By Angela Kwan, Fitbie.com
8:13 PM EST, November 21, 2012
Finding time to climb the StairMaster can pose a challenge when you're busy climbing the corporate ladder. And all those late nights at the office can lead to fatty takeout dinners and gym shoes that never get laced — a double whammy for your waistline. Whether your schedule mirrors George Clooney's in "Up in the Air" or your job just stresses you out, we've got the perfect exercise plan for you. Squeeze in one of these workouts in no more than 20 minutes.
Stuck in a hotel room
All you need is a chair or bench to complete this workout that targets all major muscle groups. It's designed by Michael Bronco, a personal trainer and owner of Bronco's Gym in Madison, N.J. The sequence of exercises helps get the blood flowing throughout your body, increasing your heart rate, so you also get some cardio benefit, Bronco says.
Time: 15 minutes
Reps: 8 to 10, Sets: 2 or 3
Rest one minute between sets: decline pushups, step-ups (8 to 10 per foot), bench dips, hip raises with foot on bench (make this move easier by placing both feet on the bench).
Tip: As you progress, decrease the amount of time needed for recovery.
Need a little Zen
If you're torn between yoga and spinning class — but don't have time for either — here is the workout for you. This routine combines moves that tout the calming power of yoga and provides heart-pounding cardio benefits. Better yet, you can do the workout at home without any equipment.
Strength punch: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and bring your fists up, palms facing each other. Rotate your hips to the left and extend your right arm so it's in line with your shoulder, palm facing the floor. Return to start, repeat on the opposite side and continue alternating.
Willpower squat: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned out, then sit back into a squat position. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, bring your forearms in front of your chest, elbows out and hands in fists, and lean your torso slightly forward. Hold this position and roll your arms as quickly as you can away from your body.
Willingness kick and row: Stand on your left leg, extend your right leg out to the side, and raise your arms. Kick your butt with your right heel, while rowing your fists to the sides of your torso. Return to start, then repeat on the other leg. Continue alternating.
Power side lunge: Step to your right, toes forward, and lower into a side lunge, placing both hands on your thigh. Push off your right foot to bring it to your left knee and bend your elbows to link your fingers in front of your chest. Return to start, then repeat on the other side. Continue alternating.
Hop on a spinning bike or an indoor bike trainer and get ready to feel the burn. This cycling routine helps you improve your speed and strength as it burns a ton of calories in a short amount of time.
Warm up for five minutes. Pedal lightly and loosen your muscles. Sprint for 30 seconds; recover for one minute. Repeat the sprint and recovery two more times. For the next 10 minutes, alternate every minute between 90 rpm and 60 rpm. When you switch from 90 rpm to 60 rpm, increase the bike tension so your heart rate stays the same. Don't grind when going 60 rpm. Pedaling should remain smooth. Cool down.
Grab a pair of dumbbells and strengthen all major muscles in the time it takes to complete your morning coffee run. "Dumbbell complexes that target large muscle groups can stimulate more muscle fibers and speed up fat loss," said Patrick Striet, owner of Force Fitness and Performance in Cincinnati.
Perform the circuit four times. For the first circuit, do 12 reps of each exercise. Then do 10 reps for the second, 8 for the third, and 6 for the fourth. Rest only after each circuit; select weight and rest time by your experience level.
Beginners: dumbbell weight: 20 to 30 pounds; rest: 60 to 90 seconds.
Intermediate: dumbbell weight: 30 to 40 pounds; rest: 45-60 seconds.
Advanced: dumbbell weight: 40 to 50 pounds; rest: 30 to 45 seconds.
Boosting your workout intensity with a steeper incline or faster speed can help you get 30 minutes of burn in half the time. You could torch up to 180 calories in 15 minutes. These challenging workouts will firm that flab in no time.
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC