By Gwen Beckom
Getting in shape does not mean you have to spend hours at the gym, but how to train when there is no time can make a big difference. A secret to getting in shape and feeling great is prioritizing your health and fitness into small, frequent windows of available time. Here is a speedy 20-minute workout using sculpting moves that shape specific muscle fibers which, when targeted, tone, firm, and keep your metabolism revved up to increase your calorie burn throughout the day.
The following seven moves performed at 12 to 15 repetitions, with little to no rest, becomes one set. In 20 minutes, you can complete two sets.
Do a quick 3-minute warm up by marching in place.
Lie face up on a bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand so they are end to end. Extend your arms over your chest without locking your elbows. Lift your legs and bend them so your calves are almost parallel to the floor. This will engage your core for added benefit. Bend your elbows out to the sides and slowly lower your arms toward your chest until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Keep your abs tight and your back flat, pause for a second, and then press the weights up, extending your arms directly above your chest.
Sumo Squat with Dumbbell
Stand with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing out to the sides as far as comfortably possible. Hold a pair of dumbbells at your hips. Keeping your heels firmly planted, slowly bend your knees, dipping your butt until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, then slowly straighten your legs and immediately rise up on the balls of your feet for a calf raise. Pause, and then lower your heels back to start.
Bent Over Row
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, and knees slightly bent for support. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your back straight, bend 90 degrees from the waist and allow your arms to hang toward the floor, with your palms facing inward. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and bend your elbows, raising the dumbbells up to either side of your torso. Pause, and then lower the dumbbells back to the start position.
Sit on an exercise ball, chair or bench with your feet flat on the floor and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward from your hips, keeping your back flat and abs tight. Bend your elbows slightly and raise the weights up to near shoulder level, squeezing your shoulder blades behind you. Return to the beginning position.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your sides. Keeping your elbows in this position, lift the dumbbells upward. Turn your wrists so the dumbbells end up at chest height with your palms facing your body. Pause, then lower.
Triceps Chair Dips
Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair, hands grasping the seat of the chair at either side of your rear. Walk your feet out slightly and inch your butt off the chair. Keeping your shoulders down and your back straight, bend your elbows back and lower your butt toward the floor as far as comfortably possible. Slowly push back up.
Stand with your left foot 2 to 3 feet in front of your right, with the back right heel off the floor. Bend both knees, lowering your hips until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Without leaning forward and keeping your abs tight, straighten your legs by raising your torso. Pause, then lower. Switch legs to repeat.
Small periods of physical activity can add-up and influence our health and fitness in big ways. You gain flexibility, burn more calories, look sleeker, and feel better when you are active and exercising.
—Gwen Beckcom is the owner of Fitness Together, at 619-794-0014. Follow their blog at BetterBodySanDiego.com.