Most of us would love the opportunity to exercise more. Once we are home from work, it is very hard to get the motivation to get changed and leave the house again to go to a gym. Some people have the motivation, but not the opportunity because of that big pile of laundry, or dinner that needs to be cooked, or loads of cleaning that needs to be done. Here is a quick workout that does not involve any equipment, but get your heart pumping and provide quick energy bursts and calorie burn. It can be done during the commercial of your favorite TV show, while dinner is in the over, or during any five to 15 minute time slot throughout the day. Do it once, or cycle through three or four times.
Warm-up: Two minutes
Perform jumping jacks for one minute to increase your heart rate. Follow it with 30 seconds of jogging in place, then 30 seconds of high-knee jogging, for a total of a two minute warm-up.
Workout: Four Minutes
Crunches: Lie on your back with your legs bent, hands placed behind your ears or head for support. Fix your eyes on a spot on the ceiling and contract your abs. You should lift your shoulders and upper back off the ground while concentrating on pushing your belly button through your spine into the ground. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Mountain Climbers: Turn over so you are on your hands and feet, almost in a push up position. Alternate jumping your legs into a runners lunge under your torso, keeping your hands flat on the ground. Start with the right leg under your torso, with your left leg extended behind you on the ground, jump and switch so your left leg is now under you and your right leg is extended behind you. This will raise your heart rate and keep calorie burn high. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Wall Squat Hold: Find a wall and lean against it. Lower yourself until the tops of your thighs are parallel with the ground and hold that position. Your quads and butt will feel the burn. Hold for 30 seconds.
Burpees: Start standing up. Squat down and put your hands on the ground and jump both legs behind you so you land in push-up position. Jump legs back together underneath you and stand back up. For added intensity, add a push-up at the bottom position and add a jump when you stand back up. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Plank: Place your elbows and forearms on the floor and extend feet out behind you. Keep your abs and butt squeezed. For more advanced plankers, alternate lifting your right and left arm while maintaining a steady trunk. Or try lifting right and left legs alternately.
Jumping Jacks with Squat: Do more jumping jacks, but this time when you jump your legs out wide, add a squat. Keep your knees behind your toes as you squat and your weight on your heels. Jump back together and repeat for 30 seconds.
Push-ups: These can be done on the knees for beginners or on the toes for advanced exercisers. Be sure to keep your abs and butt tight to maintain proper form. For advanced exercisers, try lifting one leg off the ground while doing them for added instability. Or bring your right elbow to your right knee on the down phase, and alternate with the left side. Perform push-ups for 30 seconds.
Bicycle Crunches: Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Twist upper body to your left and touch right elbow to left knee. Extend left leg straight, twist toward the right and bring right leg in. Touch left elbow to right knee. Do not touch your feet to the ground. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Cool Down: As long as you like
You may choose to repeat that workout three or four times for an intense 15 to 20 minute workout, or just once for an energy burst. When you are finished, take time to stretch out the muscles you used. This can be as short as a few minutes or as long as 20 minutes. Just relax and stretch.