Welcome to the Motivation Reboot: 28-Day Fitness Challenge Planner Resource page!
As a fitness app junky and exercise enthusiast, I love fitness challenges and have done my fair share of them over the years.
But I’d been itching to design my own challenge that incorporates different types of exercises while keeping it simple to follow.
And that’s why I created this challenge planner.
The goal of the challenge is to help you hit the reset button on your fitness motivation by providing a simple but effective exercise schedule.
No equipment is required so you can do this challenge any time, anywhere.
If you haven’t grabbed yours already, pop on over here to learn more about it.
It also includes a blank week so you can design your own custom workout challenges, and a progress tracker to record your measurements!
On this page, you’ll find some info, links, and tools to help you as you work through the challenge.
(Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in the content below, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one, I may make a commission, at no extra cost to you. Full disclaimer here.)
Warm-Up & Cool-Down Ideas
Before you jump into any exercise, it’s important to do a 5-minute warmup to get the body ready to move and cut your risk of injury.
For warm-ups, you want to do dynamic moves that start getting your heart rate up and use full range of motion. Think hip-circles, arm-circles, jumping-jacks, or running in place with high knees.
The cool-down is when you can bust out the static stretches. I love ending my workouts with a few yoga poses like forward fold, downward-facing dog, and thread the needle. (YogaDownload is a fantastic place to find short classes like these!. They even have a free one available to try!)
The step count challenges and cardio are pretty self-explanatory. But some of the exercises in the strength circuits may need some clarification, especially if you’re brand new to these types of workouts.
That’s why I created this guide to help you learn what the exercises are and how to do them. Feel free to come back here anytime you need a refresher!
Here’s a breakdown of each exercise you’ll find in the challenge:
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. You can put your hands behind your ears, or clasp them together in front of you. Keeping your chest up and back straight, slowly start to squat down as though you are about to sit down on a chair.
Go down as far as you can, or until thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep the weight on your heels and make sure your knees are above your ankles. Push from your heels back up to standing.
Its just like a squat, except instead of standing up, you jump up off the ground. As you land back onto your feet, lower your body immediately back into squat position.
Start in tabletop position (on your hands and knees), and make sure your neck, shoulders, and back are neutral. Engaging your abs, lift your leg off the floor while keeping it bent. Squeeze your buns to push your foot upwards while keeping your hips level. Hold for a moment at the top and then bring your leg back down to the starting position.
Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Keeping your back and hips straight, take a big step forward into a split stance. Keeping your abs tight and back straight, start bending both knees in order to lower your hips straight down, until your back knee is an inch or two from the ground. Return to split stance by pushing up with your front heel and straightening your legs.
This like a static lunge, except instead of pushing up back to a split stance, you push off with your front heel and bring your front leg all the way to meet your back foot, back to standing position. Then the next step you take forward is with your opposite leg.
Alternating Lunges with 3 Pulses
This is just like alternating lunges, except you “pulse” up and down three times while in the lunge, before pushing back to stand.
Start in standing position, then squat to the ground and put your palms flat on the floor in front of you. As quickly as you can, step each leg back behind you into plank position. Then immediately step each leg back up towards your hands, back into your squat. From here, stand up quickly and raise your hands above your head.
Start in standing position, then squat to the ground and put your palms flat on the floor in front of you. As quickly as you can, jump your legs back into plank, then back up to your squat, then jump straight up with your arms straight up above your head.
Lie on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Place your arms along your sides with your palms down. Lift your hips off the ground as high as you can by squeezing your glutes. Make sure you are keeping your abs tight. Hold for a second at the top, then lower back down. If you have to lower all the way to the floor before the next rep, you can, but try to keep your butt from resting on the ground until you finish your reps.
Single-Leg Glute Bridges
Same idea as glute bridges, but instead of having both feet flat on the floor, rest one ankle over the opposite knee. Or, if you really want to feel the burn, straighten your leg.
Standing Hip Abductions
Stand up straight, then lift one leg off the by raising it laterally to the side, then bring it back in but not all the way. Although commonly done with resistance bands, you don’t need them to do this move. Really engage all your leg muscles while you do this and you will feel it!
Stand with both your feet together. Sit back into a low squat, then push off the ground with force and jump laterally to the side. Land in a low squat before jumping back to the other side. Make sure your feet are both jumping and landing at the same time!
Start off in plank position, making sure your back and neck and straight, then lower your knees to the ground. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest towards the mat until your chin touches the ground. Push yourself back up to modified plank.
Start off in plank position, with your hands a bit wider than your shoulders and your core engaged. Keeping your body straight, bend at the elbows to lower your chest to the ground, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Don’t let your elbows go straight out to the sides, keep them in at a 45-degree angle.
For this move you will need a workout bench, a plyo box, or a sturdy chair. Start by sitting on the bench with your legs out straight, and pressing your palms onto the bench, shoulder width apart. Scoot your butt off the bench, keeping your legs straight, then push your arms straight. Then lower your body by bending your elbows until they are at 90 degrees. Push into your palms to straighten your arms.
