Who doesn’t want to be more efficient when they exercise? Kill two birds with one stone kind of thing. In today’s day and age, it seems everyone wants to save time any chance they can get. So, how do they do that with exercising either in or out of the gym? The key is to find exercises that work multiple body parts and target more than just one area of the body. Not only does an individual burn more overall calories doing this, but it is also more time-efficient. So, after a 45-minute workout an individual who exercises this way will have burned twice as many calories and impacted more muscles all over doing the right moves. Below are five options that can do this. The key with anything – especially exercise – is consistency. Being consistent will gain someone more results than killing it one week and slacking the following three weeks. Just keep that in mind.
Let us start with a basic one: Walking.
Walking is an exercise that can be done anywhere at any time. Whether traveling or squeezing in a quick walk at lunch, it is extremely versatile and simple to do. Some like to add 2-5 lb. ankle weights that can easily be purchased at a local sporting goods store. This will help to tone up the leg areas all over. While walking, stop every 10-15 minutes and do leg kickbacks (basically, gently lifting the leg behind to about 45 degrees). Do 20 repetitions per side, and this will tone the glute muscles. Holding 2-5 lb. dumbbells in each hand while walking helps to improve arm tone as well. Bicep curls and other upper body moves may be added either while walking or by stopping to do them every 10 minutes. This provides all over body tone and targets so many muscles that there is no need for a gym workout later.
This brings us to option number two: Bodyweight Squats.
Ok, Ok. Most people know what squats are and many people dislike them, but they are some of the best overall toners that can be done. Squats firm the quads, hamstrings, calf muscles, glute and core areas. Add in some shoulder presses while doing them, and multiple areas are covered. These can also be done anywhere. If ambitious, add weights for an extra burn. Otherwise, bodyweight squats do the trick. Just make sure form is superb and get those repetitions in (25-30 is optimal).
Number three in the line-up is Elliptical Training.
Doing more weight-bearing exercises helps to achieve great results, but there are other things that can be done for all-over toning. The Elliptical is one of the options. This machine – if access to a gym is available – is a great overall toner, especially the machines where a person’s arms move at the same time. Do this 3-4 times a week for 35-45 minutes and up the resistance as ability increases, and this is a great bang-for-your-buck exercise.
Another favorite toning exercise is Skater Jumps:
Skater Jumps are a great move. They can also be done anywhere there is a bit of space. Basically, one starts in a semi squat position and transfers their weight quickly to one side as they bring the other leg behind them (as if skating or rollerblading). The individual just taps that foot behind them and quickly shifts their weight to the other leg in a hop-like motion, repeating the same move on the opposite leg. Aim for 20-25 reps per leg for a total of 3-4 sets. This is a great full body move as it targets the entire leg area, glutes and even the upper body with arms swinging to the side that is landed on. Think of an Olympic speed skater and how they move from side to side.
Last, but not least, since we are approaching summertime is Swimming.
Swimming is an excellent sport. Ever see those swimmers in the Olympics? They are nothing short of ripped in every way. Swimming is one of the few sports that targets everything; add in water resistance for a built-in double whammy. Swimming is a great pick for anyone who might have joint issues or similar types of injuries. Due to the non-weight bearing aspect of being in water, not much impact is put on the joints, yet resistance occurs from the water. There are many different strokes (different strokes for different folks, right?) that one can do, and they are all good. Pick one that can be enjoyed or that is done best and have at it. It is recommended to do at least 20-30 minutes of swimming be it laps or exercises in a pool. There are many exercises one can do in the shallow end of a pool; here are a few: squats, leg lifts holding onto the side of the pool, kickbacks, pushups against the wall, arm exercises working against the water resistance.
So, there they are: Five exercises to start with to get that summer body going. Do any of these 3-4 times a week and turn into a champion (at least a bit more toned and conditioned). Be sure to get plenty of water and rest, too. Happy Summer!