Here are some ideas for those of you who only have a few minutes a day to exercise. Regardless of the hours you keep, here are some options for you to get in quick workouts that are both affective and will wake you up whether it is done in the AM or PM after dinner.
Wake up with Crunches – Here is an exercise that is JUST a little harder than sleeping and it WILL wake you up by doing simple movements:
Do a complete crunch cycle complete with the following:
Regular Crunch – 10-20 reps – Just lift shoulder blades off the floor
Reverse Crunch – 10-20 reps – Lift hips off the floor
Double Crunch – 10-20 reps – Lift BOTH hips / shoulders off the floor simultaneously
Left Crunches – 10-20 reps – Take right elbow to the left knee
Right Crunches -10-20 reps – Take left elbow to right knee
Bicycle Crunches – 10-20 reps – Take right/left elbow to left/right knee by bicycling the legs
Plank pose – 30-60 seconds
Stomach stretch – 30 seconds
This takes about 3-4 minutes to complete. Refer to this Lower Back Plan PDF provided by Stew Smith for detailed explanations of these exercises.
Jumping jacks / Pushups – Do 10 jumping jacks / 10 pushups and repeat the non-stop cycle 5-10 times, depending on your fitness level.
This takes 3-5 minutes if you push all 10 sets.
Jumping jacks/ Squats – If you want to add in a leg workout, try replacing pushups in option #2 with squats.
Multi-Joint Dumbbells (MJDBs) Exercises – With a set of dumbbells, mix in a few exercises into one movement:
Bicep curl, military press, tricep extensions – do 10-15 reps
Squats, bicep curl, military press, tricep extension – do 10-15 reps
Squat thrust, pushup x 5, stand up, bicep curl military press, tricep extension – 5-10 reps
If you select one of these to do, it only takes about 30 seconds per set. Mix in a few sets of each exercise and you have completed a challenging and effective full-body workout cycle. Visit Stew Smith’s website for detailed photos of how to perform these MJDB exercises.
Cardio option – You can skip all the above and just run, bike, walk, elliptical glide, or row for 15-20 minutes or you can add in a quick burst of cardio for the remaining time you have.
STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout. Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT, and many other military, law enforcement, and fire fighter professions. He is currently the Special Ops Team Coach at the US Naval Academy that prepares future candidates for SEAL, EOD, and MARSOC training and runs a non-profit called Heroes of Tomorrow where he trains people seeking tactical professions for free.