Try These 7 Exercises to Tone Up (In Less Than 5 Minutes)
Although summer is fast approaching, there is still time to get your body beach-ready. If you are looking to work on your 6 pack without devoting too much time to workouts, read on to learn the 7 best moves for tightening up your body fast.
As a bonus, these moves are almost all low impact and can be completed in a small space. Better yet, almost all of the moves require just your body to complete and the entire workout can be completed in about 5 minutes if needed.
When it comes to effective exercises, nothing offers more bang-for-your-buck than a pushup. While most people think of arms when it comes to pushups, this move actually fires up a lot more muscles in the body. Your arms, chest, back, and abs will all be put to the test with this tried and true move.
It is important to keep your core strong when performing pushups and also watch your form. Do not let your body sag or slump. You can aim to do 3 sets of 5 to 10 or work your way up to 10 at a time if needed.
Don’t be afraid to start from your knees. Even when modified, pushups are still one of the best ways to tone your chest, triceps, back, and the front of your shoulders. If you have already mastered the standard pushup and are looking for a challenge, try a plyo pushup!
Similar to pushups, pull-ups are one of the top exercises for changing your body. While pull-ups are notoriously challenging, it is possible to work your way up to performing this powerhouse move. One of the best ways to help your body get closer to completing a pull-up is by using a step to bring yourself up to chin height and then lowering yourself down as slowly as possible.
Aim to complete as many as possible in a row or simply work on lowering yourself down as slowly as you can. With time, you’ll be able to measure your progression both in terms of your strength and what you see in the mirror!
No pain, no gain! Wall sits are one of the fastest ways to get your glutes and thighs burning. This effective move helps build endurance and strength in the quadriceps, glutes, adductor muscles, calves, hamstrings, and even your lower abs.
When performing a wall sit, make sure to keep your back flat against the wall and slide down until your hamstrings are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Once you are in the proper position, hold the move for as long as possible. Time yourself each time you perform this move so you can aim to hold it for 5 seconds longer than your previous attempt (you should aim for at least 30 seconds).
Another excellent move for the lower body is lunges. This exercise targets the quads and glutes while also challenging your balance. Lunges also help eliminate imbalances in your strength since they force the legs to work unilaterally (as opposed to squats where the legs work in tandem).
To increase the challenge and boost the effectiveness of this move, hold a weight over your head with one hand. For example, if you are lunging with your left leg forward and bent, hold a weight straight in the air with your right hand. Keep your arm straight in the air to hold the weight as you complete your series of lunges. Just by adding this step, you automatically target your shoulders, core, arms, and upper back.
To protect your knees, make sure to keep them at a 90-degree angle when you lower down (do not let your knee go past your toe) and use caution to keep your knee from hitting the floor. Aim to do at lease 10 lunges per leg or more as time allows.
This move is popular for a reason: it demands total-body commitment and pushes your endurance to the limit. It also requires ample hamstring and hip flexibility.
To complete a burpee, squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you. Then, quickly hop your feet back (this will put you in plank position). Do a pushup and bring your feet back to starting position. Raise your hands in the air and jump. Repeat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
This move can easily be modified to be harder or easier. To tone it down, skip the push-up or the jumping portion. To amp it up, jump as high as possible or add a plyo push-up.
6. Jump Rope
Although it is most commonly associated with childhood games, jumping rope is for adults too! This exercise will whip you into shape in no time thanks to its ability to tone muscles and burn close to 1,000 calories an hour. Jumping rope works the entire body, from the calves and quads to your core to your arms (especially if you use a weighted rope).
For your 5 minute workout, aim to do 30 seconds straight. If you are doing a longer workout, add in 30-second intervals in between moves to boost your heart rate and add a burst of cardio to your session. To add a challenge, see how long you can skip without messing up or try double jumps.
7. Twisting Mountain Climbers
Forgot crunches and give this move a try instead! Start in plank position and exhale as your slightly twist your hips and move your left knee close to your right elbow. Return to your starting position (plank) before repeating on the other side. Continue to alternate legs for 30 seconds.
This move works your core, arms, and your endurance!
Look Great This Summer!
It’s not too late to get your ultimate beach body. By committing to just 5 minutes a day of these top 7 exercises, you’ll be setting yourself up to feel strong and healthy when you hit the beach.
***When beginning any exercise program, it is always important to first check with your physician or a qualified exercise physiologist such as Fortitude Exercise Physiology.