Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining a tone physique. If your goal is to gain muscle or lose weight, you have to ramp up the intensity, duration, or frequency if you want to see progress. Spending hours in the gym every week may not be feasible for you, though. How do you hurdle over that obstacle but stay true to your fitness goals? That’s where quick-hit workouts enter the equation.
Although it doesn’t seem like it, you don’t have to work out for several hours a day to maximize your results. You can complete an effective workout if you are short on time. The high-intensity nature of the workout helps elevate your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. Plus, the following exercises work your major muscle groups without the need for any equipment. Below, we’ll detail how to correctly do the exercises and then explain how to fit them into the quick-hit workouts.
Begin in a standing position with your feet just wider than hip-distance apart. Engage your core and keep your back straight as you sit back, almost as if you are sitting back onto a chair. Keep your knees facing forward and make sure they don’t extend beyond your toes. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, engage your glutes and drive through your heels to return to the starting position.
Stand up straight in front of a box or bench and place your right foot on the box/bench in front of you. Your knee and hips should be at a 90-degree angle. Engage your core and draw your navel into your body. Squeezing your right glutes and hamstring, step up onto the box, pressing through your left calf as your left foot leaves the ground. Once you stand tall on the box/bench, slowly lower yourself back down, pushing your hips back first. Keep your right foot on the box and repeat for reps before switching to the other leg.
Get into a side plank position by laying down on your right side, stacking your left leg on top of your right. Place your forearm on the ground perpendicular to your body, keeping your elbow directly under your shoulder. Press through your forearm and engage your core to press your body off the ground, maintaining a straight line from your left shoulder down to your left foot. Don’t let your hips sag or rotate towards the floor.
Get into a push-up position, placing your hands beneath your shoulders and feet extended behind you so that you’re on your toes. Engage your core to maintain a line from your head to your heels and don’t let your hips sag. Keep your elbows at 45 degrees to the body as you lower yourself down to the ground. Touch your chest to the ground and then engage your chest, triceps, and shoulders to press back up to the starting position.
Grab a pull-up bar with your hands supinated, meaning your palms face your body when you grab the bar. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart on the bar. Drop your shoulders and engage your lats and lower abdominals, ensuring that you do not arch your lower back. Use your traps, lats, and biceps to pull yourself up, making sure that your shoulders aren’t raised up by your ears. Focus on bringing your chest to the bar and then lower yourself down in a controlled manner.
Now that you have the exercises, you need to know how to incorporate them into a quick-hit workout. Below, you’ll find three different quick-hit routines that help torch calories and build muscle.
On The Minute (OTM) Workout
This workout skips the side plank, but you can still incorporate that exercise into a short warm-up routine. For the first variation of your OTM workout, perform eight squats and eight chin-ups every minute. That means that, beginning with the first minute, you’ll complete the squats and chin-ups, and then rest for the remainder of the minute before starting again. If it takes you 40 seconds to complete both exercises, you’ll have 20 seconds to rest before starting again. As the rounds progress, it will take you longer to complete the exercises, which means less rest. Aim to perform six to eight rounds, maintaining proper form throughout.
For your second OTM workout, perform six reps of push-ups and step-ups every minute for six to eight rounds. If you want to do both OTM workouts in the same day, consider doing one in the morning and one at night.
After a short warm-up routine, perform all of the five exercises detailed in this article. Aim to move from one exercise to the next as quickly as possible, resting 30 seconds to one minute between exercises. Once you complete all of the exercises, rest for two minutes before starting the next round. You can perform the circuit for a set number of rounds, three to five rounds being ideal. Record your work so that you can try to beat the numbers as you progress. Try to complete 8-12 squats, 20-30-second side planks per side, 6-10 chin-ups, 8-10 step-ups, and 8-12 push-ups.
Even-Odd Countdown (EOC) Workout
Just like the OTM workouts, the EOC workout doesn’t include side planks, but you can throw them into your warm-up. For the first EOC workout, complete 10 squats and then 10 chin-ups, followed by eight squats and eight chin-ups, counting down until you finish with two reps of each exercise. Rest for a couple minutes before going back up to nine reps and counting down until you finish with one rep per exercise. For the second EOC workout, use the same format as the first, but use step-ups and push-ups as the exercises.
Don’t forget to track your progress for all of the OTM, circuit, and EOC workouts. If using your bodyweight becomes too easy, add resistance by using a dumbbell, barbell, or resistance band.