Start off in plank, keeping your body straight and your core engaged. Shift your weight into one arm, then lift your other arm off the ground rolling your hips upward in order to raise your arm straight up directly above you. Lower your arm back down into plank position, and repeat with the opposite arm.
From your hands and knees, push your hips back so that your body looks like an upside-down V. keep your legs straight and your core tight. Bend your arms at the elbows and lower your chest forward until your head is an inch from the floor. Then push your arms straight back into starting position.
Lay tummy-down on your exercise mat, stretching your arms out in front of you. Simultaneously raise both arms and both legs off the ground as high as you can, hold for a second, and lower back down.
Assume low plank position, supporting your weight on your forearms and toes, with your body forming a straight line. Keep your core tight and push your hips up so that your body looks like an upside-down V. Lower your body back down to a low plank position.
V Situps (Modified)
Start in half-boat pose, sitting on your bum with you legs up in the air and bent at the knee, and arms held out alongside you. Keeping your back straight and shoulders back, simultaneously stretch your legs out while leaning back until your back almost touches the floor. Using your abs, pull yourself back into a half-boat pose. To make this more challenging, you can do full V sit ups by keeping your legs straight.
Start in half-boat pose, and cross your legs at the ankles, keeping them in the air. Lean back a tad, keeping you back straight and your shoulders back by engaging your core. From here, clasp your hands in front of you and turn your entire torso from side to side. If you need to modify this, you can touch your heels to the ground but keep your abs tight.
Low plank with side crunch
Start in a low plank position, supporting you weight on your forearms and your toes, with your body forming a straight line. Bend one knee and bring it to the outside of your arm on the same side, then return to low plan. Repeat this action, alternating legs.
Lay on your back lift your legs, bending at the knees. Put you hands lightly behind your ears. Extend one leg out straight while reaching your opposite elbow towards your bent knee, using your abs to pull your shoulders off the floor. Repeat this motion from one side to the other. (Don’t speed through these!)
Lay flat on you back and tuck your hands, palm-side down under your bum to support your hips. Contract your abs, keep your legs straight, and lift your legs off the ground until they are at a 90% angle with the floor. Slowly lower your legs back to the floor, stopping before your feet touch the mat before bringing them back up again.
Lay on your back and bring your legs up and bend your knees at 90 degrees. Keep your arms down along side you with palms facing the floor. Squeeze your abs to bring your hips off the floor and your knees towards your chest, then back down to the floor.
Side Plank Hip Dips
Start in side plank position by supporting your weight on one forearm right under your shoulder and stacking your feet, keeping your body in a straight line. Lower your hip until it almost touches the mat, then squeeze your obliques to lift back up to the side plank.
Alternating Toe Tap Crunches
Lay on your back with your arms straight out to the sides, your legs out straight, several inches off the floor. Keeping it straight, raise one leg up in the air toward you and simultaneously crunch up to reach for your toes with the opposite arm.
Although you can track steps with your phone, a wearable fitness tracker tends to be more accurate and also do so much more than just count steps. If you get one with a heart rate monitor, it can track your calorie burn which really, really helps you stay on track of your calorie intake.
Although I’m an Apple Watch wearer myself, FitBit is actually my top recommendation because its the most value for your money and there are different models for every budget. Apple Watch is just as good as the top end FitBits, except way more expensive.
However, if you love the convenience of having all your apple products synced, the Apple Watch is fantastic and I have been wearing the Series 3 every day for the past two years.
I have a few relevant posts that you might find helpful as you work through the challenge:
- This post will help you stay motivated to stick to your plan
- If you need some ideas for cardio days, this post will help
- If you want to add some useful equipment to your home gym, this guide can help
- If you need some ideas on how to take the reins on your diet without making extreme changes, this is the post for you
Useful Free Tools
- Cronometer: A free app that can help you keep an eye on your calorie and macro intakes so that you don’t out-eat your workouts. (Full review.)
- Sweatcoin: A free app that rewards your steps with Sweatcoins that you can trade for awesome stuff. A little extra incentive never hurt anyone, right? (Full review.)
- Daily Energy Expenditure calculator: It can be kind of confusing figuring out how many calories you burn on an average day, but this calculator gives you a really good idea! Plus it’s kind of fun to spin those dials around.
Finished the Challenge! Now What?
The 28-day challenge is just your starting point! Once you finish, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a sustainable exercise habit.
I find the key to staying motivated is to always be setting new goals for yourself, that are not scale related. Maybe you want to redo the challenge and increase your time or reps. Or maybe you’ll want to use the blank planner page to create your own workouts.
If DIY workouts don’t get you pumped, then I do recommend taking the next step and investing in an app, since you have crushed this challenge so I know you can stick with it! I have reviewed many of the most popular apps and programs out, and you can read about my top 5 favs.