Quick workouts for busy people2016-11-09
Having a lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise is the best way to stay healthy and on top of your game. But while most of us can manage a balanced diet with some planning, between family, work, and commuting there just does not seem to be enough hours in a day to hit the gym or go for a run.
This doesn’t mean you can’t get some quality exercise. We’ve put together a routine of exercises that will give you an all round workout in under 15 minutes. The best part is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to do these exercises, just your body weight, a water bottle and a sturdy wall!
Before we start, it’s important to note that, as with all exercises, form is more important than speed. These exercises should be done slowly and with control. So keep your back straight and suck in your tummy, then go through the motions slowly. This way you will get the most out of the exercises in the shortest time and also avoid injury.
The humble push-up has been an exercise staple for ages, because it works. Done right, push-ups exercise a whole bunch of muscles like your triceps, upper back, shoulder girdle, core, and your pectoral muscles. It’s important to keep your back in line with your shoulders and not drop your bum. Do the entire push-up slowly and with control. If doing a full push-up is too much for you, drop to your knees and do the push-up from there.
Opposite arm leg extension
While you’re on your hands and knees, make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders, then slowly reach your left arm in front of you while at the same time extending your right leg as if you’re pushing your foot against an imaginary well. Ensure that your arm is in line with your ear, with your thumb pointing to the ceiling, and your leg parallel to the ground. Now slowly tuck your left elbow and right knee towards each other trying to get them to touch, now slowly extend your arm and leg again this is one rep. Do 10 of these, then switch to right arm and left leg, and do 10 reps on this side. This exercise is great for your core, shoulders and bum, and helps ensure your spine is properly aligned.
Reps: 10 on each side
Now get up slowly and stand up straight with your tummy tucked and your feet together. Take a big step forward with your left leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground, forming a 90 degree angle with your shin (be careful not to go over 90 degrees as you can hurt your knee), the shin of your right (back) leg should be parallel to the ground and form a 90 degree angle with your right thigh. Now with control, step back up to standing straight and repeat with the other leg. Remember to go slowly and with control. If you want to level up a bit, add some weight by taking a full water bottle in each hand. This exercise exercises your quads, your core and your bum.
Reps: 10 with each leg
Find a step and stand on it with the ball of your left foot with your body straight, hold on to the wall for balance if you need to. Slowly lower your heel towards the ground, then bring it back up until you’re standing on your toes, bring your heel back so it’s level with the step this is one rep. Do 10 of these, then switch to your right leg and do 10 on that side. Remember to keep your tummy tucked and back straight. For a little extra, try to maintain your balance without holding on to a wall. It is very important that this exercise be done slowly and with control and only to drop your heel until you feel your achilles tendon stretching. Calf raises exercises your calves, core, bum and also strengthens your hamstrings.
Reps: 10 with each leg
One of the best exercises for your quads, bum and core, and also one of the safest ones, is the wall slide. Stand with your back against the wall, tummy in, back straight, feet shoulder width apart, then gently and slowly slide your back down the wall until you’re in a seated position, thighs parallel to the ground and forming a 90 degree angle with your shins (again, be kind to your knees and be careful not to go over 90 degrees), then slide your back up to a standing position. Do five of these, slowly and with control.
Until now you’ve exercised most of the major muscle groups, except your bi- ceps. The best (and only) way to exercise your biceps is with some sort of curling motion. Take full water bottle in your hand and let your armrest next to you, palm facing forward, forearm vertical. From this position curl your fist towards your shoulder while holding your elbow still, return your fist to its original position. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps with each arm. Do these very slowly and with control. To level up, use 2-litre cool drink bottles, but be careful not to go too heavy rather a bit light than too heavy.
Reps: 10 per arm