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New You Workout: Build the Body of Your Dreams!

Holly Smith

By: Holly Smith, M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

new you workout

Already feel like this year is just like last year? Forget looking at the calendar — look in the mirror. Get a fresh start with a new you workout!

A lot of women make New Year's resolutions to improve their health and fitness.

While many moms out there may choose a weight loss goal, there are tons of different paths to enhance your health.

This could be through weight loss, strength gains, or specific athletic achievements.

Whatever you choose, the hardest part of every fitness journey is the first step. And the transition from 2020 to 2021 certainly won’t make this any easier!

For the new year, you need to start off by crafting a plan that you can maintain and stay accountable to all year, not just the first few weeks of 2021.

With gyms being closed and many moms working from home, exercise and workouts will definitely be different this year.

However, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to create a fully equipped home gym to get in great shape.

You can get great cardio and strength workouts by using your body weight or small pieces of fitness equipment that can be easily stored at home.

Mixing up your workouts using resistance bands, dumbbells, and other home equipment can even make your workouts more enjoyable since you will be changing up the moves and not getting stuck in the same old cycle of gym workouts.

If you are ready to get this year kicked off the right way, check out these ideas to start your new year, new you workout plan!

Putting together your home gym? Here's some of our favorite home fitness equipment — and how to get the most out of it.

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New Year, New You Workout

From beginners to seasoned pros, bodyweight exercises are an amazing way to build strength and aerobic capacity.

Bodyweight moves should be included in just about every workout plan. Some benefits of bodyweight exercises include:

  • No equipment needed
  • Can utilize in circuit training and HIIT workouts
  • Includes power building plyometric moves that enhance strength and cardiovascular fitness

Add this bodyweight metabolic resistance workout to your weekly routine.

You will be amazed at how quickly you see improvement in your strength and physique!

New You Bodyweight Workout for Women

Start with a light, five-minute warm-up. This could include some jumping jacks, jogging in place, or stair runs.

Perform each move for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

As your fitness improves, try to do each exercise for 45 seconds and decrease the rest time to 15 seconds.

Jump Squats

  • Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Make sure you drive through your heels and don’t allow your knees to track over your toes.
  • You can clasp your hands in front of you or hold them out parallel to the ground.
  • As you come up, jump up about six inches off the ground, then land softly with your knees slightly bent.

High Knees

  • Stand upright and place your feet hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands near your waist with your palms down.
  • Drive your right knee up to meet your right hand, then bring the same leg back to the ground and immediately bring the left knee up to meet your left hand.
  • Continue to alternate knees with a hopping motion, staying on the balls of your feet.

Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a push up position.
  • Bring your right knee forward under your chest, then return the leg back.
  • Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
  • Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.

Flutter Kicks

  • Lie on your back and extend your legs up to a 45-degree angle.
  • Keep your arms straight and in line with the floor, palms facing down.
  • Lift your upper body off the ground.
  • While keeping your legs straight, begin alternating each leg up and down in a flutter motion.
  • Try to maintain this motion for the entire 30 seconds.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down and place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  • Kick your legs straight out behind you into a high plank with your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor, then straighten them to do a push-up.
  • At the top of the push-up, jump your feet toward your hands into a squat.
  • Jump straight up into the air, reaching your arms overhead.
  • Repeat. Rest for a full minute and a half, then repeat two more times.

At the start of your weight loss journey, you can start by just going through this circuit twice. As your fitness level improves, try to add a third round.

Cool down for five minutes to get your heart rate back down after completing this awesome high-intensity workout.

Altogether, with the warm-up and cool down, you will have completed an amazing cardiovascular and resistance workout in under 35 minutes.

Not only will bodyweight workouts get you a great looking physique, routines like this will also improve your overall health.

For example, a study done in 2018 found that bodyweight exercises improved performance, muscle mass, inflammatory markers, and metabolic health in women at risk for type 2 diabetes when compared to aerobic and resistance exercises.

Here's a full-body workout you can do at home with no equipment!

Resistance Bands and Dumbbell Workouts

If you want to add a challenge to your bodyweight workouts but have limited space at home, resistance bands are the ultimate training tool.

Not only can you target every muscle group with a set of bands, but you can store them or travel with them easily.

Research has shown that workouts with resistance bands provide a great training stimulus for muscle activation.

When done correctly, you can even obtain similar muscle strength gains to free weight exercises.

Try this resistance band workout for weight loss!


