Photos by James Patrick

A solid foundation is key to staying fit, no matter your age. But that doesn’t mean you need a boutique gym or heavy weights to hit that goal. Just ask Natalie Jill, who used these bodyweight exercises to help strengthen her body and reclaim her health in her late 30s. “I started getting really in shape… now I had abs,” she says. “I was kind of going against the norm because I was working out at home with my own bodyweight, I was self-taught, I created my own program… I was feeling really confident.” To this day she still rocks these full-body moves (and those abs) at age 48.

You’ll feel these functional bodyweight exercises working every muscle, but they’re especially effective for firing up your core, since it’s required for balance and stabilization in every single one. The secret sauce to this workout? Don’t rush, warns Natalie. Concentrate on killer form and creating a mind-muscle connection. “The key is to focus on the muscle groups that you are working.”

Natalie Jill’s STRONGER Workout

Perform the following exercises as a circuit. After completing the entire circuit once through, rest for 1-2 minutes, then repeat. Aim to complete a total of 3 rounds.

Before You Begin: Instead of counting reps, Natalie prefers to prescribe a recommended amount of time in which to do as many reps as you can with proper form. For example, if you break form after 5 reps, then that’s your max. Record your reps each time you do this workout and try to progress over the next 8 weeks.

EXERCISE

RECOMMENDED TIME

Active Runner’s Lunge

30 seconds (each leg)

Flutter Kick

30-60 seconds

Triceps Sit-Through

60 seconds

Pike Walk Out

60 seconds

Side Plank Walks

30 seconds (each side)

Three-Legged Dog with Crossover

30 seconds (each side)

Lean Back with Twist

30 seconds


Active Runner’s Lunge

Begin in a modified lunge position with your right leg extended straight back (A). Hold the lunge position while bringing the right leg in to meet the left (B) and back out again. Continue all reps then repeat with the other leg.


Flutter Kick

Lie face-up on the floor with your upper body supported by your forearms. Lift your feet off the floor and criss-cross them back and forth while keeping your legs straight.


Triceps Sit-Through

Begin in a bridge position with feet together and fingers pointing in (A). Using your core and triceps to control the movement, lower your hips down (B) then back through your arms. Pause here (C). Reverse the movement to return to the starting position and repeat.


Pike Walkout

Begin in a high plank position (A). Keeping your legs as straight as you can, but not locked, walk your feet towards your hands until you are in a pike position (B). Walk your feet back to the starting position and repeat.


Side Plank Walks

Begin in a side plank supported by your left arm (A). Walk your feet forward step by step until your body is 90 degrees from where you started (B). Walk them back and repeat until time is up, then do it on the other side.


Three-Legged Dog with Crossover

Begin in a downward dog position with your right leg raised towards the ceiling (A). Lower the leg and bend the knee, bringing it across your body and towards your left elbow (B). Return to the starting position and repeat for all reps then switch sides.


Lean Back with Twist

Begin kneeling on the ground with your back straight and arms out in front of you (A). Contract your core to support you and lean back slightly. Open your arms and rotate your core to the right. Move your head with your body as you twist (B). Rotate back to center, then repeat in the opposite direction.


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