One of the most common things people come up to me asking for help with is having too few hours in their day. We’re going to admit it. There’s always something we can fit into our schedule if we plan ahead properly and put some effort into it.
First off, let’s establish some ground rules before taking a look at three sample workout routines you can fit into even the most hectic schedule.
Before starting out, take some time to warm up by doing something easy for a few minutes first. You don’t need any fancy equipment to start doing yoga exercises. All you need is some time and space where you won’t bump into anything. After working out, stretch for five minutes before going back inside. It will help prevent injury and speed up your recovery times. If you don’t know how to perform an exercise correctly, then just skip it until you learn. If you’re not careful, complacency in poor form could lead to bad habits in your overall exercise routine, which would ultimately result in less efficient workouts and target the wrong muscles. A recipe for failure!
The Ultimate Quickie: 4-Minute Tabata
Steady state cardio has its place but high intensity interval training (HIIT) offers greater results for less time commitment. As an exercise science professor, I use different types of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts in class, and Tabata is one of them.
Pick eight cardio exercises.
Here is a sample
- Jump Squats
- Mountain Climbers
- High Knees
- Tuck Jumps
- Jumping Jacks
- Plank Jacks
- Skater Lunges
You don’t need a piece of cardio equipment for these workouts; instead, replace them with high-intensity sprinting. If you don’t already own any running shoes, then buying new ones might not be an ideal solution for you.
Set a timer for 20 seconds, and give the exercise your 100% effort during that short amount of time.
Rest or walk for 10 seconds.Perform all eight exercises for a four-minute workout scientifically proven to increase endurance, boost metabolism, and kickstart your day.
10-Minute AMRAP for Strength Day
It doesn’t get enough attention, but strength training is important for both men and women. Apart from building stronger muscles, it’ll help maintain bone density and help you burn extra calories throughout the day, too — not just when exercising. An AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) training session allows you to complete an intense strength workout in less than half the time.
If your goal is muscle building, then use equipment to push the muscles into creating microscopic tears which eventually rebuilds them stronger than before. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of fitness equipment reviews so you can choose the right piece of gym gear for your needs. Let’s take a quick look at an example body weight AMRAP workout to give you some ideas for starting out.
Pick six exercises focusing on different muscle groups.
You may choose to spend some time working out, others reading books, others playing video games, etc. Here is an example for you to start from.
- Wide-Stance Squats
- Right Lateral Leg Raises
- Left Lateral Leg Raises
Set a 10-minute timer.
Do as many reps as possible for each exercise without stopping. If necessary, take short rest periods between sets. Go back and forth between each item until you’ve circled them all.
20-Minute for the Multitasker
You shouldn’t be doing cardio and weight lifting back to back; instead, either focus on one or the other. Combining high volume cardio workouts with strength training exercises helps keep us healthy. Since you’re planning to do both strength training and cardio simultaneously, you’ll need to add another 20 minutes to each workout. But because these workouts are done back to back, they don’t add up to an excessive amount of extra time.
- Skater Hops
- High Knees
- Butt Kickers
- Alternating Side Kicks
- Run in Place
- Frog Jumps
- Plank Jacks
- Front Kick, Back Kick (alternating legs)
- Switch Legs
- Glute Bridge
- Up and Down Planks
- Fire Hydrants
- Tricep Pushups
- Right Leg Lift Pulses
- Left Leg Lift Pulses
- Bicycle Crunches
- Donkey Kicks
Do each exercise for 45 seconds followed by a 15 second rest period. After completing ten exercise sets, take a short rest before starting another set.