Short on time? Want to know how to get the most bang for your buck with your workouts?

Having worked a lot with young moms who are crazy busy juggling life, and being a busy woman myself, I’ve learned how to make the most out of precious workout time. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get results. Its all about Quality, not Quantity. Your eating of course plays a huge role as well, but thats a discussion for another day. Whether you’re traveling and don’t have much equipment, or you have 30 minutes in between carpool pick ups, these are the tips I’ve discovered to get the most out of a quick workout.

1. More muscles = greater calorie burn.

Think of your muscles as calorie burners. Exercises that incorporate more muscles at once will burn more calories than an exercise that isolates a single muscle. For example, a squat with a shoulder press is going to burn a lot more calories than just sitting at a shoulder press machine and isolating the shoulder muscle.

Take away message: When you’re short on time, combine exercises to work multiple muscles at one time. We call these compound exercises.

2. The bigger muscle groups will burn more calories than smaller muscle groups.

This may seem obvious, but I thought I’d point it out anyway. Similar to my last tip, if muscles are calorie burners, the bigger ones will burn more calories right? The bigger the flame, the more heat it puts off. So for example, your legs and back are bigger muscle groups than your arms or abs. When you want to burn more calories quickly, add in some explosive leg movements to the workout, and combine a lower body movement when working your arms. For example, doing bicep curls from a wall sit position is a great way to add some extra calorie burning benefits.

Take away message: Work bigger muscle groups for a bigger calorie burn. Stay clear from single muscle isolation exercises if you’re short on time.

3. Minimise your rest time.

When you only have 1/2 hour you want to be working through as much of that 1/2 hour as you can! this means shortening the rest time in between workouts. HIIT and Tabata are great ways to get quick and effective workouts in with more work and less rest. With tabata you typically do 20-30 seconds full out intensity, with 10-15 seconds rest in between. This will keep your heart rate up through the entire workout. Avoid resting over 30 seconds between exercises. This means getting rid of distractions and committing yourself for the time you have.

Take away message: When you’re short on time, use it effectively, working more, resting less.

So there you have it! 3 easy tips to follow when creating an effective, time efficient workout. Now here’s a little circuit I put together using only your body weight, and maximising calorie burn with compound exercises, and incorporating larger muscle groups, with short rest times.

THE CIRCUIT: (do 45 seconds each, with 15 seconds rest in between)

• Plank with cross knee crunch (alternating legs)
• Forward and Back squat jumps
• Push up with a plank twist (alternating sides)
• Surfer Get ups (alternating sides)
Rest 30-40 seconds after each round. Repeat circuit 3 rounds for a 15 minute workout.

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