10 quick moves for a killer workout

Increasing amounts of homework, midterms not too far off and only 24 hours in a day – finding time for exercise during days like these can prove to be troublesome. But don’t fret! Here is a total-body sculpting workout for even the busiest of bees that can be done just about anywhere.

What you need: Water, comfortable clothing, tennis shoes, weights (for increased difficulty) and about 20 minutes.

Warm up: Start with 2-3 minutes cardio (jogging, high knees, jumping jacks, etc.). Then move on to a hamstring stretch, quad stretch, chest expansion stretch (breath in, bring arms up; breath out, expand chest, bring arms down; repeat for 3 breaths) and side stretch (bend right at the waist with left arm raised; switch sides and repeat).

Move one: Push-up.

Assume the plank position: legs together, back flat, hands directly under shoulders. Keep butt down, glutes and abs tight, elbows tight to the body. Lower down until elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Push back up to plank. Aim for 20-25 reps. Place knees on the floor to modify the move. To make the move more challenging, move hands inward, making a diamond shape underneath center of chest.

Move two: Lunges with arm raise.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, then step out with right foot and lunge. While lunging, lean forward so the bottom of the ribcage slightly touches the thigh. Bring both arms straight above head, then bring arms back down to sides and return to standing position. Repeat with left foot. Complete 20 reps. Hold a set of weights to make this move more difficult.

Move three: Bird-dog.

Start on hands and knees; knees underneath hips, wrists underneath shoulders. Keep back in neutral position (no excess arching or sagging). From this position raise right arm straight out parallel to floor, simultaneously lifting and straightening the left leg. Hold for one breath and return back to hands and knees; this is one rep. Repeat this move with the opposite arm and leg, and continue until 12 reps have been complete for each side.

Move four: Dead-lift squat.

With feet slightly wider than hips, squat down as if beginning to sit in a chair. Make sure knees do not bend past toes, keep weight on heels, and stick out butt, keeping the chest up. Squat until knees make a 90 degree angle with the floor, then come back up to start. Aim for 20 to 25 reps. To make this more challenging, explode up into a jump after lowering into the squat, landing softly on balls of feet and knees slightly bent to avoid injury.

Move Five: Plank.

Begin in basic push-up position, knees off floor. Engaging abs, back, and glutes hold this position for 1 minute. Try the three-point-plank for a challenge: Hold the same plank position, but lift each leg alternatively every 2 breaths.

Move Six: Chair dips.

Facing forward, place hands on the edge of a stationary chair or chair-height surface. Place feet hip-width apart in front of body. With elbows tight to the body and back straight, lower body down in front of chair until legs are at a 90 degree angle. Push up and repeat 20-30 times. To get a deeper burn keep legs straight, or with legs straight lift each leg alternatively every dip.

Move Seven: Squat run.

Begin in a squat position but with one foot in front of the other. Engage abs and move arms back and forth as if sprinting. After 30 seconds, switch feet. Get lower in the squat and hold a pair of weights to pump up the intensity.

Move Eight: Superman, banana.

Superman – lay on stomach with arms in front of you. Simultaneously raise both arms and both legs off the floor maintaining tightness throughout the entire body. Keep ears in line with arms. Banana – From superman position roll over onto back with arms and legs still up. Abdominal engagement is crucial here to maintain good form. Switch from superman to banana every 10 seconds for a total of one minute.

Move Nine: Calf raise squats. 

Perform a basic squat, but on the way up transition into a calf raise. Hold for one second and come back down to a standing position, then lower back into squat. Repeat 20-25 times. Hold a set of weights to maximize difficulty.

Move Ten: Steam engine.

In standing position, place hands behind head. Lift right knee to hip height or higher and touch left elbow to right knee. Try to keep chest up and abs engaged. Switch knee and elbow. One rep equals a knee raise on both sides. Aim for 30-50 reps at moderate pace.

Cool Down: Lightly jog in place, slowing down to a march to lower heart rate. Perform hamstring, calf, quad, and glute stretches. Come to hands and knees for cat stretch: sag back down breathing in, arch back upward and breath out; repeat two more times. Transition to upward dog stretch for the abs: lying on stomach push up until arms are fully extended, legs and hips remaining on floor. Last, transition into child’s pose: Arms out in front of body, sit back onto heels, forehead facing the floor.

For best results this routine should be completed three times a week with at least one day between sessions, along with a consistent cardio routine. Don’t forget drink plenty of water during the exercises, and eat smart!

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