Sometimes, even when we’ve got the best intentions in the world, we just haven’t got the time to commit to exercising that we’d really like. Whether it’s work commitments, studying for an assignment, looking after our family or anything else, there aren’t always enough hours in the day to crack out a lengthy workout session. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t still work up a quick sweat and get your heartrate up. With that in mind, the team here at Elite Outdoor Fitness Academy, providers of Essex boot camp training, has put together this list of five great exercises you can do for when you’re short on time. By clicking here, you can also download our free fitness guide and get a 7-day training pass completely free!
Loved and loathed by the fitness community in equal measures, burpees are the workout world’s marmite. Even their biggest haters, however, can’t deny what a good exercise they are – especially when you’re short on time. Something we routinely throw into our Essex boot camp training sessions, burpees are amongst the simplest bodyweight exercises to carry out but ones that are deceptively difficult to keep churning out, especially with proper form. How to do them, then?
From a standing position, squat down as deeply as you can and then put your hands out just in front of your feet. Then, once in this position, jump your feet back (either into a plank position – see exercise no. 2 – or completely down onto the floor). Once here, jump your feet back forwards so that you’re back into a squat position and thrust yourself, finally, into a jump. This should be one continuous, smooth motion so that when your feet land back from the jump you transition straight into the squat phase of your next burpee. These are a killer but they’re so, so good for you!
If you’re looking for an easy way to get your core engaged and firing, then the plank is a classic move to go for. Start by lying face-down on a mat with either your hands beneath your shoulders or your forearms. Then, again depending on which you find more comfortable, extend your arms straight and raise your body off the ground or prop yourself up on your forearms; with both methods, the aim is to keep your body in a straight line down your body and hold the position for as long as possible.
Try not to let your bum raise up too much or your midriff to sag down so that your back ends up shaped like a hollow. You can also try and mix your plank routine up by throwing in some variations like the side plank, for example. Although simple, these exercises give your core a good workout; we use our core more than almost any other part of our body so a strong core will extend to other parts of your physical health, as well!
One of the most inexpensive but most effective pieces of physical training equipment, the humble skipping rope has been used by boxers, swimmers and all sorts of other athletes for hundreds of years. Skipping is a great cardiovascular exercise which not only gets your heart-rate going, but also helps improve coordination and concentration as well. Even a short skipping rope workout can really activate your lower bod as well as your core. Plus, if you stick at it, then you’ll end up impressing your friends and your family with your coordination! Hand the rope over to them and they might manage just a few skips before tripping (like we all do when we first start out)!
If you’re not a fan of getting your face all close and acquainted with the ground by doing burpees, then jump squats are a great alternative. They’re as simple an exercise to perform as the name suggests. Just squat down and then explode upwards into a jump. Upon touching back down from the giddy heights of a few inches in the air, sink back into a deep squat and repeat. We warn you, if you’re unused to doing these then be prepared for your legs to feel like lead a couple of days after… But don’t let that put you off, because these exercises will help work up a sweat as well as creating legs of steel.
A staple of military boot camps and training regimes, this is one of the most ancient bodyweight exercises known to man. Whether you call them push-ups or press-ups, you’ll almost certainly know what we’re talking about. In case you don’t, however, here’s how you perform them. As your starting position, adopt the form of the plank mentioned earlier, with your arms extended straight beneath your shoulders. Now, lower your body down until your chest almost (but doesn’t) touches the floor. Hold this position for a moment before pushing back off the ground and extending your arms until you’re back in the original position - that’s one!
This is a great exercise to work your chest, triceps and core; if you find that you’re unable to perform the push-up in the position described above, then don’t worry! Carry out the same movement but instead of having your body extended plank-style, have your knees on the ground to take some of the weight off the movement. If you can’t tell, we’re big fans of the classics in our Essex boot camp training sessions, and it doesn’t get much more classic than this!
If you’d like to carry out some of these fun exercises in a group environment, then how about looking into our Essex boot camp training? With a dedicated outdoor space, private parking, a no-pressure environment and qualified personal trainers, we’re the perfect place for people looking to get active without any extra faff! Call Elite Outdoor Fitness Academy today on 01702 232 470 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To try out 7 days of training absolutely free, sign up here!