The 4-Week Fitness Plan to Increase Strength: Day 1

Tim DiFrancesco
by Tim DiFrancesco
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The 4-Week Fitness Plan to Increase Strength: Day 1

Creating a training, workout or exercise habit is no joke. Finding time to get to the gym and knowing where to start are two of the nasty hurdles that often seem to stand between you and impressive levels of fitness and performance. You can either let those hurdles slow you down, or you can boot them out of the way and get to work. Let me help you knock down the obstacles that stand in the way of you getting to the gym and figuring out where to start.

This four-week strength and mobility program will show you where to begin as well as how to make progressions. Best of all: The workouts can be done from your living room, so consider hurdle number 1 (going to the gym) tackled! You’ll need a few small pieces of equipment, but other than that, just bring your commitment to taking your health and fitness habits to a new level.

What to Expect

Over the course of four weeks, this program will guide you through three workouts per week; at the end of the fourth week, you should be rewarded with impressive strength and mobility gains. No matter what “performance” means to you, moving better and with more strength are the bedrocks of successful performance. Additionally, better movement supported by necessary strength helps to keep nagging or debilitating injuries at bay.

Day 1 of each week includes a focus on the lower body, particularly the hips. Day 2 of each week focuses on the upper body, including the chest, arms and back — all very important areas for both daily activity and posture. Day 3 of each week targets the all-important core to help you build a strong, functional base. On the days you don’t have a workout scheduled, you can always add a 15- to 30-minute walk, bike ride or run/walk once, twice or even three times a week. This is totally optional, of course.

Progressions will be made from one week to the next for each exercise, making the baseline exercise more challenging and/or adjusting the sets and reps. Workout duration in this program will typically be between 15–45 minutes, depending on the day, week and pace that is comfortable for you.

The plan will progress in volume of work and difficulty of exercise from week to week.

What You Will Need for the Entire Plan:

  • 1 resistance band/tubing with handles and door anchor (resistance level based on what you can use with perfect form)
  • 1 pair of workout sliders
  • 1 mini band (resistance level based on what you can use with perfect form)
  • 1 set of dumbbells,* likely between 15–40 pounds (weight based on what you can use with perfect form).

*It is possible to modify the small number of dumbbell exercises in this program if access to dumbbells isn’t realistic.

How to Follow

Each workout has four exercises and is organized in an “A” set and a “B” set. Begin with the “A” set and alternate between “A1” and “A2” for the designated sets and reps. Once the “A” set is completed, move to the “B” set and complete in the same fashion.

Day 1 Introduction

Day 1 is all about the hips. This workout will target hip strength and mobility while involving the core. Strong and mobile hips are your ticket to better performance throughout your day and during physical activity. High-functioning hips also fend off back pain and take pressure off your knees.

DAY1-T

 

Band Bridge

Side-Lying Clamshell

Cross-Under Hip Stretch

Bridge to Hamstring Slide *eccentric

Now, keep it going! Check out more below:

Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12

About the Author

Tim DiFrancesco
Tim DiFrancesco

Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent six seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge. He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. For training and nutrition advice, follow us on:

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