Quick Workouts

I found these great workouts that give you a workout for each time crunch you are in. It even lists a workout for when you have five minutes to spare. We always feel better about ourselves when we are able to get a workout in so here are some options for those days when you only have a couple minutes to spare.

A Workout for Every Time Crunch

Whether you’ve got 30 minutes to spare or only 5, there’s a way to squeeze a sweat session into your busy schedule
By Mary Squillace

30 Minutes

For most of the following moves you’ll need a 6- to 8-pound medicine ball. You’ll do each exercise 5 times, doing 2 fewer reps each round. So in your first round you’ll complete 10 reps, in your second round you’ll complete 8, in the third you’ll do 6, and so forth. “The volume for these exercises is pretty low, so your goal is to complete each rep with maximum intensity,” Baptiste says. “Think quick, precise, and powerful. Go as fast as possible with perfect form.”

Video: Tone Up Anytime, Anywhere

60-second treadmill sprint

10 Medicine Ball Front Squats: Hold a medicine ball while performing front squats.

10 Medicine Ball Overhead Presses: Hold a medicine ball with both hands at about shoulder height, then press it above your head.

10 Medicine Ball Squats To Overhead Press: Combine the two moves above. While holding a medicine ball in front of you at chest level, dip into a squat. Rise to a standing position and do an overhead press with the medicine ball.

10 Medicine Ball Jacks: Hold a medicine ball in front, arms down, and prepare to perform a jumping jack, except instead of bringing your arms out to your sides, you’ll lift the medicine ball above your head. When you bring your legs together, lower the medicine ball back in front of you.

10 Shuffle Splits With Medicine Ball Rotation: Stand with your legs staggered, your right foot in front of your left, and hold the medicine ball at your right hip. As you switch feet and bring your left foot forward, move the medicine ball from your right hip to your left hip.

10 Soccer Taps With Medicine Ball: Put the medicine ball on the floor. Rest one foot on top of the ball and plant one on the floor. Then alternate each foot to the top of the ball.

10 Seated Medicine Ball Bicycle Passes: Sit on the floor and lean back at a 45-degree angle, lifting your feet off the ground. Imagine a bicycle crunch, bringing one leg to your chest while the other is extended. You’ll pass the medicine ball from one hand to the other under the knee that is bent. Switch legs and pass the ball under the opposite knee.

5 Alternating Medicine Ball Pushups: Complete five pushups with your hands on a medicine ball. (In each subsequent set you’ll complete one less pushup, so in the next round you’ll complete 4, then 3, and so forth)

10 Russian Twists With The Medicine Ball: Sit on the floor and lean back at a 45-degree angle, lifting your feet off the ground. Holding the medicine ball with both hands, twist your torso to each side and touch the ball to the ground.

60 seconds on the elliptical machine (or another cardio machine of your choice)

Only have 15 minutes? Choose from dozens of quick workouts in the new Women’s Health Big Book of 15 Minute Workouts

Another option for 30 minutes

30 Minutes

You don’t need any equipment for this 30-minute superset workout suggested by Paris. Perform each pair of exercises three times before moving on to the next two moves.

15 Lunges
30 seconds Side Planks
Repeat 3 times

15 to 20 Pushups
20 Squats
Repeat 3 times

15 Lateral Lunges
20 Chair Dips
Repeat 3 times

20 Wide-Leg Squats
1-minute Regular Plank
Repeat 3 times

10 to 12 Incline or Decline Pushups
10 Burpees
Repeat 3 times

15 Raised-Leg Crunches
30 seconds High Knees
Repeat 3 times

20 Minutes

When you want a full-body workout and don’t have time to isolate each body part, do this strength workout from Rigsby. The resistance bands allow exercisers to adjust the intensity according to their strength levels. You’ll perform each of the following moves for 50 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest after each exercise. Repeat the entire cycle four times.

Band Front Squat: Stand on the center of the band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold one end of the band in each hand with your wrists bent, palms up and elbows pointed forward. Maintain a flat back as you lower yourself into a squat and come back up.

Single-Arm Press: Hold the band in same position as you did for your squat. While standing push but push one arm up over your head at a time.

Romanian Deadlift: Double up the band to make it shorter and stand in the center of it while holding an end in each hand, hands at your sides. Hinge at your hips and slightly bend your knees while keeping your chest and shoulders back. Your butt should be toward the wall, not toward the floor like it would in a squat. For each rep you’ll lift back up to a standing position while holding onto the ends of the band.

Bent-Over Row: Assume the same starting position as the Romanian deadlift. Maintaining that bent-over position, bring your arms to the sides of your chest in a rowing motion.

