4 Day Workout Programs

Many people like to work out four days per week. This allows you to work on a different set of muscles during each training session and use a variety of exercises. This type of arrangement is called a four-way split routine and is favored by bodybuilders. As with any workout, make sure you warm up by performing some light cardio and stretches before trying any of these workouts; finish off with more cardio and stretches to cool down. Perform two to four sets of eight to twelve repetitions of each exercise.

Workout One: Legs and Calves

Exercise 1) Squats
Squats are one of the most effective lower body exercise so it makes sense to do it early while you are fresh. Place a bar across your shoulders or hold dumbbells in your hands.

Exercise 2) Leg Extensions
Leg extensions isolate your quadriceps at the front of your thigh. Make sure the machine is adjusted to suit your height and leg length.

Exercise 3) Deadlifts
Perform either regular or stiff legged dead lifts to strengthen your butt, lower back and hamstrings. Whichever variation you choose, make sure you don’t round your back!

Exercise 4) Calf Raises
performed using a calf raise machine or a step and dumbbells, calf raises will strengthen your lower legs. Make sure you use a full range of movement to maximize the effectiveness of this exercise.

Workout Two: Chest and Abdominals

Exercise 1) Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
By setting an exercise bench at a 30 degree incline, you will target your upper chest. Dumbbells allow you to use a greater than normal range of movement. Incline dumbbell chest press is an effective chest exercise.

Exercise 2) Barbell Bench Press
Use a wider than shoulder-width grip to maximize the benefit of this exercise. Lower the bar to the middle of your chest and keep your feet on the floor with a slight arch in your back.

Exercise 3) Cable Cross Overs
Using a twin cable machine, this exercise focuses on your inner chest. Perform this finishing exercise from a variety of angles to thoroughly work your chest.

Exercise 4) Stability Ball Crunches
Using a stability or Swiss ball increases the range of movement available at your spine and therefore the demand on your abs. Select a ball that is well pumped up and the right size for your height.

Exercise 5) Dumbbell Side Bends
To strengthen your obliques, use one dumbbell at a time and bend to the side. Make sure you bend neither forwards or backwards but only laterally to get the most from this exercise.

Workout Three: Back and Triceps

Exercise 1) Pull-ups
Hang from a sturdy bar and pull your chin up and over using your arms. This is a great exercise for your lats, the muscles of your upper outer back.

Exercise 2) Seated Rows
Using a machine or low pulley, this exercise will add thickness to your upper back when viewed from the side and can also help improve your posture by pulling your shoulders back.

Exercise 3) Dumbbell Pullovers
Part chest exercise and part lat exercise, dumbbell pullovers are a good way to finish an upper body workout as it provides an effective shoulder stretch.

Exercise 4) Lying Triceps Extensions
Humorously called skull crushers by some; take care when performing this exercise as it requires you to lower a barbell over your forehead. Use a spotter for safety!

Exercise 5) Tricep Push Downs
Using a high pulley and either a straight bar or rope handle, this exercise will finish off your triceps. Make sure you keep your abs tight and resist the temptation to lean forwards which will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

Workout Four: Shoulders and Biceps

Exercise 1) Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Performed seated or standing, this is a superior shoulder building exercise. Make sure you avoid completely locking your arms at the top of the movement to protect your elbow joints from injury.

Exercise 2) Side Lateral Raises
This exercise focuses on your lateral deltoids or side shoulder muscles. Keep your elbows slightly bent and your wrists straight to maximize the benefits from this exercise.

Exercise 3) Reverse Flies
Your rear deltoids and back shoulder muscles may be out of view but they are important for both posture and appearance. Lie on a bench or bend over at the waist to perform this vital exercise.

Exercise 4) EZ Biceps Curls
The EZ bar places your hands in a comfortable position so you can concentrate on working your arms and not the pain in your wrists! Keep your upper body still so that all of the work is being done by your arms.

Exercise 5) Alternating Dumbbell Curls
To finish off your biceps and your workout week, perform this last exercise either seated or standing making sure your rotate your wrists as you raise the weight.

About this Author

Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. Also a lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a major contributor for Ultra-FIT magazine and has been involved in fitness for 22 years. Other than a five-year service in the Royal Marines, Dale has always worked in health and fitness and never intends leaving.