20 MINUTE WORKOUT FROM FITWISE
Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time for a workout and sometimes well, you just don’t always feel like putting in a lot of time. I get that, so I’ve put together a 20 minute workout that you can do pretty much anywhere. You’ll break a sweat and you’ll feel it and before you know it, you’ll be on your way!
Find your perfect warmup: BEST WARMUP FOR YOUR WORKOUT
CROSS JAB. I’m always jealous when I see a boxer’s arms and this move will help you get those amazingly toned muscles. Start by holding your free weights palms facing in, arms bent and standing slightly wider than hip width apart. Keeping your right arm in line with your shoulder, reach it across your body. Then return to your start position. Do 20 reps on each arm.
PLIE/SQUAT. Essentially, this is a turned out version of a squat, but it’s all about the technique. It can be done in a ballet first position with your heels together and your toes turned out, or in second position standing with your feet turned out, placed slightly wider than hip distance apart. For a tougher workout, hold weights or place one foot on an unstable surface.
Staying tall and keeping your abdominal muscles engaged, bend your knees ensuring that they point over your toes. Bend as far as you can without your heels leaving the ground and then straighten. As you straighten, think about squeezing those inner thighs together. Repeat 10 times in each position.
OVERHEAD PRESS. This move targets your shoulders and upper back. Standing tall with your feet hip width apart and holding free weights, simply press your arms overhead. Keep your shoulders down. I sometimes feel that this one gets into my neck a little bit, so to ease the tension, I just gently lower my chin so that my gaze is toward the floor, several feet in front of me, instead of straight ahead. If you don’t have free weights, this exercise can also be done while standing or kneeling on a band. Do 2-3 sets of 15 reps each.
TRICEPS PRESS. Standing tall, hold a free weight in your right hand with your arm reaching up to the ceiling. Slowly lower the weight behind your head and on your exhale, stretch your arm back up to the ceiling. This is a small and isolated move. Make sure to keep your abdominal muscles engaged and repeat 15-20x on each arm.
Note, you can do this exercise lying on a workout bench. Or simply place your hands (fingers toward you) on a chair or the back of a couch and dip.
KNEE TO ELBOW PLANK. I am a huge fan of the plank. It works all of your core muscles at once and has numerous variations. Really, there’s something for everyone. This exercise starts in a classic plank position. Make sure your abdominals are engaged and your shoulders are down. Take a breath and on the exhale, pull one knee up toward your elbow. Repeat with the other leg. Do this 10x on each side. To get those obliques working, reach your knee to the opposite shoulder. If you feel some discomfort in your lower back, make sure you are engaging your abdominals and simply lift your glutes toward the ceiling by a few inches. This should relieve any pain. Watch that you aren’t letting your head drop toward the floor and keep your ears between your shoulders.
TENDUE. This one is best done without your shoes on because you’ll want to use your feet. Standing tall in first position (heels touching, feet turned out), keep your body straight, abdominals engaged, slide your right foot forward and point your toes. Keep your weight firmly on your left foot and move only one leg at a time. Do 8 repetitions to the front, side and back and then switch feet.
Tips: As you pull your foot back in, really focus on squeezing those inner thighs together.
TEASER. This is my absolute favourite ab workout and when done properly is a killer. Start by lying flat on your back with your arms straight and by your ears, but not touching the floor. Inhale. As you exhale, start curling your upper body and legs simultaneously off the floor until you are in a V position. Take a breath and then slowly roll back down to your start position.
Tips: Keep your toes pointed and inner thighs glued together, as this will help your balance and work additional leg muscles. At the top of your V, ensure that you are not arching your back, instead try keeping it slightly rounded.
Modifications: If you are a beginner, start the exercise with your feet already in the air and bent if necessary, or place them on a ball. If you find this easy then try doing the exercise with a ball between your legs. When you reach the top of your V, try lowering and lifting your legs a few inches 10x. Or hold a ball in your hands as you add a rotation at the top of the V.
If you love the workout then why not check out my book FitWise, where you’ll find more workouts and health tips!