Welcome to Day 19 of SELF's New Year's Challenge! Today's core workout will be a fun way to test how much strength you've built over the past few weeks. That's because if you've been holding back on weights and have access to more, today's your day: we strongly encourage you to lift heavy on the goblet squats (see what we did there?). Consider picking up something heavier than 20 pounds to see how it goes. Remember: You can always pull back if something is too heavy, but you'll never know what that point is unless you give it a shot. You're getting close to the end of Week 3 in this challenge, so there's no better time to try. After all, these workouts, created by Alyssa Exposito just for SELF, are meant to get progressively more challenging as the month goes on.
It's always important to start every single workout with a solid warm-up, but that's especially true if you're going to be lifting heavier weights, like you are today. You can try this warm-up, designed to do before strength training, or pick one from our curated list here.
Directions: Do each exercise for 45 seconds, resting 15 seconds between exercises. At the end of each round, rest 60-90 seconds. Beginners: Do 2-3 rounds Advanced: Do 3-5 rounds
Use a dumbbell for the goblet squat.
x 45 seconds
- Start in an all-fours position with wrists directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips.
- Lift knees a few inches off the floor, so weight is in your toes and hands, and engage your core.
- “Step” forward with your right hand and left foot, keeping hips level and not letting knees touch ground. Next “step” forward with your left hand and right foot.
- As a heads up, try to keep your knees just inches above the ground if you can. If you can't, though, lifting your butt higher in the air (as pictured above) is a fine modification.
- Continue to crawl forward as space allows, then turn around and crawl back to your starting point until the time runs out.
x 45 seconds
- You’ll need 1 or 2 dumbbells to do this exercise, but you can also do it without weights if you prefer.
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and core engaged. If you’re using 1 weight, hold the weight at chest height, close to your body, with both hands. If you’re using 2 dumbbells, hold one in each hand at your sides.
- Send your hips back and bend knees to drop into a squat, allowing knees to bend to at least 90 degrees.
- Return to starting position by squeezing your glutes to stand.
x 45 seconds
- Start in a forearm plank position, with core engaged and legs extended behind you. Raise hips slightly.
- With core tight, rotate hips to the right and downward, keeping legs straight. Stop just above the floor.
- Now rotate hips back upward through starting position, then immediately to the left and down toward the floor.
- Continue to rock hips back and forth in a slow, controlled motion. Keep legs straight and core engaged throughout.
Walking Lunge to Back Pedal
x 45 seconds
- Stand tall with your feet together, core engaged, and hands either on your hips or joined in front of your chest.
- Step forward with your right (as if you are about to start walking), and immediately bend both knees to 90 degrees, dropping into a lunge. Keep your core engaged and be conscious of keeping your pelvis in a neutral position.
- Continue to walk forward, dropping into a lunge each time, as your space allows.
- When you come to the end of your space, back pedal by running your feet in quick, small steps back to your starting point. Keep a tight core, and keep your knees slightly bent throughout the back pedal.
- Repeat until the time runs out.
Top image: Photographer: Catherine Servel at Brydges Mackinney. Hair: Tetsuya Yamakata at ArtList. Makeup: Seong Hee at Julian Watson Agency. Manicure: Julie Kandalec at Bryan Bantry. Stylist: Sara Van Pée at Quadriga. Model Mia Kang is wearing Norma Kamali Spliced One-Shoulder Mio swimsuit, $ 185, normakamali.com; Nike compression sleeve, similar styles at nike.com.
Workout images and gifs: Photographer: Katie Thompson. Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L' Atelier. Makeup: Deanna Melluso at See Management. Stylist: Sara Van Pée at Quadriga. Workout images: Fabletics top, similar styles fabletics.com; Alala Score Seamless Tight, $ 54, alalastyle.com; Women's Techloom Pro Grey, $ 140, athleticpropulsionlabs.com. Gifs: Alala Surf Bra, $ 85, alalastyle.com; Carbon38 High Waisted Takara Legging, $ 109, carbon38.com; APL Women's Techloom Breeze, $ 200, athleticpropulsionlabs.com.