Long lost are the days of spending hours at the gym to get the results of a leaner, tighter, more fit body. It has become more widely known and advocated by health professionals that over-conditioning and over-training can be harmful to the body by increasing internal stress, decreasing brain function, increasing potential for injury, increasing swelling in the joints, and actually causing that valuable muscle tissue to atrophy and breakdown…just to name a few. Just as nutrition is vital for results, so is proper training techniques and listening to what your body needs. When your body is fatigued, sore, swollen, and/or injured, spending 90-minutes of a grueling workout is probably not in your best interest. Honestly, unless you are training for a specific sport or event, a 90-minute workout is just a waste of time. Research has shown over and over again that quick bursts of cardio intervals for shorter time periods (aka High Intensity Interval Training) and more aggressive strengthening with higher resistance and lower repetitions is more conditioning to the body. The fine balance of building muscle while having minimal muscle atrophy is maintained and the nervous system is spared. Long bouts of exercise stresses the nervous system, therefore decreasing overall reaction time and slowing down the processes of the brain. The joints, cartilage, and soft tissue are also spared in the sense that they are gaining the benefits of exercise, but not being overally stressed and broken down through excessive amounts of therapeutic exercise over and over again, week in and week out. That’s where the real concern lies..keeping the body safe and healthy and full of vitality for the long haul!
And, what about those times that life just gets so darn demanding and obligations start to pile up? Is it better to get a heart-pounding, challenging mini workout in or is it better just to skip your workout all together? I know you all are screaming “mini-workout, of course!” And if you can’t make it to the gym? I would much rather have you get down and dirty with a 20-30 minute workout right in the comfort of your own home. Can I get a Hell Yeah!?! I know, I know, is this even possible you ask me…well, of course it is! It is actually easier than you think and I am here to save the day and show you an amazing, butt-kicking, innovative exercise routine that you can do at home. It is based around body weight strength exercises, plyometrics, and conditioning. Perform this routine 3 times a week or throw it into your week of regular gym routines to just mix it up…whatever fits your fancy!
No Hassle, Equipment-Free Strengthening (except physioball if available): Perform each exercise back to back in a circuit style to keep your heart rate up so you can gain a cardiovascular boost.
- Wall sits single legs: 30 seconds each leg (or alternate back and forth if 30 seconds is too long). Place your back against the wall and drop down so that your legs make a 90 degree angle, knee is in line with toes and toes are behind your knee. If it hurts to squat so deep, do not squat so low. Kick your right leg straight out so that it is parallel with the floor and hold it there. Hold for the desired amount of time and then switch leg positions.
- Walking roundhouse lunges: 1 minute alternating lunge and kicks. Lunge forward with your right leg, making sure that knee is in line with toes and knee is behind toes. Torso is tall and abs are tight. As you bring your left leg forward to stand up from the lunge, swing it in a circular motion forward and laterally around to perform a basic roundhouse kick. The higher the roundhouse kick, the harder it is. Keep it low if you are just starting out. Lunge forward with your left leg and repeat the motions.
-Lateral up and over steps for 1 minute . Standing to face a step, place one foot onto the step. Quickly push yourself up onto the step with that foot, performing a hop and switching to the opposite foot. As the opposite foot lands on the step, your original foot will now land on the floor. Reverse the movement until you are back to start. You are hopping from one foot onto the step to the other, but performing the movement in an arch motion.
- Push ups with towel flye slides: 1 minute. Position yourself in a push up position, either straight legs or knee push ups. Make sure that there is a towel under each hand. Perform push up and return to start. Slide one arm out to the side, reaching as far as you can and bending the opposite elbow as needed. Slide arm back to center. Perform on the opposite arm. Repeat the move with the push up.
- Stir the pot on physioball: 30 seconds each direction. Assume a plank position with your forearms on a physioball. Use your forearms to move the ball in small circles while keeping the rest of your body in the original position.
–Roundhouse kick and squat for 1 minute. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Hold fists under chin, palms in and elbows near rib cage, shoulders relaxed. Pivot 45 degrees to the right and extend left leg out to side, pointing toes to the floor. Do a roundhouse kick by lifting left knee as high as you comfortably can, turning outer thigh to face ceiling. Extend leg, then retract it, keeping toes pointed. Lower leg and pivot back to start, so toes point forward. Squat down, keeping knees aligned with ankles. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
- Front step ups with leg abduction and side squat: 30 seconds each side. Step up onto a box with your left leg. As you fully extend throughout your left quadricep/knee, do a straight leg kick out to the side with your right leg and then perform a side squat off the box by bringing your right leg down onto the floor and doing a squat (left foot is still on the box). Step off the box and repeat.
- Tricep dips: 1 minute. Sit on a chair or bench with feet on floor (or another chair if you are more advanced). Place hands beside you so that fingers are pointed forward and grasping the front of the chair. Lift yourself up and bring your butt off the chair and slowly lower it in front of the chair’s edge. Slowly lower yourself downward. Your torso should remain upright and your elbows should stay close to your body. Lower yourself until there is a 90 degree angle formed between the upper arm and forearm. Pause. Push your torso back up using your triceps to bring your body back to the starting position.
–Side shuffling with shoulder height arms for 1 minute. Position yourself into a squatting position with knees behind toes and inline with toes and butt pushed back. Perform a lateral shuffling side to side while maintaining arms outstretched at shoulder height the entire time.
- Froggy extensions: 1 minute with each extension holding for 5 seconds. Lying on your stomach with your hands beside your body, lift both legs upward toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes and hamstrings. Pause. Squeeze your glutes a little harder and slightly bend your knees allowing your heels to rotate outwards. Return to start position and repeat.
- Towel reach abs: 1 minute. Lying on your back, bring knees into a tabletop position with hands in front of chest and holding a towel with both hands. Contract abs by pulling belly button towards your spine. Perform a crunch by contracting your abs and bringing your chest to meet your knees and wrapping the towel around the lower part of your shins. Pause and return to start. Repeat.
– Lateral burpee jumps for 1 minute. Perform a burpee. As you stand back up, do a jump to the side (laterally) and perform another burpee. As you stand back up, perform a jump to the opposite side. Repeat.
– Rest for 2-3 minutes and then repeat entire exercise sequence.
Take action now! Schedule this workout on your calendar and schedule it out for a full-month (Remember, it takes 30 days to create a change!). I want you to comment below or email me through my website, facebook, or twitter and tell me all about your workouts and if you ventured out at all, creating your own variations to my 25 minute workout in this blog.
Are you working out like this already? Comment below and tell me what your workouts look like and how they have changed your life. Live life with passion and purpose…
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