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Whenever we get busy, the first thing to usually go is our workout routine, even though it helps us cope mentally with our crazy schedule. Luckily, F45’s Lauren Vickers says you only need 10 minutes to get a killer workout.
It can be a slippery slope. We gradually try to squeeze more into our days and slowly but surely sending us into the time-poor category. Generally, the first thing that gets sacrificed is our daily workout, even when we know it should be something we prioritise.
If you’re in the perpetually busy crowd and finding it increasingly difficult to get your 45-minute workout, you may want to consider breaking up your training into “workout snacks” throughout the day.
Keeping more active throughout the day overall instead of spending hours on end glued to your computer screen can have some great health benefits and even help to clear your brain from the Zoom-fog that’s been looming.
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The best thing about workout snacks is that they can be squeezed in between your other appointments and give you a chance to re-energise yourself for whatever is coming up. You can simply just run one round, or if you find yourself with a little extra time, run through the sequence two to three times. Get your fav crew in the office to join you on your lunch break or before a weekly WIP meeting.
This not only maximises your time but gets the blood pumping, encourages joint mobility and when you come back to your work tasks, you may feel a renewed sense of creativity and productivity from all of those feel-good endorphins bouncing around in your body.
Personally, I love quick HIITs. High-intensity interval training in short bursts throughout the day is especially helpful when you can invite one or more of your colleagues along and boost a little team bonding.
Here are some of my favourite exercises. They can be done pretty much anywhere and can also be tailored to fitness levels or your environment. Slow them down for extra focus on muscle activation and stabilisation or pick up the pace to get a little sweat on and work off your Mondayitis.
The 10-minute workout
Optional: Grab a towel, a mat and a water bottle.
40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest.
Do 1 set of each of the exercises, and then repeat once more through the exercise sequence.
Single leg deadlift
Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward at the hips and send one leg backward while reaching the opposite hand towards the floor. Keep the core tight to help with your balance, and squeeze the glutes of your standing leg to come back to the starting position. Do one whole set on one leg and then remember to change for the second lap. You can add a water bottle, handbag, or shopping bag for a bit of an extra challenge.
Reverse lunge with overhead reach
Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Take an exaggerated step backward with one leg, keeping the same stance width for balance. As you sink down to get your front knee to about 90 degrees, raise your arms overhead so that they are in line with your ears. Take a deep breath and come back to standing, alternating legs as you go.
10 x mountain climbers + 2 x push ups
Come to a high plank position and draw one knee towards the opposite elbow. Repeat on alternating sides for 10 reps, then keeping the core tight and the body in one long straight line, lower into a push-up. If you need to take a regression here, drop to your knees in the push-up.
Dynamic side plank rotations
Take a kneeling side plank position and “thread” one arm through the gap under your rib cage, then with control, swing upwards taking the arm to the sky and keeping the midline of your body in one long line, with your eyes following your hand. Do one full set on one side, and then remember to switch for the next lap. To progress this, you can go into a full side plank instead of the kneeling modification.
Lie on your back and nod your chin towards your chest, activating the core and supporting the head with your hands. Take the elbow to the opposite knee and concentrate on squeezing through the obliques. Alternate sides at a steady pace for the whole set.
Lauren Vickers is the F45 Athletics team manager.