Band Cross-body Mountain Climber: Holding an end of the band in each hand, wrap the band around your back and assume pushup position. Draw your right knee to your left elbow and return to pushup position. Repeat on the opposite side. Be sure to hold your shoulders steady. Because the band is across your back, as you do this exercise you’ll work your core as you keep your hips up.

15 to 20 Minutes

On the rowing machine, row as fast as possible for 200 meters, then rest for 2 minutes. Go for 5 to 7 rounds, shooting for the best 200-meter time and consistency from round to round, Baptiste advises. Depending on how fast you are, this workout should last about 15 to 20 minutes.

9 to 15 Minutes

This quick workout is designed to be done on an upright exercise bike. Perform 6 rounds of intervals for a 9-minute workout, or do 10 rounds for a 15-minute routine.

30 seconds of standing cycling at level 10

60 seconds of seated cycling at level 7

“This works best when you’re keeping your revolutions per minute (rpm) above 80,” Baptiste says. “What you might need to adjust is the level. Some people can stand out of the saddle at 10, but others might need to drop it to 5 or less when sitting to maintain the rpm.”

10 Minutes

“Combination moves are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. They’re the greatest way to get maximum calorie burn in a short amount of time,” Crome says. Plus, the following workout is set up in a circuit, which is designed to get your heart rate up as well as build strength.

For a 5-minute workout do each of the following exercises for 1 minute. For a 10-minute workout, do the circuit twice.

Squat with Biceps Curl

Step-up and Shoulder Press

Lunge with Deltoid Lift: Stand with your arms by your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand. As you step forward with your right leg and lower into a lunge, raise your extended arms out to each side to shoulder level. Lower your arms and return to the starting position. Repeat with your opposite leg.

Hamstring Curls with Stability Ball

Bridge Fly with Stability Ball: Lie on your back with your ankles resting on a stability ball (if you don’t have a ball, modify the move by assuming bridge position). Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms up. Lift your butt so that the back of your head is the only thing touching the floor. While holding bridge position lift the dumbbells over your chest. Lower the weights back to your sides.

Another Option for 1o minutes

10 Minutes

60 seconds of jumping rope

60 seconds of rest

Repeat 5 times

“Make it harder by alternating high knees or trying for double unders,” Baptiste says. You can also challenge yourself from week to week by adding 5 seconds of work and decreasing 5 seconds of rest each week until you are jumping for 10 minutes straight, he says.

5 Minutes

Even if you have only enough time for a quickie, a few minutes can do your body good. “Five minutes is plenty of time to increase blood flow, elevate body temperature, move through a full range of motion, increase flexibility, activate dormant muscles, engage your core, prime your body for movement, and elevate your heart rate,” Baptiste says. Complete the following 5 sets as quickly as possible for best results.

Jumping Jacks Three Ways
30 Jumping Jacks
30 Clapping Jumping Jacks
30 Crisscross Jumping Jacks: Instead of bringing your legs together, cross your legs and arms in front of you.

The “Big Three”
8 Inchworms
8 Spiderman Climbers
8 Pigeons

Glute Bridge
5 static glute bridges, each held for 10 seconds

Quadruped Hip Extension and Circles
Start on your hands and knees. Extend one foot behind you as far as you can like you’re reaching for a wall with your heel. Then open your hip outward and bend your knee (picture a dog lifting his leg on a fire hydrant) as you return to start position. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Plank ‘Plex: Complete 3 or 4 reps on each side of the entire series below.

Climbing Plank: Start in a low plank. From your forearms climb into pushup position with your right arm, then your left arm.
Holster Plank: From pushup position, reach your right arm to your right hip pocket and then reach your left arm to your left hip pocket. Return to pushup position.
Knee-to-Elbow Plank : From pushup position bring your right knee forward to your right elbow, then switch and bring your left knee to your left elbow. Return to pushup position, then climb back into low plank with your right arm, then your left arm. Repeat the entire sequence.

(NOTE: One rep on each side looks like: Start in low plank. Climb to high plank, with your right hand, then left hand. Holster: right hip, left hip. Knee-to-Elbow: right knee, left knee, climb down right arm, left arm. Start over. This time you’ll lead each move with your left side.)

Another option for 5 minutes

5 Minutes

The key to this workout is to move fast and get your heart rate up, Paris says. However, she notes that this is not a beginner’s workout, so if you need to modify it you can cut the number of reps in half and give yourself time after each move to rest.

30 Jump Squats

10 to 15 Pushups

30 Jumping Lunges

10 to 15 Chair Dips

30 Jumping Jacks

20 Bicycle Crunches

30 Mountain Climbers

1 Minute Plank


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