We all have those days when the workout needs to happen in just a few minutes- in the living- room or not at all. Unfortunately, in those cases, most of us skip the workout. One missed workout isn’t the end of the world. However, you know how easy it is for a skipped workout to end up being a week or month of inactivity. We can’t let that happen.
You know how hard it is to gain momentum and get consistent. Preserving that momentum is the secret to mastering consistency for good. Having workaround workouts that you are committed to doing on busy days is your personal consistency protection plan.
Embracing workaround workouts demands that we abandon our attachment to our perception of the perfect workout. Let’s think about this. How many times have we skipped a workout because we couldn’t’ get to our favorite fitness class after work? Too many, right? That all or nothing attitude is what keeps us stuck but how do we convince ourselves to embrace a short, equipment-free workout if we are used to something else?
More than likely, you have seen (or maybe even tried) a really short workout that seemed pointless. You are savvy enough to know that if a workout is going to deliver results, it has to challenge you. And, you have better things to do with your time than doing a workout that you don’t feel will make a difference. You want a return on your investment of time and that is why your short workouts can’t just be short- they have to be short and challenging. We call this an efficient workout.
Your key to staying consistent even on the busiest days.
The key to making a short workout efficient is choosing the right moves. Exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at once are the most efficient. Your short workouts should be made mostly of these types of exercises. However, if you chose to include some isolation exercises, make sure that you chose a challenging variation to make it worth your time.
Here are a few moves that fit the bill.
1 ½ Rep Squats
In this twist on the traditional squat, you squat down and then only come halfway up. Then, you squat back down and come all the way up. This is one repetition. Your muscles spend more time under tension so they work harder even though you aren’t using weights.
You can make this move as challenging as you need to by changing the elevation of your hands and feet. The least challenging variation is to place your hands higher than your feet, on a wall, couch, or step. The most challenging variation is to place your feet higher than your hands on a step, couch, or wall.
Single Leg Hip Bridges
This move is a key example of an isolation exercise that is progressed to make it worthy to be included in an efficient workout. This twist on the traditional hip bridge challenges you to move your entire body weight with only one side of your glutes. If you need even more of a challenge, you can elevate your foot on a step, couch or wall for more range of motion.
Bicycle Abs Passes
This move is not a crunch. Be sure to keep your torso stationary while your legs cycle and you pass a pen (or your imagination) between your legs. To make this move less challenging, keep more distance between the ground and your legs so that your legs are more vertical. To increase the challenge, concentrate on slowing the move down while keeping your legs parallel to the ground.
Here’s how you put the moves together to create your quick workout.
Do the first exercise for 30 seconds. Move on to the next exercise and do that one for 30 seconds. Continue moving down the list of exercises until you get to the end. Rest for 30 seconds and start again. It takes 3 minutes to get through the circuit. Repeat it three times for a 9-minute workout and get on with the rest of your day.
1 ½ Rep Squats
Single Leg Hip Bridges (Left)
Bicycle Abs Passes
Single Leg Hip Bridges (Right)
There you have it- a quick bodyweight workout that you can get done even on the busiest of days.