Whether you are too tired, too busy, or just short on attention span, we all have days where a long workout just isn’t going to happen. That excuse is no reason not to work out at all though, as I will solidly prove in this post 😉
Here are my top 5 go to workouts for when I can’t get in a long workout, ranging from just 4 minutes to 20 minutes in length. I just did #3 this afternoon.
- 1 Tabata Anything. [For those who aren’t familiar with Interval Training, check out this post before you go any further. If you don’t the following will sound just a tad crazy.]As you may know, 1 Tabata = 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 8 rounds (a total of 4 minutes). Who doesn’t have time for a 4 minute workout?? But don’t be fooled, those 4 minutes should be the toughest 4 minutes of your day if you do it right. Pick a good compound exercise, or several, start your timer, and get it done. Push hard enough to be out of breath with burning muscles by the end, but not so hard that you puke. Some good exercises to do for a Tabata workout include burpees, squat jumps, pushups, planks, and mountain climbers. Don’t limit yourself though – you can make just about any exercise work for a Tabata.
- 100 for Time. This one is nice because it requires minimal mental energy, which makes it a great choice for the end of a stressful day. Pick an exercise you can do for high reps (like push-ups or squats), and perform 100 reps as fast as you can, timing yourself. Record your time and try to beat it next time. If you have a little more time, you can do multiple hundreds, or even up to 1,000.
- 200, 100, 200. This is one of my favorite “bookend” workouts because it includes an endurance and strength element without taking too much time. The idea is to do 200 reps of a cardio exercise, followed by 100 of a strength movement, and finishing with 200 more reps of that first cardio exercise. A great example is 200 double unders, followed by 100 dumbbell snatches, ending with 200 more double unders.
- 3x10x3. When I’m short on time or energy but want to maintain functional strength (listen up liftin’ ladies), I do 3 rounds of 3 different strength exercises for 8-10 reps each. For a total body workout I might do Squats, Curl & Press, and Lunges. For your lower body some good choices are weighted Step-ups, weighted Hip Bridges, or weighted Squat Jumps. You can really just add a lot of weight to any strength exercise and do it for 10 reps. The same goes for the upper body. 3 rounds is enough to challenge the muscles and maintain their strength.
- 20 minute challenge. Pick any exercise and make up your mind to do it for 20 minutes with little to no rest. My favorites for this are jump rope and, well, jump rope, but you can do it with just about any endurance exercise.
There ya go, hopefully I have eliminated your excuse of having no time to work out 😉 Now go get to it! Let me know in the comments what your favorite “no time” workout is 🙂