Guess what the #1 reason is that people give for not working out? Not enough time. We all know what that's like. Between work, family and social obligations it can certainly feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, especially that one hour workout that you intended to do.
I have a solution. How about a four minute full body workout? Now, I'm not suggesting that anyone ever got in the best shape of their lives by working out for four minutes day. I'm saying for those days when life gets in the way, a quick four minute workout can help boost your energy levels, release those feel-good endorphins and help you get in a little strength and cardio training to maintain your fitness.
This is a twist on a Tabata-style workout. Traditional Tabata workouts push as hard as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. In this version you will perform the moves for 20 seconds then do an isometric hold for 10 seconds. Repeat four times with a one minute rest between sets and in only 20 minutes you'll get in 4 sets of a full body workout.
Starting with your feet hip width apart push your hips back and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor, like you are sitting back in a chair, or as low as your flexibility allows. In the low position, engage your core, squeeze your glutes and push up to standing. Take a deep breath in as your lower to the squat and breath out as you return up to standing.
Repeat for 20 seconds then hold in the low squat position for 10 seconds.
Start in a high plank position with your hands placed a little wider than your shoulders. Keeping your body in a straight line, while engaging your core bend your elbows slowly to lower your chest to the floor. Once in the low position, push back up to the starting position. If this is too challenging, drop to your knees.
Repeat for 20 seconds then hold in the low position for 10 seconds.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause at the top then slowly lower your hips back to the floor.
Repeat for 20 seconds then hold the bridge position for 10 seconds.
Start in a high straight arm plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders with your legs wider than hip width for stability. Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to ankles while engaging your core. Do not allow your hips to hike up or sag down. Quickly bring your right leg, then your left leg in to touch your elbows.
Repeat for 20 seconds then hold the high plank position for 10 seconds.
LUNGES (EACH LEG)
With your feet hip width apart and your toes pointed straight ahead, hold your core stable with your back straight and take one large step with your right leg to lunge forward until your front knee is lined up over your ankle, your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your back knee is nearly touching the floor. Do not allow your knee to go past your toes. Use your right leg to push back up to standing in the same position as you started.
Repeat for 20 seconds then hold in lunge position for 10 seconds. Change legs.
SIDE PLANK DIPS
Start in a side elbow plank position with your elbow directly under your shoulders. Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to ankles while engaging your core. Lower your hips to the ground to "dip" then return to side plank position.
Repeat for 20 seconds then hold in side plank position for 10 seconds. Do not allow your hips to hike up or sag down while performing the isometric hold. Repeat on other side.
Can you find four minutes in your day to give it a try? If you do, let me know what you think!