So yesterday I was a little short on time but really wanted to get a workout in. And not just a half-assed, not-going-to-feel-anything-the-next-day workout. I wanted a GOOD workout. A challenge. So I put this little ditty together and it did the trick! From start to finish, including warm-up and stretching, it took me less than 20 minutes! But I was still sweating and breathing heavy by the end, and I even woke up a little sore today. The good kind of sore. The sore that makes you want to get ANOTHER good workout in! You know what I’m talking about…
When I’m working out but short on time, I like to focus on a few things… First, I like to choose exercises that focus on large, compound, multi-joint movements that will hit multiple major muscle groups all at once and keep my heart rate high! Think Deadlifts, squats, push-presses, push-ups, pull-ups, rows, kettle bell swings, burpees, plyos, etc… I like to arrange these exercises into super-sets or circuits so I can get as many exercises in as possible in less time. So I will perform several exercises back to back and only rest at the end of the superset or circuit. My next focus is on minimal rest. So, once I’ve completed a completed a circuit I try to rest only long enough to catch my breath. This will keep my heart rate up, burning more calories, and will also allow me to get more rounds (aka more work) done. Tabatas are also great for getting a lot of work in with minimal rest. One thing I do want to caution with this style of exercise is to focus on form and if you’re using weights to lighten the weight just a little. Enough so that you can perform numerous reps back to back at a quicker pace with good form. But not too much. You still want to challenge yourself.
So here’s how yesterday’s workout looked… I did a short warm up of 10 high kicks (to warm up the hip flexors and get a little stretch on the hamstrings), 10 reverse lunges with a twist (to warm up my legs and core) and 10 jumping jacks (to get my heart rate up a little and prime my body for the intensity to follow).
After i warmed up (by the way, always warm up! Even when you’re short on time. It doesn’t have to take forever and even a short warm up will help prevent injury)… but after the warm up I started with a circuit hitting legs and lots of Burpees. I grabbed a couple of 15 lb dumbbells and performed 3 exercises back to back followed by the same number of Burpees as reps I did in the circuit. Each round I would decrease my reps of each exercise by one and the Burpees by 3 (so they continued to correspond to the amount of reps I was performing). The first exercise I did was a Stiff Leg Deadlift, followed by a Squat. Then I dropped one of the dumbbells and held the other at my chest and performed a Jump Squat. The first round I did 5 reps of each exercise and then 15 Burpees. Then 4/12, 3/9, 2/6 and finally 1/3. And like I said, I only rested between rounds and only long enough to catch my breath. By the 4th/5th round I didn’t rest at all. It was killer tho.
The next part of my workout I performed 2 Tabatas that targeted my core while still using multiple muscle groups and keeping my heart rate high. I used a 6 lb Medicine Ball. For the first tabata I alternated between a Medicine Ball Scoop and Drops and Ball Slams. A Scoop and Drop is pretty much what it sounds like. You start with the ball on the ground, squat down and scoop it up with your hands, raising it overhead and dropping it behind you. Then you turn around and do it again. And again. It sounds silly but it’s actually pretty fun and challenging. Ball Slams are also pretty much what they sound like. Standing with a tight core, you raise the ball high overhead and slam it as hard as you can on the ground focusing on contracting and hollowing the core as you slam down. These are great stress relievers too.
The second tabata I alternated between Russian Twists and Wood Choppers. For Russian Twists you sit on your butt with your knees bent. Lean back to engage your core holding the Medicine Ball. Then you twist your core touching the ball to one side and then the other. Keep twisting back and forth for the full 20 seconds making sure the ball taps the ground each time. For wood choppers I performed one side at a time and alternated each round. In a standing position with knees slightly bent, hold the ball down by one hip. Then twisting your torso and with straight arms, raise the ball diagonally up and over above the opposite shoulder.
Once I completed the workout I cooled down for a couple minutes with some yoga stretched and that’s it! Less than 20 minutes and I targeted every muscle group and burned some calories. Not to mention I felt proud of myself for not making excuses and doing work!
Hope you enjoyed this post! If you try the workout let me know how it went by subscribing and commenting below! And if you need more info on these exercises or how to exercise in general contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!