Even if you are a die-hard, committed fitness enthusiast, there are still days where you may not have the time to get a full one-hour (or more) of exercise. But you really do not need an hour to get an effective workout. By combining the right type of exercises with all out effort, you can easily burn 300 calories in less than thirty minutes. The key is to give it your all in terms of intensity, speed and using heavy weights. Here is a great twenty five-minute circuit that will hit every muscle group while getting your heart rate up at the same time.
Do the following exercises for forty-five seconds, but resting only fifteen seconds between each one. When you complete the circuit, rest for one minute and then repeat the circuit two more times.
- Burpees: Both hated and loved at the same time, this full-body exercise is a great start to your circuit (and it gets a real tough one out of the way early on). If you are feeling really strong, perform chest-to-the-floor burpees.
- Squats with Shoulder Presses: This multi-muscle exercise works both your upper and lower body, not to mention your core. Keep your abdominals tight throughout the full forty-five seconds and be sure to press the weights overhead as you are coming up from your squat.
- Renegade Rows with Push-ups: Perform a push-up between each one-arm row. Working opposing muscle groups is a great way to get more bang for your buck in a shorter amount of time. This exercise can be modified and done on your knees rather than your toes.
- Alternating Reverse or Forward Lunges with Bicep Curls: With this exercise, you have the option of doing either forward lunges or reverse lunges. Some people find forward lunges bother their knees. Reverse lunges are still effective and when paired with bicep curls, it certainly will not feel any easier.
- Mountain Climbers: Do not make the mistake of popping your butt in the air while doing mountain climbers. Maintain a perfect push-up position while bringing your knees all the way into your chest as fast as you can.
- Plyometric Lunge with Hop Squat: Prepare your quads and glutes for a lot of work on this one. Alternate between one jumping lunge and a hop squat. Start with a jump squat but land in a lunge position with one leg forward and one leg back. Jump up and land into another squat. Then jump up again and land in a lunge position with your other leg forward. Keep alternating between the squats and alternating lunges.
- Tricep Push-ups: Unlike traditional push-ups, your arms and elbows will be close to your body—close enough that the inside of your arms brush against your body as you lower yourself to the ground. Try them first with your knees on the ground. As you get stronger, perform them on your toes like a regular push-up.
- Box Jumps: Use a step/bench/box that is at least a foot high and jump up onto it and then jump off of it. Go as fast as you can while maintaining perfect form as you land. Be sure that you are landing completely on top without your heels hanging off the edge. You also want to focus on using your abs to bring your knees up when you jump up onto the platform.
Be sure to warm up for at least five minutes before you begin this circuit. After that, go full throttle lifting, jumping and pressing your way to reach your fitness goals. Again, keep the weights heavy, the movements quick and the rest periods to only fifteen seconds. Because this circuit is short, it is important to use maximum effort. Once you are done, you will be glad that it lasted only twenty-five minutes!