By Nicole Flannigan
Who says that you have to work out for a whole hour every day? Some days we are able to sweat through a 90-minute spin class, or hold our own in advanced yoga, and some days we barely have enough time to get everything done. On days that you feel like you are running out of time just trying to find time, take a 30 minute breather and get a little work out in. You can blast calories and boost your energy in less than 30 minutes, which may be just what you need in the middle of a hectic day.
To start, get on the treadmill, elliptical or rowing machine and begin with five minutes at a moderate pace to get warmed up. You are going to alternate each strength exercise with 2 minutes on the cardio machine of your choice. End this workout with a five minute cool down:
- Wall Sit with shoulder raise- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your side, palms facing forward, lean against a wall with back straight, feet hip-width apart about 2 feet from wall. Bend knees and slide down wall until thighs are parallel to floor. Maintaining squat, raise both arms straight out to sides at shoulder height, then bring them close together in front of chest, palms facing each other. Reverse arm move to complete 1 rep. Do 15 reps
- Hamstring Leg Lift- Lie facedown on a bench with legs extended in a wide V behind you, hips just above end of bench, feet flexed, toes on floor. Grip the bench you’re your hands, arms extended overhead. Lift both legs up in line with your torso, then bring feet together in midair. Open legs back out to sides, then lower to start. Do 15 reps.
- Pilates Bench Press- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie face-up on a bench and extend legs and arms straight up toward ceiling, palms facing thighs. Simultaneously bend elbows 90 degrees out to the sides at shoulder level (like a goalpost) and lower legs 45 degrees toward the floor. Return to start. Do 15 reps
- Dumbbell Row- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie facedown on a stability ball with legs straight behind you, toes on floor, and arms extended toward floor, palms facing toward feet. Drive elbows up and out to the sides to bring weights near armpits. Pause for 1 count, then lower to start. Do 15 reps.
- Lateral Lunge/ Yoga pose- Stand with hands on hips and bend left knee out to left side to place sole of left foot on inner thigh of right leg (tree pose). Hold for 1 count, then step left foot out into a side lunge, left knee bent and aligned over ankle, toes pointing forward and right leg straight. Push off with left foot to immediately return to tree pose. Do 10 reps. Switch legs; repeat.
- Baseball Swing- Stand with feet hip-width apart on center of an exercise tube, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, arms by sides. Bend knees slightly in a half squat and bring both handles together in front of you, elbows slightly bent, palms nearly touching. Keeping elbows bent, bring both hands together over right shoulder as you rotate torso to right, pivoting on left toes and straightening both legs. Slowly return to half-squat position. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat
Each strength exercise should take about one minute or less. After each strength exercise, jump back on your cardio machine for two minutes. This workout keeps your heart rate up while giving you a total body strength routine.
If you have an hour for lunch you can get in a great workout and still have time to shower before you get back work!