Are you ready for the fastest fitness routine ever? We know that exercise is the solution for eliminating unwanted weight and that it’s essential for our overall well-being. But, let’s face it, as much as we’d like to commit to daily cardio and strength training, other responsibilities or more enticing activities can stand in the way of this goal.
Luckily, working out doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Your get-fit philosophy should always be that some exercise is better than no exercise. Though it may feel pointless to engage in a speedy session, you may be surprised to learn that, with the right movements, you can still achieve a bevy of benefits such as burning extra calories, boosting your energy, and enhancing balance and coordination.
If you have only a short time to sweat, the following workouts consist of one total-body exercise that can be performed in less than five minutes. That’s less time than it takes to make your morning coffee.
You may be asking yourself how a single exercise can be so effective. These movement patterns are designed to recruit multiple muscle groups all at once. This strengthens the body’s aerobic aptitude in important fitness categories such as cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility. So unlike say, a basic biceps curl, which engages only a single muscle group and therefore burns few calories, these compound exercises fire up your entire system and torch more calories.
With that said, for maximum benefits, these exercises require an all-out effort with minimal rest breaks between repetitions.
If you have only one exercise on your workout routine roster, make it one of the options below. You’ll need a set of free weights to complete this workout. Before starting, warm up your muscles with a few rounds of high knees and arm circles.
Exercise Option One
Stand tall with a weight in each hand and feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge back at your hips and drop your weighted hands down to the ground so they are resting between your feet.
Jump your feet back so your body is in a plank position. Perform five fast-paced push-ups.
After the fifth rep, quickly alternate driving your knees up toward your chest for 10 counts. Avoid allowing your hips to sag or hike up. Slow down or take a breather if you feel you can’t maintain proper form.
After completing the mountain climbers, pull your right arm back so the weight is by your ribs, lower it, and repeat with the left weight. Perform six alternating rows.
Jump your feet back to the sides of your hands and push through your heels to stand. With your elbows tucked to the sides of your body, bring the weights up into a biceps curl followed by a shoulder press. Complete five curl-to-press.
Repeat this entire sequence five times.
Exercise Option Two (for those who prefer not to jump)
Hold a free weight in each hand with palms facing inward and stand in front of a sturdy platform, such as the first step on your staircase. Place your entire right foot on the surface of the step. Avoid allowing your heels to hang. Push through your right heel to stand and drive your left leg up toward your chest. Do not hunch forward. Hold this stork-like pose for five counts.
Now, with your elbows tucked close to your sides, pull the free weights up into a biceps curl. From here extend them overhead into a shoulder press. Hold for two counts, then lower the weights to your sides.
Step down with your left foot, then take a large step back with your right foot, lowering into a lunge. Pulse in this position five times.
Pull the weights up into biceps curls and keep the left foot planted as you step the right leg out to the side into a lateral lunge. Keep your feet planted, extend your legs to stand, then return to your lateral lunge position for five reps on this side.
Repeat this entire sequence five times, then perform it on the opposite leg.
Stop feeling as if you need to sacrifice time to tone up. With fast fitness, you can do it all.
Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach in South Jersey. To learn more about her virtual training program, go to ashleyblakefitness.com.