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Effective Exercises & A Workout Schedule For People With Little Time

The following exercises give you a maximum workout in very little time and the great news is that they target each major muscle group in your body for a total workout in a very short amount of time. These are designed to get into shape, for strength training and for maintenance depending on the amount of weight you apply and the amount of sets and reps.

Start with the lightest weights if you are a beginner and work your way up to the highest amount of weight. Beginners should do 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps. Muscle building should entail 2 to 5 sets of 6 to 10 reps and strength training goals should do 8 sets of 1 to 5 reps.

Barbell Squats

Barbell squats target your legs, body core and glutes. They are performed with a 40 to 150 pound barbell over the back of your shoulders.

For safety purposes, you should perform this exercise inside a squat rack. Set the bar on a rack that is the same height as your shoulders. Load the bar and then step under the bar and place the back of both shoulders across it. Hold on to the bar with both hands and lift it off the rack by pushing with your legs and straightening your torso.

Step away from the rack and stand with a narrow stance with your legs closer together than shoulder width and your toes pointed slightly outward. Keep your eyes forward and don’t look down or you will be off balance while keeping your back straight.

Slowly lower the bar while you bend your knees with eyes forward and your back straight. Continue bending until your legs are bent slightly less than 90 degrees. Inhale while doing this portion of the exercise.

Exhale and begin to raise the bar by pushing the floor with the heels of your feet as you straighten your legs and go back to the starting position of a narrow stance.

Barbell Overhead Presses

This exercise targets your shoulders, core and arms and is performed with a 40 to 100 pound barbell over the chest with your hands just in front of your shoulders.

Place a barbell about chest height on a squat rack and load your weights. Grab the barbell with your palms facing forward and grip the bar wider than your shoulder width.

Bend your knees slightly and set the barbell on your collarbone. Lift the barbell up while keeping it on your chest. Take a step backwards and position your feet at shoulder width from each other.

Lift the barbell over your head by locking your arms. Hold the barbell at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.

Lower the bar down to your collarbone slowly as you inhale and then lift the bar back up to the starting position while you exhale.

Dumbbell Bent Rows

This barbell exercise targets your back, core and biceps and is performed with a 20 to 80 pound dumbbell in alternating hands.

Choose a flat bench and place a dumbbell on each side of it on the floor. Place your right leg on top of the bench with your weight on your right knee. Bend forward from your torso until your upper half of your body is parallel to the floor. Place your right hand on the bench in front of your right knee.

Pick up the dumbbell on the left side of the bench with your left hand. Keep your lower back straight and face the palm of your left hand toward your torso. This is the starting position.

Pull the dumbbell straight up to the left side of your chest while keeping your upper arm close to your side and your torso stationary. Breathe out as you perform this part of the exercise. Make sure that you use the force of your back muscles and not your arms. Keep your upper torso straight and only move the arm.

Lower the dumbbell straight down to the starting position with your arm extended fully downward toward the floor. Breathe in as you do this step.

Repeat the movement for the amount of reps and then switch sides to work the other side of your body.

Swiss Ball Crossovers

This movement concentrates on the abs and obliques. It is done with a Swiss ball positioned under your lower legs.

Lie flat on your back on the floor or on a mat. Stretch both arms out straight from your shoulders. Bend both knees to a 90-degree angle and prop the lower half of your legs on a Swiss ball.

Roll your legs from one side to the other slowly and in a controlled manner. Pause when you roll entirely to one side and then roll your legs to the other side and pause.

Dumbbell Bench Presses

This exercise targets your chest and triceps and is performed with 20 to 80 pound dumbbells in each hand.

Lie on your back on a flat bench and hold a pair of dumbbells directly above your sternum with both arms outstretched fully upward. Pull your shoulder blades together and slightly stick out your chest with your palms facing forward.

Lower both dumbbells slowly and simultaneously to the sides of your chest. Pause in this position and then press the dumbbells back into the starting position.

Workout Smarter and Not Harder: 30 Minutes a Day for 3 Days a Week Schedule

Still don’t seem to have enough time to get where you want in the gym? Here is a schedule for a mere 30 minutes a day and only 3 days a week to keep you fit.

Day 1 Workout

Foam Rolling Warm-p

Roll a foam roller under each leg from your calf to your knee for about 1 minute as a warm up.

Turkish Getup Warm up

Lie on your back on the floor and hold a dumbbell in one hand with your arm fully extended upward. Bend your knee on the same side to a 90-degree angle while keeping your other leg straight and about 5 to 10 degrees outward from your hip. Lift the dumbbell and crunch onto your other side on the elbow. Raise your hips into the air while you sweep the straight leg underneath your body and step back to settle on your opposite knee. Push upward to a standing position while keeping the dumbbell straight upward the entire time. Do 5 of these on each side.

