If you have a ton of things to do on a daily basis, exercising is perhaps the last thing on your mind. However, just because you don’t have an hour to hit the gym, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do a quick workout to burn some calories. So whenever you’re busy, consider these five simple exercises which you can do anytime and anywhere. Not only are they formulated to fit into your busy lifestyle but they also allow you to workout without using any equipment.
EXERCISE 1 – BURPEE
The burpee is a fun full body exercise that helps you to improve the flexibility in your hips and build more agility in your chest, legs, and arms. It’s also a fantastic cardiovascular exercise. It’s so easy to perform that you can easily squeeze a round of burpees into your mornings while waiting for your coffee to brew.
Here is how to do the burpee:
1. Begin from a standing position, then drop into a squat and place your hands on the ground.
2. Kick your feet back to get into a push up position. Your arms, legs and back should be straight while your core muscles should be tight.
3. Bend your arms and lower your torso until your chest touches the ground.
4. Straighten your arms and lift your torso back up.
5. Kick your feet forward into a squat position while keeping your hands on the ground.
6. Leap up as high as possible while extending both arms above your head.
7. When you land, repeat steps 1-6 for as many reps as you can manage within the time you have available.
EXERCISE 2 – HIGH KNEES
High knees give you a great cardio workout and also burn an impressive 510 calories per hour. Additionally, they work your glutes, hamstrings and quads. The movement performed during high knees mimics jogging on the spot.
It can be performed using these steps:
1. Start jogging on the spot while allowing your feet to touch the floor for a second during each step before switching to the other leg. Keep your chest up and your back straight at all times.
2. As you take each step, make sure you drive your legs towards your chest and lift your knees as high as they will go.
3. Repeat steps 1-2 for as many reps as you can manage within the time you have available.
EXERCISE 3 – JUMPING JACK
If you have ever attended or seen a sporting event on TV, you might have seen athletes performing jumping jacks as part of their warm up routines. This exercise typically involves alternating jumps as you spread your legs apart and arc your arms overhead before bringing all your limbs back together while standing upright. The jumping jack increases your heart rate, enhances circulation and targets your calves, abductor and adductor muscles.
Here’s how to do jumping jacks correctly:
1. Start the exercises while standing upright with your feet together and your arms by your sides
2.Bend your knees slightly and leap into the air. While in the air, spread your legs out to about shoulder width apart. At the same time, extend your arms from your sides until they touch overhead. You should land on your feet with your legs apart and your hands touching overhead with a slight bend in your elbows.
3. Bend your knees slightly and leap into the air. While in the air, bring your feet and legs back together and lower your arms down to your sides. You should land with your feet together and your hands by your sides.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 for as many reps as you can manage within the time you have available.
EXERCISE 4 – JUMP SQUAT
Jump squats are quick and easy to perform. When done correctly, they primarily target the quadriceps in your front thighs. They also activate your core, glutes and hamstrings.
To perform the basic jump squat, proceed as follows:
1. Stand with your back straight and your feet spread at about a shoulder width apart.
2. Bend your knees and drop to a squatting position. As you drop down into the squat, raise your arms out in front of you.
3. Straighten your knees and jump off the ground by pushing up explosively with your feet. As you jump up, raise your arms and stretch them overhead while fully engaging your core muscles.
4. When you land, repeat steps 2-3 for as many reps as you can manage within the time you have available.
EXERCISE 5 – STEP UPS
Step ups are another full body exercise that work the hamstrings, quads, and glutes while building core stability and improving heart rate. You’ll need a raised platform or a bench to perform this exercise.
Once you have your raised platform or bench ready, follow the instructions below:
1. Begin the exercise by standing in front of the raised platform or flat bench with your feet together and your arms on your hips.
2. Lift your left foot onto the bench or raised platform, then press through your left leg and bring your right leg onto the bench or raised platform.
3. Step back onto the ground with your left foot and then bring your right foot off the bench or raised platform and onto the ground next to your left foot.
4. Lift your right foot onto the bench or raised platform, then press through your right leg and bring your left leg onto the bench or raised platform.
5. Step back onto the ground with your right foot and then bring your left foot off the bench or raised platform and onto the ground next to your right foot.
6. Repeat steps 2-3 for as many reps as you can manage within the time you have available.
That winds up our list of top five exercises for when you are busy. These exercises take up very little time and can be performed on their own when you have just a few minutes to spare or in a sequence to create a time saving, no equipment workout. So, give them a try today and see how simple it can be to fit exercise into your busy routine.
P.S. I admittedly have 25 lb dumbbells in my office for in between appointments!