lat Pulldowns, Sets: 4, Reps: 5

Sit in a lat pulldown machine, and lean backward by 30 degrees. Start the movement by squeezing your shoulder blades together, and pull the bar down to your collarbone.

B1) Lateral Squats, Sets: 3, Reps: 6 per leg

woman doing lateral lunges, concept of weekly workouts for women to stay fit

Start with a very wide stance and your feet straight. Sit back into one hip, and push that knee out. Repeat on the other side.

B2) Bear Crawls, Sets: 3, Reps: 20 yards

illustration of woman doing bear crawls, concept of weekly workouts for women to stay fit

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips; keep your knees an inch above the ground. Crawl forward by taking a small step with your right arm and left leg at the same time, and alternate. Keep your hips low and your head up.

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Tiara Clephin

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