Let's face it...while we all would love to hit the gym an hour a day, five days a week, our lifestyles often won't allow that to happen. Just because you're hard-pressed for time doesn't mean you can't be active. Here's a simple, at-home or at the gym, 10 Minute Total Body Workout to get you going when time isn't on your side.
What You Need: A pair of 10 to 20 pound dumbbells (lighter if you aren't as strong), some floor space, yourself, a mirror (optional).
The Workout: This workout is designed for two things: to maximize your output in a small amount of time, and to hit all of the major muscle groups. Not only do total body workouts compress your workout time, but they can also help boost your overall metabolism and help you achieve overall fitness.
Directions: Perform each exercise for one set consisting of as many repetitions as you can for 45 seconds. Then rest for 15 seconds before beginning the next exercise. Once completed with all exercises, rest for 45 seconds then complete two more sets of each exercise.
Exercise #1: Dumbbell Push-Up to Plank Rows
Begin in the pushup position, using the dumbbells as grips, much like a push up machine. Perform a regular push up then hold the top of the pushup position. From this position, perform alternating straight rows by pulling the dumbbell towards your chest. Alternate arms and repeat for the set.
If you don't feel comfortable using the dumbbells, you may perform a regular pushup, then rotate your torso towards the ceiling, extending one arm towards the sky. Return to the original position, then alternate arms.
Max this move's effectiveness: engage your core muscles--pretend like you're about to take a punch to the gut...feel that? Core engaged!
Exercise #2: Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Presses
Take an overhand grip on the dumbbells (like you're holding the handlebars on a bike), standing with your legs nearly shoulder-width apart. Hold them at shoulder height with palms facing forward. Perform a regular squat. (Note: You should imagine that you are sitting down on a chair to achieve the optimal squat form. Remember to keep your back straight, bent slightly forward at the waist.) In one fluid motion, return to your beginning position and press the dumbbells overhead, fully extending to achieve maximum range of motion. Return dumbbells to shoulder height and repeat.
Be explosive during the shoulder press portion of the exercise. You should feel like you're pushing your feet through the floor, practically coming up on your tippy-toes. Take a tip from Exercise #1: engage your core the whole time!
Exercise #3: Shadowboxing
Cardiovascular endurance can help maximize your performance in a lot of places: the gym, work, or even the bedroom! A great way to get high intensity, interval cardio is through shadowboxing.
Stand approximately an arm's length away from your mirror (if you're using one). The point of this exercise is to stay moving the whole 45 seconds. Practice throwing punches towards your doppelganger (in the mirror) or a spot in space where your "opponent" would be. Throw punches in combinations of 1, 2, 3, and 4 punches. To maximize the effectiveness of the exercise and to gain that total body workout, practice bobbing and weaving: move your torso in a "V" direction, to bob move your torso left to right and vice versa like in a windshield-wiper like motion. Stay active for all 45 seconds of the exercise.
Ryan Barnhart, MS, PES, is a certified Performance Enhancement
and Injury Prevention Specialist through the National Academy of Sports
Medicine (NASM). He also holds a master's degree in exercise science, as
well as a bachelor of sport management, both from California University
of Pennsylvania. Ryan has worked with numerous collegiate and amateur
athletes across many different fields. Ryan also has had the opportunity
to work with several professional athletes. Recently he has worked with
amateur and professional athletes within the emerging sport of Mixed
Ryan is currently the director of fitness at a 700+ member gym near Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys working with weekend warriors, athletes, and everyone in between. You can contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.