There is a way to make the most of what little time you have and perform exercise that will help you achieve health & fitness whilst shaping the body the way you want it.
This approach consists of just two exercises for each workout and involves exercises that will train the core and challenge you from inside out. With these workouts the nervous system will take a real beating and elevate the metabolism.
The following workout requires a warm up of about 5 minutes followed by gentle stretches for the tightest muscles in the body. These are commonly leg and chest stretches. A shoulder girdle warm-up with light dumbbells is done after that with two rounds of ten reps of side raises, bicep curls and shoulder presses on each exercise. This should be enough to get the body ready for the workout ahead.
The aim of the workout is to do 10-12 reps on both exercises straight after each other followed by a rest of no more than 60 seconds. The plan is to strive for as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes without breaking form and dropping below 8 reps.
Where applicable the same resistance is used on all the sets for the workout. You need to choose a weight that allows you to perform 12 reps on the first exercise. If you can only manage 2 or 3 rounds before dropping below 8 reps stop the workout and continue to progress the next time with a little less weight. For intermediates and advanced trainers a 10-20-rep window maybe preferred.
This workout is for the chest & core. The two exercises are Swiss ball dumbbell fly and Swiss ball push jack-knife.
Before you begin a warm up set for the first exercise is recommended, this should be around 50% of the working weight. Strong individuals using heavy weights should do a staggered warm up.
Swiss Ball Dumbbell Fly
Place the head and shoulders on a Swiss Ball, look up to the ceiling keeping the chin up so the neck stays in a neutral position. Place the feet apart for a good base of support and bring the belly button towards the spine and hold it there to keep the core muscles activated throughout the set. Starting with the dumbbells above the chest, slowly allow both arms to slightly bend and lower to roughly shoulder height or when you reach a position where you feel a stretch in the chest muscles. Once they have reached this point return to the start position in a smooth tempo. Keep the dumbbells above the chest and not the head in the start position and maintain a straight body on the ball throughout the set by keeping the hips held high.
Push Jack Knife
Begin with your feet on top of the Swiss Ball and hands on the floor in a push up position, holding a neutral spine and with the head in line with the spine begin to extend the arms pushing the body away from the floor keeping the tummy drawn in at all times. When the arms are fully extended smoothly flex the hips until the thighs are vertical (on the video the woman brings her thighs too far forward) making sure not to round the back then immediately return the legs to the straight position as smoothly as possible. Bend the elbows and drop into the push up starting position and continue the set. There shouldn’t be any breaks in the tempo and each rep should be moderate in speed. Beginners can place more shins on the ball.
The way forward
Some options to progress would be to reduce the rest time in between rounds enabling you to achieve more rounds in the 15-minute window or to increase the resistance so the desired reps are more challenging to reach on every round.