Get Fit Fast, Week 6: Great Exercises to Do When You’re Crunched For Time
Wow! I can’t believe I have only one more week to get fit fast until my vacation starts! Like my challenge of finding ways to lose weight and get fit in a condensed time frame, sometimes we all have limited time to exercise. And because a little exercise is better than none at all, I thought I’d share an effective circuit workout that you can easily do in 15 minutes.
If you haven’t been following this series, I made the commitment to myself that I would lose the rest of my baby weight from my second baby before I left for Nashville with my husband.
Having said all of that, I was able to get in my new favorite exercise, Just Dance for the Wii, in between being sick twice last week. My 4-year-old daughter and I have been cutting a rug this week and it has been a blast, to say the least. Let me tell you, I was skeptical that this would be a good and effective workout until I tried it. Boy was I huffing, puffing and sweating. Although my husband had a blast laughing at us, I felt completely satisfied and productive after doing some dances.
When I am in a time crunch, these are my go-to exercises, working each of the major muscles:
- Pushups — any form
- Plank — works the abdominal muscles when you rest on both forearms (pictured above), or works each side of the oblique muscles with respective forearms, one at a time
- Squats — one and two foot
- Hamstring bridge — lie on your back, arms resting at your sides. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Raise your booty off the floor so that you form a straight line between your shoulder blades and knees and hold for 30-60 seconds. Lower back down to the floor. Cross one ankle over the knee and do the same motion for a more intense burn)
- Calf raises — stand on a step, heels hanging off. Raise and lower your body, working the calf muscle.
I do each of these exercises for 60 seconds each at two to three repetitions, depending how much time I have. Pretty good workout for 5 to 15 minutes!
Change it Up
Variety is the spice of life and exercising is no different. If you have read any of my exercise posts, you will know that circuit training is one of my favorite ways to work out. You get the best bang for effort, calories burned and time. These types of workouts confuse your muscles because you are using more than one at a time, making these types of workouts very effective (you definitely have to put in the effort though).
One thing to remember: Once any type of exercise, routine or workout gets to be easy for you, it’s time to change it up in favor of other activities. Our bodies get accustomed to the same types of activities, and it eventually burns fewer calories because it has “mastered” that particular workout. Keep it fresh and include a nice variety of exercises and you will work your body the way it should be, maximizing all of the benefits.
Do you have a favorite go-to workout? I would love to hear what it is.
Photo credit: sueanie
Other posts in this series: