While it would be nice to be able to workout an hour (or two) a day, realistically, it’s difficult to actually make that happen (especially if you’re just starting to workout!).
We would argue that consistency is actually far more important than a few long + grueling workouts a few times a week. So, before you commit to that gym membership, workout class, or 5k road race, begin with doing a short workout once a day. We like to call this notion “greasing the groove”.
You probably won’t be making huge fitness gains; but, you will be strengthening your muscles, working your heart, and most importantly mentally getting in the habit of living an overall healthier lifestyle.
Before you get started, don’t be afraid to modify different exercises if needed. It’s far more important to be doing each exercise right then it is to just be doing an exercise to do it. You can take each exercise and do 30 sec each, group them into sets of 3 for a minute (take a minute break in between each set), or just go straight through and do 2-3 sets of 10 exercises each. Your choice! Just make sure you are working hard to get the most bang for your buck!
Side to side push ups
One regular push up; move to the left, push up; move to the right, push up… you’ve just done one!
Find a bench, chair, or box. Put your hands on the bench, chair, or box so your body is facing away and push your body up and down using your arms.
Try to make your body flat (lifting up your butt and utilizing your core) to have proper form.
Get in the upright forward plank position so that your elbows are locked.
Tap your left shoulder with your right hand, and then your right shoulder with your left hand.
Wide push ups
Put your hands 3-6 inches past your shoulders in the push up position.
Decline push ups
Using the same chair, box, or bench that you used for tricep dips, put your feet on the object and hands on the ground in push up position.
Note: the higher the chair, box, or bench is, the harder the push ups will be.
Incline push ups
Using the same chair, box, or bench that you used for tricep dips and decline push ups, put your hands on the object and feet on the ground in a push up position.
Note: the higher the chair, box, or bench is, the easier the push ups will be.
Lower yourself into a plank position with your elbows locked.
Take small steps with your feet keeping your hands in place until your butt is in the air.
Take small steps with your hands keeping your feet in place until your butt is level and you are in the plank position again.
Lateral plank walk
Get in the raised plank position with your elbows locked.
Move your legs and hands to one side, stop, and then move in the opposite direction.
Most people are unable to do one-legged squats with the proper form, so use a chair, bench, or box a little lower than hip height for this exercise.
Put one leg on the chair and extend your other leg out.
Squat with one leg making sure you are not using the leg on the chair to lift your body up. Make sure your glutes are activated.
To properly squat, your shins should be directly under your knees.
You will be doing regular squats with a twist… when you are squatting down jump on your way back up. Try to keep a regular rhythm without slowing down.
No explanation needed… everyone knows how to do lunges!
It’s good to switch up directions when lunging, so do some forward lunges, some backward, and some side lunges.
Lay with your back on the ground and your knees up.
Push your butt up so that it is level with your stomach and legs.
If it’s too easy, lift one of your legs to activate one side of your glutes.
Plie squat calf raises
Stand with your feet wider than your hips with your toes turned out.
Squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
While in the squat position, lift both heels off the ground and stay in that position for two seconds.
Side leg raises
Lay on your side with your hips facing the ceiling and your legs stacked on top of each other.
Lift your top leg towards the ceiling in a slow and controlled movement.
Do at least 4 with your toe in a neutral position, 4 with your toes pointed down, and 4 with your toes pointed up.
Sit with your back against the wall in a 90 degree angle.
Fire Hydrant circuit
Get on your hands and knees in a “doggy style” position.
Lift one side of your knee (keeping it bent) to level with your hip, push that leg towards your opposite breast, kick your leg out behind you and raise it behind your head. Do this on both sides.
Find a box between knee and hip height.
Jump onto the box with both feet and step off.
High knees toe taps
With the same box or a chair, keeping your knees high, tap your feet, one at a time on the chair keeping a steady rhythm.
Start with your stomach on the ground.
Lift yourself into the plank position, jump to your feet, and jump again as high as you can. Repeat.
In the plank position, quickly drive your knees to your chest.
These are forward lunges, but, in a steady rhythm jump lunge with your left knee to your right knee.
Get on your hands and feet with your back flat.
Move your hands forward a few steps, and then bring your legs and feet forward to bring you to the original position.
Circle sit ups
Lay flat on your back with your knees bent.
Raise yourself in a crunch position and move your core in a circular position to the left. Halfway through switch to the right.
Lay flat on your back with your legs and arms straight out.
Keeping your legs and arms straight, crunch with your legs and arms close to touching or touching.
Make sure you are crunching and not just moving your arms & legs!
To make it harder, don’t let your feet touch the ground.
Get in the forward plank position.
Keeping your back and hips level, move your hips from side to side.
Lay on your stomach with your legs and arms straight in front of you.
Lift your arms, head, and legs up as high as you can above the ground. Stay in that position for 30-60 sec.
Lay on your back with your legs straight up in the air.
Lift your hips, glutes, and legs off the ground and continue to repeat.
Lay on your back with your arms and legs out.
Lift your body up at crunch height and touch your left hand to the right leg. Switch to touch your right hand to the left leg.
Iron man bicycle
Lay on your back and curl your body up as if you’re doing a crunch.
Crunch with your right elbow and bring your opposite knee toward your elbow. Switch.
Make sure that your legs return to the straight position together (not touching the ground!) before you do the next crunch.
Lay on your back with your hands under your back and your feet straight out.
Kick up and down without your feet touching the ground.
Remember, you can do any kind of variation you would like with these exercises, but make sure you are working hard and taking little rest. You can do these as a solo workout, or fit this in at the end of cardio work.
Ask us workout questions in the comments below, and we’ll answer them. Happy getting fit!