Our lives can get really busy, there’s no question about that. And for most of us, when we get busy, one of the first things to go by the wayside is our workout. Because let’s face it, a 45-minute workout means an extra 15 minutes to get ready and get to the gym, 15 minutes to shower and change quick, and before you know it, it’s an hour and 15 minutes later and you’re rushing to your next meeting. That’s why it’s so easy for us to skip workouts, because they can truly get in the way.
So if you’re short on time, and really only have one hour to get ready, exercise, and then shower, here are the 3 best exercises to do when you only have a half hour.
Ever see that weird barbell-looking thing in the gym that looks like a metal hexagon with two poles sticking out of either side? That’s called a Hex Bar (or Trap Bar, depending on who you ask).
This contraption is one of the best full-body pieces of equipment you can use in the gym. Why? Because if performed correctly, it’s a leg workout, a back workout, a core workout, a forearm workout, and a shoulder workout. That’s a lot of workouts in one.
Now this exercise can also be dangerous if not performed correctly, so make sure you take the time to learn it right. And when you are ready, doing this exercise for 5 sets of 5 repetitions with as heavy weight as you can with perfect form, you’ll have a 15-minute part of your workout that’s sure to sore.
Medicine Ball Squat and Overhead Throw
Grab a medicine ball with a medium weight and a wall, and you’re in for a treat. Begin by facing the wall holding the medicine ball at your chest. Make sure to stand about 3 feet away from the wall.
Squat down so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, then press through the middle of your foot to a stand, and as you make your way up, throw the medicine ball up overhead to hit the highest point of the wall in front of you as you can. Catch the ball lightly as you begin to squat down again, and repeat.
At high rep ranges (performing about 12 to 15 repetitions per set) this exercise is another full-body blaster. From the leg and core workout from your squat, to a shoulder and upper chest workout to throw the ball overhead, plus the high repetitions making your cardio vascular system work hard, this does it all.
Follow up this exercise with any pulling motion for a few sets, and you’ve got yourself a killer half hour.
Step Ups with Dumbbell Curl and Overhead Press
For this last exercise, we’re going to use a method called compounding, where the finishing position of an exercise becomes the starting position for the next exercise to be performed immediately after.
For this exercise, begin with two dumbbells in hand standing in front of a bench about knee height. Step one foot onto the bench, ensuring that it is firmly planted with your whole foot on the bench. Press through your heel while holding the dumbbells at your sides to stand up on the bench. Finish with both feet on the bench.
Then, curl the dumbbells up with your palms facing away from you. Finally, from a fully curled position (your palms will now be facing toward you at about shoulder height), rotate your hands outward so that you are holding the dumbbells just outside your shoulders with your palms facing away from you. Press the dumbbells over your head so that your elbows are fully extended.
Reverse the motion completely so that the dumbbells are back at your sides, then step down from the bench and repeat on the other side.
If paired with a pulling or pushing motion, you will have yourself a half hour full body workout while hitting almost every muscle group.