Time has always been a commodity we all use differently. The art of time management is something we don’t always master but, with practice, it can improve.
I am a person who always makes time to fit in some kind of physical activity. I rarely have a time-related excuse. But exercise is not a priority for many people and it easily falls to the bottom of the schedule.
That said, I am always on a quest to show people that there is always time available for exercise. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and within those hours, there certainly is 30 minutes available for physical activity.
So on that note, today’s topic is compound exercises. I like these for days I don’t have much time on my hands but still want a full body workout.
Compound exercises target more than one muscle group at a time. A simple one is a squat.
We squat onto and up from a chair, into and out of a car and even onto or up from the loo a number of times a day. This movement targets the glute muscles, hamstrings and calves.
Push-ups are also a compound exercise. When they are performed with the correct form, they target the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abdominals and legs.
Between them, these two exercises can essentially give you a full body workout. Imagine doing just them nonstop for 15 to 30 minutes. It would definitely constitute a full body workout. But, traditionally, people would combine more than two in one routine.
Three more compound exercises you could consider when you are strapped for time:
Target quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abdominals, shoulders, chest and triceps muscles. People often hate burpees because they can be challenging.
There are a number of varieties available so go on to YouTube and look them up. There will be a burpee that you can perform.
This is one exercise you should do every day. Similar to the squat, the lunge targets quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.
I sometimes joke that people should consider lunging from one room to the other in the house. Walking lunges are similar to walking, except you bend your knees to 90° . Give it a try!
This exercise is not the norm for most but is a real gem when it comes to the benefits you can get from it. Not only does it build strength, it also improves mobility.
Sit throughs target the shoulders, abdominals and build general upper body strength. Due to the swivel motion, they also help to improve hip mobility.
So, there you go, five compound exercises for a full body workout: push-ups, squats, burpees, lunges and sit throughs.
If you performed three sets of each exercise for a minute with a 30 second break in between, it would give you a great calorie-burning and body-strengthening workout in under 25 minutes.
For demonstrations of each exercise, search for them on YouTube.
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and co-founder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego.zulu; Twitter: @letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu
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