June 27, 2013

2.5 Minute “Arms Too Sore” Bodyweight Circuit

After yesterday’s post on what to do when you get free time, I ended up with a spare fifteen minutes between the end of my meetings and a client dinner. I was dangerously close to hitting up Twitter myself when I realized the hypocrisy of my plans – that was exactly the habit I was trying to avoid!

Instead, I realized that while I didn’t have time to hit the gym for a workout, I did have time for a quick workout in my hotel room before rinsing off, changing, and heading out to dinner. I decided to design (if that’s even the right word – this is so basic!) a bodyweight workout that could be done in 2.5 minutes, which I could then repeat six times to fill up the whole fifteen minutes. Since my arms were still sore from lifting the day before, I chose to omit the burpee and pushups that are usually staples of such bodyweight circuits, but added jumping jacks and punching so that my legs would still get a little break while my arms helped to keep my heart rate up high.

2.5 Minute 'Arms Too Sore' Circuit

A few notes about form for each of the exercises:

1. Jumping jacks should be done as fast as possible, with your arms going all the way above your head as if you were going to clap hands.

2. Air squats should be as low as you can go, while keeping your chest high. And again, speed is critical to really making this count.

3. Speedbag punches should be all-out jabs, with your arm returning to block your face in between each rep. To increase the burn on your abs, lean at the waist from side to side with each punch while keeping your feet steady.

4/5. Reverse lunges mean that the working leg goes back to hit the ground as both knees bend until your front knee makes a perfect right angle. To return to the start, push off the back leg and then bring that leg up and through (without touching the floor) to a high raised knee in front. Keeping the working leg off the floor except at the bottom of the lunge gives your standing leg more of a workout, since it has to balance, and the knee raise also acts as a crunch to further engage the abs. (Video here.)

I was super sweaty by the end of my 30 sets (five exercises times six rounds), which honestly surprised me a little given how basic it was. Furthermore, my legs are pretty sore today, so I’m proud of how I turned that short fifteen minute break into a solid workout! I’m definitely saving this for future use, particularly since with only 2.5 minutes, I can just keep repeating as needed for my desired workout time. Sometimes I have fifteen minutes and sometimes I only have five minutes, but now I can break a sweat either way!


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