Jump on the rower for 5 minutes. Start slow and easy and gradually increase the speed and resistance so your body has time to adjust and warm-up slowly. This will prepare your mind and body for exercise and allow you to stretch safely without injuring yourself.
#1 – Single leg dumbbell squat
- SET 1: 10 repetitions each leg
- SET 2: 8 repetitions each leg
- SET 3: 6 repetitions each leg
- SET 4: 6 repetitions each leg
The single leg dumbbell squat is such an effective way to develop functional leg strength. Maintaining balance is not easy so it works the core and stabilising muscles of the leg. You will only be able to use the one leg so it means you’re working each leg effectively and there is no place to hide!
Knee behind toes at all times
Push off the heel, not the toes
Movement is up and down not forwards
#2 – Dumbbell Bench Press + Reverse Flies
SUPER SET: Bench Press followed by Reverse Flies
- SET 1: 10 bench press + 10 reverse flies
- SET 2: 8 bench press + 8 reverse flies
- SET 3: 6 bench press + 6 reverse flies
- SET 4: 6 bench press + 6 reverse flies
Working the large upper body muscles like the chest and back is critical. The bench press and reverse flies work both of these and they also work the arms as a bonus. Super setting again because, well, it’s an extremely effective way to workout when you’re limited on time.
Bench Press: Keep wrists stable and always directly above elbows
Flies: Keep abs tight and back straight throughout
Flies: Only a light weight is needed
#3 – Straight Leg Deadlift + Lat Raise
SUPER SET: Straight Leg Deadlift + Lat Raises
- SET 1: 10 Deadlift + 10 Lat Raises
- SET 2: 8 Deadlift + 8 Lat Raises
- SET 3: 6 Deadlift + 6 Lat Raises
- SET 4: 6 Deadlift + 6 Lat Raises
This works the back of the legs (Hamstrings) and bum (glutes) nicely. It’s absolutely essential that you keep your back straight. Only go as far as you can with a straight back and a very small bend in the knee. You should feel it stretch out your hamstrings. Stop at the bottom and come back up while tightening your bum.
I added the lat raises in there because it means you get to do an active recovery to keep the heart rate higher and work another muscle. The lat raise are good for working your shoulders (deltoids). It’s all about technique here, so keep it controlled and really focus on using the shoulders without swinging the dumbbells around.
Keep the back straight and abs tight all the time
Go as low as comfortable with a slight stretch on the hamstrings
Lift the arms up until they are parallel to the floor and no more
#4 – Tabata Cycle
Tabata workouts are amazing! Really hard but so time effective and a great way to stress your cardio system (heart and lungs). On the stationary cycle, do a quick 3 minute warm up to get your legs used to it. Move from a slow to a very fast pace and back down again. The main tabata session looks like this:
- 20 seconds 100% effort
- 10 seconds rest
Repeat that 8 times…Or maybe just start with 4 times and build up to 8. It should make you feel sick. Your leg speed or RPM on the bike should be at least 120 for every repetition. Use a resistance that you can only just maintain that leg speed with. If you are giving 100% on every set which you should be, you’ll have to lower the weight on each 20 second sprint.
you MUST give 100% effort for each 20 seconds
Try to keep the pedals turning at 120 RPM or more
Keep some resistance on at all times but lower if necessary
This is another very effective time saving workout for you to try in the gym. Have a read of part 1, too, and try them both. They shouldn’t take you long and if you are struggling with any of the exercises drop me an email and I’ll help you out.