It would be great if every time we worked out we had all the time we wanted, but we all know, that is not how the “real world” works. Some days we are just lucky to make it to the gym at all, and as I always say, something is better than nothing— even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes!
When I am short on time, I want to hit the most muscles in the least amount of time. Here are three moves that work a lot of muscles and can give you a big calorie burn.
I always start with deadlifts when I am short on time, because they are incredibly good at working LOTS of muscles. They work your hamstrings, glutes, back, shoulders, arms— you name it. I choose the stiff-leg variation, but you can do any you are comfortable with— Romanian, sumo, etc. For set-up on stiff-leg deadlifts, you can view my previous article, “Build Your Glutes with Deadlifts“.
I just learned these from CrossFit Milford Owner/Coach Jason Leydon during our filming for our video series “Mix It Up with Crossfit,” and I love them. They work quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs, low back, chest, shoulders, arms— everything! Choose a weighted ball you’re comfortable with and position yourself in front of a wall and squat down, keeping the weight in your heels, and then push up, extending your arms and tossing the ball about eight to 10 feet up the wall. Catch the ball, return to a squat position and repeat.
These are one of my favorites— again, they work about every muscle in your body. Get into a push-up position, and swing one leg across your body to the outside. Return the leg and repeat with other leg.
I just did this circuit recently, and here is what I did:
15 reps of stiff-leg deadlifts
Rest 30 seconds
10 wall balls
Rest 30 seconds
10 (each side) grasshoppers
Rest one minute and then repeat
Except to be a little out of breath, but have fun!