Working out can be hard to squeeze into a hectic schedule, especially when you’re used to setting aside an hour or more to sweat. Between work, social obligations and meal prep, scheduling a workout class or training session can be tricky, and you might also just be too drained after a long day of work or spending time with family to lace up your sneakers and hit the gym.
The good news is there are many types of workouts that don’t require much time and still blast calories fast. And they’re fun and keep things interesting, where you won’t feel like you’re burned out or in a workout rut. And these shorter, high intensity workouts let you fit the workout into your schedule and get the same results (if not better!) then you would with a long run at a moderate pace, for example.
These are the most effective workouts to do if you’re pressed for time or feel fatigued and need something that’ll get your heart pumping fast and wake your body up.
HIIT workouts are high intensity and only take 30-45 minutes max, but can actually prove effective in as a little as ten minutes too. Plus, you can do a few HIIT circuits that are bodyweight only at different times in the day for that little energy boost, which all together will help you get a full-body workout for the number of minutes desired.
You can do AMRAP exercises, where you may do burpees, squat jumps and tuck jumps, starting off at 10 reps each and decreasing the number until you’ve done one each, in the shortest amount of time possible. Or you can also do tabata exercises, which include 20 seconds of high intensity work or “sprints,” followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of four minutes. Then you’d just repeat for as many reps as you can squeeze in.
Sprints on the Stairs
Walking up the stairs can be a challenge on its own, plus you’re probably not taking the stairs much anyways whenever there’s an elevator. However, stairs are perfect for a quick and effective workout you can do pretty much anywhere.
Step outside your apartment or head to the stairwell in your office building and knock out a few sets of sprint work on the stairs that’ll spike your heart rate and torch calories fast. You can run up and down for a set time, do one-legged exercises, do lunges or hops and more.
If you can’t find time to make it to the gym, investing in a peloton bike might be worth it, as you can burn calories quickly through a variety of cycling workouts and other high intensity activities on the peloton app.
Or you can cycle with friends in a class atmosphere, which may help you stay more accountable and excited for the workout than if you were cycling alone. Get the right set of cycling shoes to make the most of your workout by maximizing range of motion and speed work.
Boxing and kickboxing gets you sweating in no time and it’s great for working the core muscles, as well as the glutes and back. It’s really a full body workout and whether you’re punching the bag or doing shadow work (no gloves needed, since you’re punching the air as your opponent), you’re still getting a major cardio workout and lean muscle definition.
Plus, boxing can feel empowering and exhilarating, where it can be one of the greatest stress relief workouts to choose from. If you’re just shadow boxing, no equipment is needed, too.
While this one might be harder to access than bodyweight exercises or more common machines found in home or office gyms, the row machine is killer when it comes to blasting calories in a short amount of time. It’s a full-body workout that hits the core, arms, back and leg muscles.
It takes time to build up in progress, since it’s super challenging on the body, but as long as you master form and stick with it, you’ll get better in time. No matter what though, you’ll burn calories and increase muscle mass and strength in only a few minutes.