Not everyone has the luxury of committing a full hour for exercise every day. Life is full of work, kids, relationships, and other commitments taking up our time, but we all know that we need exercise. So what do we do? With many gyms closed these days, we need to think out of the box when it comes to exercising in a hurry. Lots of us are doing online workouts when we can squeeze them in or trying to figure out what else we should be doing to get the results we want in as little time as possible. It’s so easy to put off working out for the proverbial “tomorrow” and soon your goal of toning up or shedding those last ten pounds goes out the window.
Have no fear. I’ve got 5 Powerhouse Exercises that can be done fast for when life gets in the way of your workout. These exercises can be done anywhere with little to no equipment.
Remember when you were a kid in school, jumping rope on the playground blacktop? Well, that little jump rope is not just for kids. It’s is a calorie-torching wonder!
If you visit any boxing ring in your city, you’ll quickly learn that jump rope is the exercise of choice for cardiovascular conditioning and agility among champion boxers. As a cardio workout, a 150-pound person can burn 750 calories per hour jumping ropes. That’s equivalent to a 10-mile run!
Jump rope is an amazing exercise for your core and for strength training and the best part is, it can be done anywhere, anytime.
If you haven’t done a High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT workout, what are you waiting for? HIIT is a no-joke fat-burner and an ideal short workout for those who lack time. Performed in alternating intervals of high-intensity bursts and rests, HIIT can be applied to any endurance exercise such as running, swimming, cycling, circuit training or even stair-climbing.
A great example of HIIT exercise combo is to sprint for 45 seconds, walk for a minute, then repeat this sprint-walk cycle for 15 to 20 minutes in total. Research shows that a 15-minute HIIT can reap the same cardiovascular benefits as a steady-state workout that takes twice the amount of time.
When it comes to HIIT, not only are calories are burned in a short time, it also increases your energy level after exercise.
Those who have done burpees as part of a fitness routine probably have a love-hate relationship with this full-body exercise. This kind of routine works the arms, back, core and legs simultaneously. Traditional burpees include 4 main moves; squatting, kicking back the legs quickly to assume a push-up position, resuming the squat position then jumping up to full height. The body moves on both vertical and horizontal plane and the explosive movements involved make burpees an intense exercise.
Burpees are so intense that beginners may have problems performing continuously for more than 30 seconds. Aim to complete three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions in 30 seconds daily to reap the conditioning benefits and to maximize your time. A five-minute burpee routine alone is very effective in building muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness.
For those who want to ramp up the routine, adding a full push-up while in the push-up position before jumping back up is a commonly suggested variation. The addition of a full push-up results in more body-weight resistance work to the chest, back and core.
Planks and variations
Another fitness fave is the plank: a simple single-position exercise that engages the whole body, particularly the core, which is essential to maintaining a good posture. Aiming for a beach-ready body by next summer? Ditch the crunches and do the plank instead. Slowly build up your ability to hold the position by adding 15 seconds daily, and you’ll start to see positive results within a month.
Another variation of the static plank hold is the push-up plank, where you start off in a plank position, and raise yourself up to a push-up position and lowering yourself back to the plank position. This set of dynamic movement calls for balance and control, and increases arm strength as well as your core muscles.
If you go for a daily walk, then why not start benefiting from adding walking lunges at the end of your workout as a strength-building exercise? Walking lunges can also be performed on their own on your spare time everyday. The American Council on Exercise ranks lunges as one of the exercises that elicit the most muscular activity on the butts and thighs, making lunges a good exercise for sculpting the body.
Walking lunges are more dynamic if done from across a distance. Alternate left and right to provide more challenge in ensuring a horizontal movement, on top of the lowering and rising movement of a typical lunge.
To do a walking lunge, simply take a step and crouch down into a lunge position, hold for 1-2 seconds and take another step, each time crouching down into a lunge.
So there you have it – 5 super-fast and effective exercises for when you have no time or have little to no exercise equipment available. Now make them part of your daily routine along with your healthy diet, and you’ll see results fast!