Working out on  a time crunch Working out isn’t so much about how long you take, but rather how much work you do

Coach Jason Chipato

One of the biggest hindrances to maintaining a workout programme consistently is making the time to put in the work. This doesn’t always have to be a challenge, because working out isn’t so much about how long you take but rather how much work you do.

Below are some bodyweight exercises you can do if you are on a time crunch and haven’t got much equipment:

 1. Tricep Dips

Sit on the edge of a stable chair, weight bench, or step and grip the edge next to your hips. Your fingers should be pointed at your feet, your legs extended, and your feet about hip-width apart, with the heels touching the ground. Look straight ahead with your chin up.

Press into your palms to lift your body and slide forward just far enough that your behind clears the edge of the chair.

Lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees. Control the movement throughout the range of motion.

Push yourself back up slowly until your arms are almost straight, and repeat.

 2. Push-ups

Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. 

Straighten your arms and legs. 

Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. 

Pause, then push yourself back up. 


 3. Towel Row 

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart holding a household towel with both hands wrapped around an upright post. Leaning back at a slight angle with both arms extended out, proceed to pull yourself toward the post until your hands reach your ribs. Then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

 4. Odd Object Bent Over Row

Start in the bent position, holding an odd object in both hands (for resistance), with the arms extended down toward the floor. To start, pull your arm until your hands reach your ribs. Then slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. 

 5. Dynamic Plank Tap

Assume a push-up position (body straight from head to heels) but with your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. 

Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your forearms should be parallel.

Without rounding your back, raise your right foot and rotate your hips as you draw your right knee forward diagonally under your body, tapping it with your left hand.

Return to the starting position, and repeat, alternating between both sides.

 6. Corkscrew

Lie on your back with your legs together and your arms on the floor by your sides (palms down).

Raise your legs so that they’re perpendicular to the floor. This is the starting position.

Keeping your head and shoulders on the floor, raise your hips and twist them to the right so that your legs rotate in the same direction.

Return to the starting position, and repeat, alternating between both sides.

 7. Reverse lunges

Start by standing straight and bracing your core muscles. 

Then take a giant step backward with your left foot. Bend your right knee until it’s at 90°, and lower your left knee until it is also bent at a right angle. 

Then push back up and return to the starting position.

Make sure you keep your torso upright throughout the movement. You can opt to alternate legs with your reps or do all of them on one leg before switching to the other.

 8. Jump Squats 

Stand with the feet shoulder width and knees slightly bent.

Bend your knees and descend to a full squat position.

Engage through the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and propel the body up and off the floor, extending through the legs. With the legs fully extended, the feet will be a few inches (or more) off the floor.

Descend and control your landing by going through your foot (toes, ball, arches, heel) and descend into the squat again for another explosive jump.

Upon landing immediately repeat the next jump.

Time Crunch workout suggestion:

Take exercises 1,3,5 & 7 and do five rounds of 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest for each exercise. 

This full-body workout should take you no more than 30 minutes. 

Coach Jason is a fitness trainer at Invictus Fitness Centre at Westgate Centre in Harare.

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