One of the most common excuses for a lack of exercise is not having enough time during the day. While a lack of motivation to exercise is the more likely the cause, most people really are pressed for time with the busy schedules and the daily obligations of family, friends, school or the workplace. If you are using a lack of time as your excuse for skipping out on a regular workout, then you might want to try these five minute routines you can alternate throughout the week:
High Intensity Interval Training
This is a five minute workout routine that focuses on high intensity interval training (HIIT). The HIIT method of exercise has been shown to be very effective at burning fat using short, highly intense workouts. The idea is to push yourself to your utmost limits, hitting physical extremes that you would not be able to achieve under longer durations, but can be accomplished in short bursts. Here is an example of a five minute, HIIT routine that can be done just about anywhere, and doesn't even require any fitness equipment:
- Jumping Jacks
Your goal is to complete the entire circuit of exercises within the five minute period. Aim for the maximum repetitions you can accomplish per exercise, moving at the fastest pace possible. Also make sure you aren't sacrificing proper form and full repetitions for speed. You can increase your workout difficulty by adding more repetitions to each exercise.
Fooling around with gym equipment and constantly adding and removing free-weights from fitness bars take away precious time from your workout. With only five minutes of workout time, you've got to make the most out of your routine without having to deal with any prep time. To get yourself started on this routine, grab a set of dumbbells ranging between 5 pounds to 15 pounds. Lighter weights are easier to manage, and can be easily stored, allowing you to perform this workout routine from just about anywhere. Here are some dumbbell workouts that encompass almost all of the major muscle groups:
- Seated or standing shoulder press:
- With a straight back, start with a dumbbell in each hand and raise them to shoulder level, bending the elbows at a 90 degree angle.
- Raise your arms, pushing the dumbbells up and over your head.
- When your arms are fully extended, lower the dumbbells back to shoulder level until your elbows are bent back to a 90 degree angle. Repeat as needed.
- Clean and press:
- With your feet shoulder width apart, place each dumbbell in front of each foot.
- From a standing position, squat down and grab the dumbbells. Raise your body while lifting the dumbbells off the floor.
- As you extend back to a standing position, gradually lift the dumbbells through your shoulders, bringing them over your head till your arms are fully extended.
- Lower the dumbbells back towards the ground, squatting to get both dumbbells to touch the floor, and repeat from step 1.
- Squatting bicep curls:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
- Squat down until your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle and hold. With each dumbbell in hand, center your arms between your legs, palms up.
- Lift the dumbbells the same way you would for a standard bicep curl.
- Dead lifts:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place a dumbbell in front of each foot.
- Lower your buttocks towards the floor until your thighs are parallel with the ground or until you can reach each dumbbell. Make sure to keep your back from arching.
- Looking straight ahead with a flattened back, lift the dumbbells from the ground by standing up. Your arms should be straight.
- Lower the dumbbells back down to the ground in a controlled movement, squatting while keeping your back flat. Repeat steps 1 through 4 as needed.
Five Minute Cardio
Five minutes of cardio sounds simple enough. You can spend five minutes on a cardio machine like the elliptical or a treadmill. You can also spend five minutes walking up and down a flight of stairs, or you can go for a five minute walk while on break to help stay slim at your cubicle.
However, if you really want to turn things up a notch, increase the intensity of your five minute cardio session with these workouts:
- Invest in a punching bag or speed bag in your home and have at it. Go all out with punches and kicks at the fastest rate possible. This is also effective for relieving stress.
- Instead of a brisk walk, go for a hard run or sprint with your five minutes of workout time.
- Jumping is one of the best cardio workouts. Get a jump rope, or even better, a speed rope and complete as many rotations as possible at your maximum speed.
- Turn on your favorite, fast tempo song and start dancing. Try using songs with higher beats per minute (BPM) to get a good cardio workout. Songs of the soft, adult contemporary music genre should be avoided for obvious fitness reasons.
Maximize Your Fitness
With five minute workout routines, there is no excuse for skipping out on your daily exercise regimen. To maximize your fitness goals, make sure you rotate these three routines throughout the week, and workout every single day. Don't be afraid to limit yourself to one, five minute workout session per day. Try working in up to two or even all three routines in one day; that's only 15 minutes of workout time, which most people can easily spare.