Sunday, December 8, 2013

Four Minute Total Body Workout

Want to tone up, but don't have the time or space? Here is a total body work out using nothing but your own body, and it only takes four minutes! I have chosen four of the most efficient exercises that will give you the most bang for your buck!

Since you will only have one minute per exercise, limit your breaks between sets to only a couple of seconds.

1. Jumping Jacks are a great warm-up exercise that engages your entire body while getting your heart rate up. Getting your heart rate up at the beginning of your activity helps the blood flow and will enable your work out to be more intense and beneficial.

Muscles Worked: Shoulders, core, hip abductors, glutes

How To: Start in a standing position with your hands at your sides and feet together. Jump up, landing with both feet spaced wide apart. During the jump, bring your arms out and overhead, meeting at the top. Jump again, this time bringing your arms and feet back to the original standing position.

Sets/Reps: 1 Set/60 Reps

2. Push Ups are an amazing exercise that simultaneously works all of the muscles in the front of your body, and even your backside if you squeeze your glutes!

Muscles Worked: chest, triceps, deltoids, core, quadriceps, chins, back

How To: Get down into plank position (you can modify this exercise by going into plank position, but going down onto your knees rather than your toes). While keeping your core tight and back flat, lower your chest down to the floor, and back up to plank position.

Sets/Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps with a 2-3 second break in between. Advanced: Perform push ups for one minute straight or until failure.

3. Squats are the best exercise for your lower body, especially your gluteus maximus which is the largest muscle in the body. Having a fit lower body can help you in performing many other exercises. Be sure to keep your core tight, and squeeze your glutes when you come up from the squat for ultimate results.

Muscles Worked: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, hips

How To: Stand with feet a little further than shoulder-width apart, with your knees bent. Bend down, leaning your backside back as you come down, as if you are coming down into a chair. Bring your hands up into "prayer position" with elbows out as you come down, or hold your arms out straight in front of you. Come back up into starting position.

Sets/Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps with a 2-3 second break in between. Advanced: Perform squats for one minute straight or until failure.

4. Bicycle crunches are by far my favorite ab exercise. If you do them extra slow, you will certainly be feeling the burn!

Muscles worked: abdominals, obliques, hip flexors

How To: Lay down on your back with your knees bent. Raise your upper back off the floor with your arms behind your head. Remember to keep your neck straight and relaxed. Bring your left knee and right elbow in, meeting in the middle. As you do this, your right leg should come straight out. Repeat on the other side, going back and forth in a slow motion.

Sets/Reps: 1 set/60 reps


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