You want to tone your arms, legs, stomach, back, and everything in between but you’re too busy to put in the time targeting each body part at the gym. No worries, spending more time in the gym to improve results is in many ways unnecessary. Your body does not need as many reps as you think you do, it simply needs a consistent regimen of exercises that target multiple body parts and proper nutrition to maximize the results.
Think of this as the 80/20 principle for exercise, 20% of your average workout routine and time can give you 80% of the results if you eliminate all but the most effective exercises. Let’s take a look at the most effective exercises to get your body toned for the summer even if you have no time to exercise.
Kettlebell Swings: The kettlebell is quickly becoming the workout tool of choice for many personal trainers. Combining simplicity and effect, the kettlebell swing enables you to work out your core, back, legs, hips, abs, and arms. Fitness guru Tim Ferriss recommends doing 75 swings per workout about twice per week – taking up a mere 10-20 minutes a week of your time. Tim offers detailed instructions on the kettlebell swing in this video on his blog.
The Myoatic Crunch: The crunch is a demystified waste of time that does more damage to your back than it benefits your abs. The myoatic crunch enables you to work out your abs the way the original crunch intended to. Using a balance ball or similar alternative, you simply bring your arms all the way up and perform the crunch movement you are used to. Because you are on a balance ball you do not hurt your back like you would in a typical crunch and the balance ball forces your core muscles to work even harder to keep you up. You can see how Tim Ferriss performs the myoatic crunch here.
The Good Ol’ Push-Up: You can’t knock an original, the push-up enables you to strengthen your arms, chest, back, legs, and even abs without using any equipment. For best results, do diamond push-ups to give your triceps an even better workout or place your feet on a chair and do elevated push-ups to give your core a better workout.
Dips: Dips are basically backwards push-ups and can be done using nothing but a chair. Hold onto the chair behind your back and lift and lower your body. These are great for strengthening your triceps, chest, back, and shoulders. You can see how to properly perform an at-home dip here.
Eating: Diet is as important to an exercise plan as the exercises. Eggs, lean turkey, lean chicken, almonds and other nuts, and even protein bars and shakes make for a great pre- and post-workout meal. These protein rich foods help your body build and retain muscle without packing on the pounds.
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