New Year Total Body Challenge – Week 4: Core Day

FOCUS: INSPIRATION… what moves your needle?


If your healthy ways fell off the wagon over the holiday season, you’re not alone!  Don’t let a few indulgent days send you into a downward spiral!  Instead, jump back on with a 5-week fitness challenge that will put your energy on the right path again.


Now that you’re in the fourth week of the challenge, you may notice some physical changes in your body and perhaps an increase in energy. You may also notice that any type of challenge requires inner motivation and inspiration to achieve your best. Before we go over the details of week 4’s workout, take a moment to reflect on what inspires you.



Inspiration is something that fuels you with excitement and joy. It’s what moves your needle to a speed that helps you accomplish greatness. Here are a few concepts that may inspire the desire to find what fuels your inner soul.


  • Clear out the refrigerator and pantry shelves of any foods that serve your body no nutritional value. If it didn’t grow out of the ground or walk/ swim on earth, it’s probably not a ‘real’ food. This is a great way to clean up your diet!


  • A special saying, a quote, words of affirmation, or a phrase of words can be very powerful to your mind and can inspire your soul.


  • Accept the qualities you posses. Try to build upon these qualities to better yourself and find ways to evolve your character. Never bring yourself down, only build yourself up!


  • Be open to trying something new whether it’s a task, an activity, or a food. Innovate something great!


  • Develop a rewards system for yourself with something you enjoy once accomplishing a set of tasks. This will keep you focused, honest with yourself, and accountable towards the end goal. Plus, it’s something to look forward to!


  • Creating a playlist with songs that move your inner soul will also motivate you to want to exercise your body!


  • If you have a goal you want to achieve, make a plan and stay the course to accomplish it. Commit to yourself and you will ultimately achieve success.


These methods, along with others, help inspire you to achieve the best results.




The challenge is a progressive 5-week total body program. The workouts are targeted to focus on a specific muscle group each week and will build upon the previous week’s workout by adding past workouts into this week’s schedule.


By the end of the challenge, you will have learned many exercises to add to your routine and you will have achieved strength development throughout your entire body.



To make planning your workouts simple, I created a workout calendar for you to follow and keep on track each day of the 5 weeks.  Print it, pin it, save it, and sweat to it!  Here is a link to the 5-week calendar.



Goal: The New Years Challenge is a 5-week series that focuses on total body strength to tone, define, and condition your body from post-holiday festivities.


Frequency: 4 total strength days

  • 2 non-consecutive booty workout days
  • Week 1’s arm workout
  • Week 3’s core workout

Reps & Sets: 10 Reps, 2 sets in circuit format



  • Perform the booty workout on 2 non-consecutive days along with the core workout (week 3) and the arms workout (week 1) on different days.
  • Include other workouts or activities during the week that target your fitness goals; cardio, yoga, sports, etc.
  • Refer to the previous blog(s) and video(s) to get the full challenge details.



Adjust the incline to challenge your strength level, however, a medium level works best for these exercises.





  1. Leg Sweeps (cables)
  • Face the tower and stand to one side of the glide board. Place one cable onto the bottom of the foot of the outside leg.
  • Hold onto the cable as you place the opposite knee and hands onto the glide board. Once positioned safely, let go of the cable and extend the leg behind you.
  • Keep the arms extended long, spine straight, and core engaged as you lift and lower the leg behind you to work the glutes and hamstrings.
  • Use the same set up to perform this exercise on the other side.


  1. Glute Press
  • Use the same set up as ‘Leg Sweeps’ to position your body on the glide board.
  • Keep the arms extended long, spine straight, and core engaged as you bend and extend the leg behind you to work the glutes and hamstrings.
  • Use the same set up to perform this exercise on the other side.


  1. Side Lying Circles (cables)
  • Same set up as ‘Leg Sweeps’ & ‘Glute Press’ to place the cable on the foot.
  • Hold onto the cable as you position your body onto the glide board in a side lying position with the knees bent and legs stacked at 90 degrees. Once in place, release the cable so that it is resting on top of the thigh.
  • Begin to make a circling motion with the leg to target the hips and glutes.
  • Perform 10 reps in each direction.
  • Use the same set up to perform this exercise on the other side.



  1. Bridge Kicks
  • Lye supine on the glide board with the feet placed high on the squat stand and in a parallel stance.
  • Keep the glide board closed with the knees bent as you roll the spine into a bridge position.
  • Extend one leg straight while keeping the thighs and knees touching for proper form set up.
  • Simultaneously press the glide board open while kicking the extended leg towards your head. As the glide board closes, return the leg to the starting position and repeat for 10 reps.
  • Keep the hips level throughout the exercise.
  • Perform this exercises on the other leg.

Modified: Perform a similar exercise in a fixed bridge position.

  • Lye supine on the glide board with the feet placed high on the squat stand in a slightly turned out position.
  • Lift the hips up to form a diagonal line from the knees to the shoulders.
  • Keeping the hips lifted, open and close the glide board by pressing the weight through the heels. This will activate the glutes and outer thigh region.


  1. Bridge Press
  • Straddle the glide board facing the tower.
  • Press the glide board up the rails with both hands. Place one foot onto the squat stand and the opposite knee down onto the glide board.
  • Keep the arms extended, spine long, and core engaged as you press the glide board up and down the rails to work the glutes, hamstrings, and hips.
  • Use the same set up to perform this exercise on the other side.



POST WORKOUT STRETCH: End your workout with a few minutes of stretching or foam rolling to lengthen the muscles worked and to prevent soreness.


Refer to the video for exercise demonstrations.




Use this chart as a planned workout schedule to follow for week 4’s challenge. The cardio listed is just a guide to help keep you in a fat burning mode and on a set schedule.  Please feel free to do other activities on these days. The key is to remain active daily.



Refer to the video for exercise demonstrations.



Good Luck this week. Stay tuned for the Chest & Back workout for week 5’s challenge.




Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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