Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Exercise on A Time Crunch

No time to spend hours at the gym? Not all of us have time to spend two or three hours in the gym, or we simply just don’t want to. Here are some of my go to workouts when I need to get in a quick yet effective workout. In this case interval training and circuits are going to be your best friend.

Kill two birds with one stone using compound exercises

Compound exercises incorporate multiple muscle groups instead of isolating one particular group for a time saving strategy that also torches fat and calories.

Sample exercises:

1. Squat with an Overhead Press 
Stand with feet about shoulder width apart with dumbbells in each hand and elbows raised shoulder height bent at 90 degrees. Squat down until knees are bent at least 90 degrees (leading with your Glutes).  As you stand up to the starting position, press dumbbells up overhead and repeat.
2. Lunge with a Bicep Curl (as pictured above)
Stand with feet about hip width apart and a dumbbell in each hand by your sides and take a large step forward making sure your knee is bent 90 degrees and does not come past your toes with the back leg inches from touching the floor. Simultaneously raise both dumbbells into a bicep curl. Take a step back into the starting position and repeat on the opposite leg.
3. Step Ups with a Bicep Curl 
Using a box, step, or park bench, stand with a dumbbell in each hand by your sides and curl both weights upwards as you take a step up onto the box (one foot and then the next). Once both feet are on the platform, return to the floor one foot at a time and repeat
4. Sumo Squat with a Tricep Extension 
Stand with feet wider apart than regular squat position and feet pointed outwards.  Hold a weight (kettle bell, dumbbell, medicine ball, etc.) overhead with both hands, elbows should be facing forward on either side of your face. Begin to squat down and lower the weight behind your head making sure that your elbows do not flare outwards, then return to starting position with weight overhead and repeat.
5. Stability Ball Knee Tuck with a Push Up 
Set yourself up in a plank position on the palms of your hands balancing a medicine ball under your shins. Tuck in knees, rolling the ball in towards your chest then roll them back into a plank and proceed into a push up with elbows bent at 90 degrees then repeat (alternating the tucks and push ups)
6. Bridge with a Tricep Extension 
Lie on the floor facing up with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand near either side of your head and elbows pointed upward. Lift hip up towards the ceiling, squeezing your Glutes, while simultaneously raising both dumbbells overhead. Return to starting position and repeat.
7. Plank Row 
Begin in a plank position with feet about hip width apart (for stability) and two weights in hand (shoulder width apart). Lift one weight up towards your torso into a row with elbows coming straight back up towards the ceiling, return to starting position then repeat on the opposite arm then continue alternating each side. Remember to hold your core tight so it is not twisting as you row.
8. Side lunge with a Front Raise
Begin standing with feet together and a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Take a large step out to one side so the stepping leg is bent at 90 degrees and the other leg is straight, pushing your Glutes back while simultaneously raising both dumbbells out in front of you so they are at shoulder height. Return to starting position then repeat on the opposite leg and continue alternating each side.

Kicking it up a notch

Cardio alternatives that get your heart rate up while also incorporating strength training.

Sample Exercises:
1. Box Jumps
Stand in front of a sturdy box, step,  park bench, etc. and jump both feet up onto the box and assume a standing position on top, then lower yourself back down to the ground and repeat.
2. Kettle bell Swings (as pictured above)
Stand with feet shoulder width apart (or slightly wider) and hold a kettle bell with both hands in between your legs with arms straight and relaxed. Squat down swinging the kettle bell behind your legs then swing it up overhead and return to a standing position using your hips and core to help thrust the weight forward instead of your arms.
3. Double Jump Ropes
Jump rope so that the rope makes two full revolutions before your feet touch the ground in between jumps.
4. Burpees 
Begin standing then bend down toward the ground placing hands on the floor and jump feet back into a plank position then jump feet back towards the hand and return to a standing position (add in a jump for a more intermediate move) and repeat.
5. Kettle bell Farmer Runs 
Run across a given distance with arms by your sides with a kettlebell in each hand, keeping your chest up and back straight
6. Barbell High Knees
Hold a barbell behind your head, racking it on your shoulders and continue straight into high knees alternating each knee up toward your chest
7. Alternating Jumping Lunges
Come into a lunging position and hop into an alternate lunge with the opposite leg out in front

For Your Cardio Fix

20 minute treadmill intervals
2 minute warm up at a comfortable pace (Hint: You should be able to have a conversation)
16 minutes of alternating between 30 sec. sprints and 30 sec. of light jogging (Ex. 5 mph to 6.5 mph)
2 minute cool down

20 minute elliptical intervals
2 minute warm up at a comfortable pace (Hint: You should be able to have a conversation)
16 minute intervals: Repeat cycles of 30 seconds jogging, 20 seconds running, 10 seconds sprinting (Ex. 10 - Crossramp, 6 - Resistance)
2 minute cool down

These intervals can be applied to any kind form of cardio such as stationary cycling or rowing. Don’t be afraid to take these intervals outdoors for some fresh air.

Sample routine:

Complete 3 rounds:
Barbell high knees - 20 sec.
Stability ball knee tucks with a push up - 12 reps
Box jumps - 10 reps
Sumo squat with a tricep extension - 12 reps
Set ups with bicep curls - 8 reps on each leg (16 reps total)

Kettle bell swings - 10 reps

Kimi Ma


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