Lunch hour workouts
When you can’t spend a full hour at the gym, you can still cram at least a little movement into your routine—you’ll just have to sacrifice half of your lunch break. Here are three workouts you can do in 30 minutes or less at your office’s gym, in your own home, or at a park down the street from your building.
At the gym. If you have some time to slip into the gym over lunch, consider yourself lucky. It’s easy to squeeze in a quick workout when you have tons of equipment at your fingertips. Begin your workout here with 10 minutes on the treadmill, starting at a slow, steady pace and mixing in one-minute bursts of quick, high-energy movement until you hit 10 minutes. (You can do this on the elliptical or stair climber, too.) Then head to the lifting area for a round of V-lifts to work on your lower body, Pilates-inspired chest presses, and wall squats with weighted T-raises. This workout continues toning the upper body with a bicep curl that keeps elbows tucked tightly by your side ( like “door hinges”), lateral lunges, crab dips, and a single-leg bridge supported by an exercise ball. Keep the exercise ball nearby, because you’ll need it for the closing move: wide rows. Although this workout may sound extensive, since you’re only completing about 15 reps of each move, it’ll fly by in less than 30 minutes. For an in-depth look at the routine, check out the full workout from Fitness magazine.
At home. You don’t need a treadmill or strength-training stations to complete this Lunch-Break Workout from Women’s Health. If you have a set of hand weights at home, this is in your wheelhouse. They can be whatever weight you’re comfortable with, given that it’s 10 pounds or less. With one weight in your dominant hand, start with a deadlift with a press, which is essentially a squat, but when you rise, you bring the weight-wielding hand overhead. Then move onto a single-leg dumbbell row, where you hold weights in each hand and balance on one leg while you pull your arms back in a rowing motion. Move on to negative push-downs, which are essentially push-ups performed at a slow, steady pace (no weights needed), then move through split squats with weights in either hand, twisting toward your face when you squat, then moving them up and away with palms facing out before you switch legs. The workout culminates in anchored side leg raises, a challenge for even the most avid exerciser.
At the park. When you can’t make it home or to the gym, any outdoor space will do. Pick a park near the office and lace up your sneakers to complete this 16-minute workout that requires no equipment. It begins with an ab-firming move for which you lie flat on the ground, then use your abs to pull yourself up as you bend the knees until you can reach your toes. Then perform a set of planks, stretching out to either side, and in between, hop up and stretch your arms overhead. This cardio move will get your metabolism moving. Next, the dreaded plank, but with a twist. Instead of placing your toes on the ground, put them on a bench about two feet off the ground. Alternate bringing each knee to its corresponding elbow, then stand up and face the bench. Lift one foot to touch the bench, then quickly jump-switch to place your other foot there, going back and forth as quickly as you can. This workout incorporates a few more ab-firming, fat-burning moves into its full circuit, so see Self magazine for even more mores to do over lunch.