Long lost are the day to spend hours at a gym. With the increasingly long to-do list and the high demands of a busy lifestyle, committing to a long workout (not to mention the time spent driving to a gym) may feel unrealistic.
Too much exercise can actually be damaging to the body. Without proper rest, excessive exercise can increase body stress, decrease brain function, increase potential for injury, increase joint inflammation, and cause muscle atrophy.
Not to mention, it can increase weight gain due to consistent spikes in cortisol levels.
Just as nutrition is important for optimal body functioning, 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 intense exercise may not be in your best interest. But some other type of training may be.
And, let’s face it, when you are busy and short on time, your schedule may require you to fit workouts in when you can.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Tabata training are great alternatives. These training styles allow you to train your endurance by challenging your cardiovascular system with regular intervals of intensity. They are also fantastic for boosting your metabolism and balancing out your hormones. What’s more is that they also help to create a fine balance of building muscle while having minimal muscle atrophy — and the nervous system is spared.
Long bouts of exercise stresses the nervous system — 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.
What about those times that life gets demanding and obligations start to pile up? Quick spurts of exercise are perfect for the busy lifestyle. Not only are you strengthening the body and building your cardiovascular endurance, but you are also placing lower amounts of prolonged stress on the body. That is super important for those under a lot of stress and/or those who are experiencing an imbalance in hormones (i.e., perimenopause, menopause, adrenal fatigue, etc).
Interested? Here is a 25 minute workout to get you started. Perform this routine 3 times a week or throw it into your week of regular routines to mix it up…whatever fits your lifestyle!
Equipment-free strengthening (except physioball if available).
Perform each exercise back to back in a circuit style for amount of time recommended. Adjust time to match your current fitness level.
- 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. If you are a beginner, start with a double leg wall sit.
- 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. If you are a beginner, perform a regular lunge with no roundhouse kick.
- 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. If you are a beginner, eliminate the hop and just step up and over OR perform a basic sidestep up onto a step.
REST for 1 minute
- 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. If you are a beginner, perform regular push ups with no towel. You can do these on the wall, on your knees, or with straight legs.
- Stir the pot on physioball (do a regular plank if you do not have a 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. If you are a beginner, perform a regular plank on the ball or on the floor. You can even do a knee plank if a straight leg plank is too challenging.
- 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. If you are a beginner, eliminate the roundhouse kick and only do the squat.
REST for 1 minute
- Front step ups with leg abduction and side squat: 30 seconds each side. Step up onto a step 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. If you are a beginner, eliminate the squatting portion. You can also just do the squat with the leg kick, step up eliminated. You be the judge of what feels best for you.
- 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. If you are a beginner, keep your feet closer to you. The further away your feet, the harder it is.
- 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. If you are a beginner, perform regular sidestepping without the fast shuffle.
REST for 1 minute
- 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. If you are a beginner, straighten your legs and do single straight leg kicks instead.
- 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. If you are a beginner, perform a regular crunch with feet on the floor.
- Mountain climbers for 1 minute. Begin in a pushup position, with your weight supported by your hands and toes. Flexing the knee and hip, bring one leg until the knee is approximately under the hip. This will be your starting position. Explosively reverse the positions of your legs, extending the bent leg until the leg is straight and supported by the toe, and bringing the other foot up with the hip and knee flexed. Repeat in an alternating fashion. For low impact, eliminate jumping motion and use alternating stepping.
Rest for 2-3 minutes and then repeat entire exercise sequence.
Do you like what you read?
If so, then get yourself over to http://www.tansyrodgers.com . Dive in but make sure that you sign up for my free tribe! That’s how you receive my newsletters to your inbox and get to hear first hand about deals, news, and exciting new events that I only share with my tribe!