Jump Rope Warm Up

Jump rope as fast as you can for 3 minutes.

General Pullup

Grab a pullup bar with both hands in an overhand grip and at shoulder width. Pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar with your head straight and eyes forward. Lower your body until your shoulders and arms are fully extended and in the starting position. Do 5 reps.

Kettlebell Front Squat

Hold a kettlebell in both hands directly in front of your stomach. Bend your knees to squat while holding the ball with outstretched arms. Raise upward back to a standing position. Do 5 reps.

Kettlebell Overhead Press

Stand straight with a kettlebell in each hand. Bring both arms upward so that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle with palms facing forward and kettlebells on the rear of your forearms. Bring both arms straight up and over your head. Return to the start position and repeat for 5 reps.

Kettlebell Swing

Start in a standing position with a kettlebell gripped in both hands directly in front of you and hanging down at arms length. Bend your knees and squat while thrusting the kettlebell between your legs and then bring it forward with great force to reach your shoulder height. Do 10 reps.

Farmer’s Walk

Stand with a dumbbell on the ground on each side of you. Lean down and grip the handles then lift them up while driving through your heels and keeping your back straight and your head up. Walk holding the dumbbells at arms length taking very short and quick steps. Count for 200 steps to cool down.

Day 2 Workout

Foam Roller Warmup

1 minute for each leg

Squat Jump Warmup

Stand straight up with your arms down at your sides. Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle and raise your arms explosively above your head to jump. Land lightly on the balls of your feet. Repeat this warmup for 10 reps.

Single Arm Dumbbell Row

This is the same exercise as the dumbbell bent rows above. Do 15 reps on each arm

Goblet Squat

Stand straight while holding a kettlebell in both hands at your chest level with your feet wider than your shoulders on the floor and your toes pointed slightly outward. Sit back and down while you bend your knees to a 90-degree angle very quickly. Keep your chest up and your back straight. At the bottom, your elbows will brush against the inside of your knees and push your knees outward. Shoot your body back upward with force and stand tall at the top of the movement. Do 15 reps

General Pushup

This is just your basic pushup with your legs outstretched and not with bent knees. Do 15 reps.

Kettlebell Swing

The same exercise as on day 1. Do 15 reps.

Suitcase Rack Walk

Cool down with this exercise. Place a dumbbell on the ground on your right side. Bent down and pick it up with your right hand with your arm fully extended and your back straight. Walk forward while holding this position. Set the dumbbell down and turn around. Pick it up with your left hand and repeat to do about 200 steps.

Day 3 Workout

  • Foam Roller Warmup- do 1 minute on each leg
  • Turkish Getup Warmup- as above, do 4 reps
  • Jump Rope Warmup- Do 3 minutes as fast as you can.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Lie on a flat bench on your back while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Extend each arm fully upward with your palms facing outward over your sternum. The dumbbells should almost touch each other. Lower the dumbbells simultaneously down to the sides of your chest and pause. Then press the dumbbells upward back to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Reverse Lunge

Start by standing tall with your hands outstretched over your head. Take a large step backward with your right foot. Lower your hips so that your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Your right heel should be lifted off the floor with all of your weight on the right toes. Press your left heel into the floor and bring your right leg forward to complete one rep. Do 10 reps on each leg.

Inverted Row

Put a barbell in a rack at about waist height. Grip the bar wider than your shoulder width and slide your body to hang underneath the bar. Keep your body straight with your heels on the ground and your arms extended fully. This is the starting position. Flex your elbows and pull your chest towards the bar while retracting your shoulder blades. Pause at the top of the movement and return to the start position. Do 10 reps.

Dumbbell RDL to Shrug

Start in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand and palms facing toward you. Position your feet a bit wider than shoulder width. Squat while bending your knees to lower the dumbbells toward the floor, then straighten up and stand back up tall. Lift both shoulders in a shrugging motion with the weights still at arms length. Keep your back straight without rolling it as you perform this exercise. Do 10 reps

Overhead Carry Cool Down

Finish your set in a cool down with the overhead carry. Start in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand. Press them upward over your head with arms fully extended and palms facing outward. Walk 50 steps forward, 50 steps backward and 50 steps to each side.

These ideas can get you in and out of the gym in little time while staying fit or getting more fit with exercises that work smarter and not harder. However, since your time is reduced in the gym, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck out of the time spent there. Using a pre-workout supplement, such as BCAA can help you to ramp up your short workouts with more energy and to build lean muscle mass much quicker. Adding Alpha Max to your daily routine can help to reduce fat while you gain long and lean muscles quickly even though you are spending little time in the gym.

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