Struggling to fit in your exercise daily? Have no fear. Here are 5 fast exercises when you don’t have much time!
Not everyone has the luxury of committing a full hour for a zumba or yoga class at the gym, particularly for people who put in long hours at work. Without a late night gym nearby your home or office, it is easy to put off working out for the proverbial “tomorrow.” Soon, your resolve of getting into shape and shedding those last ten pounds or maintaining your current weight goes out the window.
Leaving exercise for “tomorrow” doesn’t have to be that way anymore with this guide to 5 fast yet effective exercises that can be done anywhere (even with no equipment around!).
Remember when you were a kid in school? Jumping or skipping rope, is an underrated exercise among novices who might regard it as a little girl’s game.
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, skipping rope torches calories at an alarming rate; a 150-pound individual can burn 750 calories per hour jumping ropes, roughly equivalent of a 10-mile run.
And guess what? All these calories are burned without leaving your house, apartment or hotel room. Mastering the correct techniques of jumping rope will result in gentler footwork and landing impact, contrary to common belief that jumping is bad for the knees.
The emphasis is on practicing and acquiring the right techniques to jump rope safely and effectively. Jump rope is amazing for your core and strength and the best part is, it can be done anywhere, anytime. All you need is a jump rope!
You might have heard of High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, gaining popularity in recent years as a fat-burning workout. HIIT is the ideal short workout for those who lack time. Performed in alternating intervals of high-intensity bursts and rest, HIIT can be applied to any endurance exercise such as running, swimming, cycling or even stair climbing.
An example of HIIT exercise is to sprint for 45 seconds, and slow walk for a minute, and repeating this sprint-walk cycle for 15 to 20 minutes in total. Research has shown 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 burned in a shorter workout time, it also increases the amount of energy burned after exercise, helping you achieve your fat loss goals even faster.
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 and 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. That takes only less than 5 minutes yet it is effective to building muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness.
For those who are more athletic, a variation is adding a full push-up while in the push-up position before jumping back up. This adds on more body-weight resistance work to the chest, back and core, increasing the benefit of this exercise.
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 to the end of your workout as a strength-building exercise? Walking lunges can also be performed on their own during any pockets of spare time. The American Council on Exercise ranks lunges as one of the exercises that elicit the most muscular activity on the glutes and thighs, making lunges a good exercise for sculpting the body.
Walking lunges are more dynamic in taking lunges across a distance, alternating 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. Five super fast and effective exercise for when you don’t have a lot of time or exercise equipment handy. Which of these are you going to do today?