We’re all pressed for time. Here is a quick, efficient, workout that will target your whole body and take 30 minutes or less. You don’t even need a gym, just your own body and a stopwatch. This is a combination of static holds and dynamic movements. Before you start, make sure you have a good exercise mat to support your joints and prevent slippage.
Follow this circuit, performing each exercise in order. After completing one set of each exercise, take a 30 second rest, then we’ll repeat it two more times (taking another 30 second rest after the 2nd set), modifying as suggested or as you are able.
- 1st set: Pick one leg up off of the ground. Use the other leg to lift your pelvis off of the ground until your body is in a straight line from your knee to your shoulders. Keep your back from arching too much. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
- 2nd set: Use one leg to pick your pelvis up off of the ground and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
- 3rd set: Combine what you’ve already done in the previous 2 sets. Bridge up 5 times, hold for 30 seconds, then repeat another 5 times. Do this on both legs.
- 1st set: Hold for 1 minute, as you get warmed up. Make sure your low back isn’t “sagging”.
- 2nd set: Hold for 1 minute, and try lifting one foot off the ground for 5-10 seconds at a time. As you lift one foot off of the ground, try to keep your pelvis and low back stable, with as little movement/weight shifting as possible.
- 3rd set: Hold for 1 minute, and try lifting one foot off the ground and moving it out to the side (away from your body). Then bring it back to floor and switch legs. Again, try to keep your pelvis and low back stable the entire time.
- 1st set: Hold for 30 seconds on each side. Make sure your body is in a straight line.
- 2nd set: Assume position. Slowly let your hips lower towards the floor, keeping the rest of your body steady. Then return to the starting position (contract your lateral (side) abdominals) Repeat 10 times on each side.
- 3rd set: Assume position. While holding the side plank, lift your top leg off of your bottom leg (about 12 inches), keeping the rest of your body steady, then lower it back down to the starting position.
- 1st set: Perform 25 push-ups
- 2nd set: Assume the push-up position (preferably hands and feet). Bring your hands together so that your thumbs are touching. Instead of doing a push-up, try lifting your right foot off the ground, keeping your pelvis and the rest of your body steady. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this with your left foot. NOW, try lifting your right hand off of the ground (Don’t let your body shift to the side). Hold 10 seconds, and repeat with the left hand.
- 3rd set: Rotational push-ups. Perform one push-up and rotate onto your left arm (as in the picture). Your feet can be staggered as your rotate (for more support), or stacked on top of one another for increased difficulty. Hold for 3-5 seconds, then return to starting position. Perform another push-up and rotate onto the right arm. Repeat 5 times onto each side (10 push-ups total)
Reverse planks:(you can position yourself with arms straight, as seen in the picture below, or propped up on your elbows, with your elbows at your side)
- 1st set: Hold for 30 seconds
- 2nd set: Hold for 30 seconds, and try lifting one foot off the ground for 5 seconds at a time. As you lift one foot off of the ground, try to keep your pelvis and low back stable, with as little movement as possible.
- 3rd set: Hold for 30 seconds, and try lifting one foot off the ground and moving it out to the side (away from your body). Then bring it back to neutral and switch legs. Again, try to keep your pelvis and low back stable the entire time.
- 1st set: Perform 10 squats. Hold the last one at the bottom for 1 minute. Try to keep your back as “neutral’ as possible. All of the strain you feel should be in your legs.
- 2nd set: Perform 10 single-leg squats on each leg. Make sure your knee is tracking over the middle of your foot. This helps prevent injury (read more about this). Go down to about 90 degrees (so that your upper thigh is almost parallel to the floor).
- 3rd set: Repeat what you did in the 1st set. And…you’re DONE!
If you get done before 30 minutes, great! Do another set!
Remember to go at your own pace. This workout is a suggestion to incorporate the entire body into an efficient workout. Modifications can and should be made to accomodate your specific needs. Times can be decreased or increased, positions can be modified, repetitions can be increased or decreased, etc…
Have a great workout!