Similar to resistance bands, if you have a set of dumbbells at home, you can do just about any workout that you would do in the gym.

You can use lighter weights with high reps and even incorporate high-intensity intervals with smaller dumbbells.

On days that you want to focus more on strength and less on aerobic work, you can use heavier weights along with slow and controlled movements to really target specific muscle groups.

Varying your workouts will help you avoid getting burned out by doing the same exercises day in and day out.

These are some great compound exercises that can be done with either resistance bands or dumbbells.

Compound movements are great for muscle development and allow you to target multiple muscle groups at once.

You can also slow down the movement to really feel the muscles under tension while you do these movements.

Try to incorporate either bodyweight or resistance workouts two to three times a week in your new year, new you workout routine.

Squat to Shoulder Press

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height or stand on a resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart while you hold a handle in each hand at shoulder height.
  • Sit down into a squat while keeping the weights or handles at your shoulders.
  • As you stand back up from the squat, extend your arms to push up into the air above your shoulders.
  • Lower your arms back down to your shoulders.
  • Repeat 8-10 reps for three sets total.

Floor Press

  • Lie on the floor or a mat while holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended over your chest in a bench press position.
  • If you are using a resistance band, lie on top of the band while holding the handles above your chest.
  • Lower your elbows to the floor with your arms at about a 45-degree angle to your chest.
  • Once your elbows touch the floor, extend your arms back up to complete one rep.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps.

Supermans with Band/Dumbbell Pulls

  • Lay on your stomach with your arms extended straight in front of you while holding a resistance band stretched between both hands or a pair of very light (1-2 pound) dumbbells.
  • Squeeze your glutes and lower back to raise your arms and chest off the floor.
  • Mimic a pullup motion by squeezing your shoulder blades together to pull the resistance band back over your head.
  • Extend your arms out again to complete one rep.
  • Aim for three sets of 8-10 reps.

Standing Bent Over Rows to Bicep Curls

This is more of an advanced compound move that will not only build muscular strength, but will also challenge your aerobic endurance as you move through the exercise.

  • Hold two dumbbells by your sides or stand with both feet on a resistance band, about hip-width apart while holding the handles.
  • Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat, arms straight, and hands under your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows to pull the band or weights toward your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Then straighten your arms and lower back down.
  • Next, stand up straight and curl the bands or dumbbells up while keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  • Pause at the top then slowly lower back down.
  • That is one rep.
  • Complete three sets of 10-12 reps.

Curl to Reverse Lunge to Row

  • Stand on top of a resistance band while grasping the handles in front of you with palms facing up or hold a pair of dumbbells by your side.
  • Curl the bands or weights up to your shoulders.
  • Next, lower the resistance down, then step back with your left foot into a lunge.
  • If you are using bands, keep the right foot on the band when the left foot goes back.
  • Then move the left foot back to the starting position and stand back up on top of the resistance band.
  • Hinge forward at your hips then bend your elbows to pull the band or the dumbbells toward your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Then straighten your arms and lower back down.
  • Repeat the curl, lunge, row for 6-8 reps with the left leg.
  • Then repeat lunging back with the right leg for 6-8 reps.
  • Perform three sets total.

Try this full-body dumbbell workout – all you need is a set of dumbbells and some floor space!

Transitioning to the Gym — If You Want To!

At some point, restrictions will be lifted and gyms will open their doors again.

This means you can get back to using larger gym equipment, heavier weights, and get back to some of your favorite group workouts and classes.

And you will have all of the fitness gains you’ve achieved from home with your new year, new you workout!

Even if your workouts change, be sure to keep an eye on the ultimate goals that you set at the beginning of the year.

Healthy living is a total lifestyle change, not just a quick fix program.

Just because you follow a workout plan for a prescribed amount of time does not mean you have finished.

This is merely the beginning of a lifelong fitness and wellness plan.

While losing weight will have you looking and feeling great about your body, you will also be improving your health and decreasing your risk for chronic diseases.

Plus you will be gaining strength and confidence with these workouts.

So get started now, because the rest of your life starts today!

Holly Smith
Holly Smith

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is an osteopathic physician, runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast.

She is board certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelors degree in dietetics and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, olympic distance triathlons, half marathons and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

She has also recently qualified for the 2020 World Championships for Ironman 70.3, in New Zealand!

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If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on a new you workout.

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Our Fit Mother Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Mother Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

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  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
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