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3 Easy Workouts for Busy People

Female In Blue Athletic Outfit Doing Fitness Exercises

As a personal trainer, one of the most common issues my clients approach me with is a lack of time. Let’s face it. We’ve got a lot going on, but it’s still possible to get in an effective workout in a short period of time with the proper planning and a little bit of know-how.

 

Before we take a look at three sample workouts you can squeeze into even the busiest of schedules, some ground rules must be established.

First, make sure you spend a little bit of time warming up before diving right in. This can be as simple as marching in place for a couple of minutes to get the synovial fluid flowing and the heart rate up. Secondly, take the time to do static stretching at the end of your workout. This will improve your range of motion and recovery time. Finally, never jump into a workout if you’re unsure of proper technique. Not only will complacency in improper form create bad habits in your overall fitness regimen, but it simultaneously depletes efficiency and targets the wrong muscle groups, a recipe for failure in reaching your goals.

The Ultimate Quickie: 4-Minute Tabata

Why spend hours doing steady-state cardio when you can increase the intensity and reap the same benefits more quickly? As a high intensity interval training instructor, I implement various forms of HIIT in my classes, and Tabata is a fan favorite.

Group of Fit Sports Men Doing Squat Bodyweight Workout Training

Pick eight cardio exercises.

Here is a sample:

  1. Jump Squats
  2. Mountain Climbers
  3. High Knees
  4. Tuck Jumps
  5. Burpees
  6. Jumping Jacks
  7. Plank Jacks
  8. Skater Lunges

If you are using a piece of cardio equipment like a treadmill or bike, these exercises can be replaced with all-out intensity sprints. This can also be a great option if you just have some sneakers and like to run outdoors.

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.

Pro Tip: Do Tabata HIIT early in the morning to regulate your circadian rhythm to promote great sleep at the right time.

10-Minute AMRAP for Strength Day

Strength training is sometimes overlooked, but it’s beneficial for men and women alike. Aside from building strong muscles, it’s critical in maintaining bone density and helps you burn more calories throughout the day, not just during exercise. When you do an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) training session, you can conquer an intense strength workout in a fraction of the time.

If your goal is to bulk, using equipment pushes the muscles to create tiny microtears that ultimately build back stronger, and we’ve created a thorough strength training equipment shopping guide here at FitRated to ensure you find the best fit for your goals. However, let’s take a look at a sample bodyweight AMRAP session to get you started.

Sporty Young Female Athlete on Yoga Mat doing Sit ups

Pick six exercises focusing on different muscle groups.

Depending on your goals and focus for the day, you have a lot of liberty. Here is a sample to get you started:

  1. Wide-Stance Squats
  2. Pushups
  3. Situps
  4. Lunges
  5. Right Lateral Leg Raises
  6. Left Lateral Leg Raises

Set a 10-minute timer.

Complete as many repetitions of each exercise to failure until time’s up with minimal breaks between exercises. Circle through the entire list as many times as possible.

Pro Tip: Do strength training in the early evening hours to tap into the body’s optimal hormonal condition for muscle gain.

20-Minute for the Multitasker

Don’t have time to do strength and cardio on separate days? Combining high-volume cardio with strength training can help you keep cortisol levels low and endurance high. Since you’ll be doing both strength and cardio the same day, you’ll need to set aside a little bit more time, but it’s a one-and-done approach that can save time in the long run.

 

Fit WomanTraining At Home

Pick 10 cardio and 10 strength exercises.

Depending on your access to equipment, your goals, and other variables, there are endless possibilities. Here’s an example for someone using bodyweight only.

  1. Cardio
  2. Skater Hops
  3. Burpees
  4. High Knees
  5. Butt Kickers
  6. Alternating Side Kicks
  7. Run in Place
  8. Frog Jumps
  9. Plank Jacks
  10. Front Kick, Back Kick (alternating legs)
  11. Switch Legs
  12. Strength
  13. Situps
  14. Glute Bridge
  15. Up and Down Planks
  16. Fire Hydrants
  17. Tricep Pushups
  18. Right Leg Lift Pulses
  19. Left Leg Lift Pulses
  20. Bicycle Crunches
  21. Donkey Kicks

Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with a 15 second break between each. Take a water break after 10 exercises.
You can decide whether to intersperse cardio and strength exercises or do them in two rounds separated by your water break.

Pro Tip: If your goal is building muscle, concurrent training isn’t advised. You can still achieve your goals on a tight schedule, but you’ll experience best results keeping your cardio and strength days separate.

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