Intermediate Home Workout
As you begin to master the beginner's workout, you can incorporate additional exercises to build visibly stronger arms, legs, and abdominal muscles. For this intermediate plan, you would need a set of dumbbells.
Start by adding one or two of these exercises to your routine. You can then mix it up as you get stronger, creating workouts of six to seven exercises of your choosing (focusing on the upper body, lower body, overall body, or core).
For an added twist, you can add dumbbells to the exercises of the beginner's workout. For example, you can hold a dumbbell in each hand as you do a set of lunges or squats.
Advanced Home Workout
In this advanced workout program, you will need a set of resistance bands and an exercise ball. These tools can help further strengthen the muscles used for stability.
There are four exercises you should add to the plan:
Stability ball push-ups: If you can complete a standard push-up with good form, try performing the exercise with your lower body positioned on the ball. Start with the ball under your knees and, as you get more comfortable with the exercise, move the ball closer to your feet.
Banded side steps: Step on the middle of the resistance band and grab one handle in each hand. The band should be looped under your feet. Now, step to the side with your right foot while keeping your left foot on the band. Do five steps to the right and five steps to the left to complete a set. Rest and repeat for three to four more sets.
Lunges with overhead extension: Step forward into a lunge position, placing your front foot on the middle of the band. With one handle in each hand, raise the arms into an overhead press while sinking into a deep lunge. Return to the starting position. Do five reps on each side to complete a set. Rest and repeat for two to three more sets.
Lat pulldowns: For this exercise, you will need to hitch the center of your resistance band to a hook on the door. Place the ball against the door. Grabbing a handle in each hand, take a seat facing away from the door. Slowly pull the bands down until your elbows are fully pressed to your sides. You will feel the effort in the back muscles adjacent to your armpits, called the latissimus dorsi. Raise to the starting position and repeat, aiming for two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps each.
To create a balanced exercise program, workout two to three times per week. Be aware that your weight may drop at first but then increase slightly as you build muscle mass. By this stage, your success should be measured not only in pounds and inches but how you feel look and feel.
If ever you reach a plateau, simply increase the intensity and/or duration of your workout. Your body will respond in kind, putting you back on the fast track to weight loss.