The 30–Minute Fitness Blitz: Think you don’t have time to work out? You do. It’s the intensity of your workout that’s key. A short–burst, high–intensity workout boosts your metabolism and tones muscles. Get moving with this 30–minute “quickie” routine that includes cardio and resistance training.
If you’re new to exercise, a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55, or have a health problem, check with your doctor before starting a fitness program.
Beginner Squats: For Thighs
If you’re new at this, get started with a beginner version of squats using an exercise ball. Stand against a wall with the ball at your lower back, feet hip-width apart and out in front. Keeping your body upright, slowly lower your body by bending at the hips and knees, dropping glutes toward the floor; slowly move back to the starting position. Do 10 times.
Squats: For Thighs
Once you’re ready, try squats without an exercise ball. For good form: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down, keeping your knees over your ankles. In the “wrong” picture, notice how the knees are too far forward.
To target more muscle groups in less time, add an overhead press at the same time. With a dumbbell in each hand, rise from the squat position and push weights overhead, palms out. Do 10 times.
Forward Lunge: For Thighs
Standing with feet hip-width apart, take a big step forward with one leg, then lower your body toward the floor, front knee aligned with ankle, back knee pointing to the floor. Return to the starting position, and repeat by stepping forward with the other leg. For more challenge, hold a free weight in both hands and complete the lunge with a rotation in the torso, twisting the body toward the forward leg. Do 10 times on each side.
Deadlift: For Hamstrings
To do a deadlift holding a bar or free weights, stand up straight with feet hip-width apart. Bend at your hips, moving the hips backward as you lower your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep your legs straight without locking the knees, and keep the back level and the spine in neutral. Lower the weight to just below your knees, then slowly return to the starting position. Do 10 times.
Bridge: For Glutes
The bridge works the glutes (butt), hamstrings, and core. Lying on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart, peel your spine off the floor, starting at the tailbone, forming a diagonal line from knees down to shoulders.
Slowly return to the starting position. For an extra challenge: Target your triceps by holding light weights, lifting your arms toward the ceiling as you raise your hips. Bend your elbows to lower the weights towards the floor. Do 10 times.
Push-Ups: For Chest and Core
Let’s move to the upper body. Push-ups strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. Starting on all fours, place hands a bit wider than your shoulders. Place toes on the floor, creating a smooth line from shoulders to feet.
Keeping core muscles engaged, lower and lift your body by bending and straightening your elbows. Too hard? Place knees on the floor instead of toes. To boost the workout, add an exercise ball under the hips, knees, or feet. Do 10 times.
Chest Press: For the Chest
For a less demanding exercise than push-ups, you can try the chest press with weights. Lie face-up on a bench, with knees bent or feet on the floor, spine relaxed. Press a bar or dumbbells from your chest toward the ceiling.
Extend your arms but don’t lock the elbows, and move slowly in both directions, keeping shoulder blades on the bench. For an extra challenge, do the chest press with your head and upper back on an exercise ball. Do 10 times 🙂 🙂