We’re four weeks into 2012, so how are your fitness resolutions coming along? This is the time of year when you’ve either embraced your 5:30 am alarm for that weightlifting class, or you’ve comfortably settled back into the “it’s happy hour, forget the gym” routine.
I’m here to let you know that if you fall into the latter category, all is not lost. The universe is not secretly trying to make you fat. In fact, falling off the consistent workout bandwagon happens to everyone. Yes, I am saying that even trainers, the people who are supposed to be beside themselves with joy at the very thought of lifting weights, don’t always want to work out. “I just got home and I have six more hours of work to do!” “It’s way too rainy or cold to go to the gym.” I had these thoughts not even two days ago.
I get asked all the time about what I do when I don’t feel like working out. My answer used to be, “I take a bite out of the most decadent, disgusting snack I’ve hidden in the back of my cabinet, and then I make myself work it off”. (And who says trainers don’t have self image problems?) You’ll be happy to know I’ve since developed less punitive methods of self-motivation. The solution? Quick, legit workouts that are nearly excuse-proof. You can do them in your underwear when you roll out of bed in the morning, or get your sweat on in the living room before cooking dinner.
The basic idea: interval training. High intensity, total body, with as little rest as possible. No equipment needed, and you’re done in less than 15 minutes.
By now you’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound so bad, but there’s got to be a catch. Aren’t you supposed to do like 1.5 hours of exercise a day to lose weight? Absolutely untrue. Take a look at these ladies who base their training entirely on these sub-15 minute interval-type workouts.
So here is the first in a series of anywhere, anytime workouts. If you’re just getting back into a regular exercise routine, do workouts like this 3 times per week. (Ideally, you would do a different workout on the other 2 days, but more on this to come). If you’re intermediate to advanced, try it as a warmup!
The Bodyweight Blast Series Part 1:
4 rounds total, resting as little as possible (if at all) between movements.
20 walking lunges
I finished in 7:57. Give it a try, and post to Comments how it went!
Of course, you want to use proper technique and full range of motion on all exercises, unless you have an injury. Here’s a review of correct form for each exercise and some examples of what not to do.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your abdominals by pulling your belly button into your spine. Keeping this brace, bend your knees, and reach back with your hips as if sitting on a chair. Heels should stay on the floor as arms reach forward while in the down position. Return to standing by fully extending the knees and hips. This counts as 1 repetition.
Avoid rounding the back as you sit into the squat. Also, failing to fully extend the spine and hips results in poor, hunched posture.
Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your abdominals by pulling your belly button into your spine. Keeping this brace, step forward with one leg and bend both knees 90 degrees. Chest stays up as the back heel lifts off the floor. This is 1 rep. Bring the back leg forward into a step and bend both knees again into the down position. This counts as the 2nd rep.
Avoid rounding your back and hunching over the front knee while in the down position.
Begin in the plank position with hands directly under the shoulders, legs straight, and belly button pulled into the spine.
Keep this neutral spine position as you lower your entire body to the ground as one unit. Your chest should be about a fist’s height off the ground at the bottom of the movement. Press yourself back up into plank position. This counts as 1 rep.
Alternatively, you can begin the pushup in the kneeling plank position. Maintain neutral spine as you lower your body to the floor, still on the knees. Press yourself back up into kneeling plank.
Avoid arching the lower back at the top of the movement while in plank, or as you bend your arms and lower towards the floor.
Start by lying on the floor with knees bent, feet flat and fingertips behind the head. Leading with your chest, lift your shoulders and lower back away from the floor until your torso is on a diagonal. Keep your chin off your chest, and the elbows away from your nose. Lower your shoulders back down to the floor. This counts as 1 rep.
Avoid resting your chin on your chest and pulling on your head with your hands. If you are unable to sit all the way up, do a crunch instead of a situp by lifting the shoulders off but leaving the lower back on the ground.
Here’s a sample of what one round looks like.