5 time-efficient exercises you can do anywhere and in any weather
With chilly outdoor temperatures and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there are plenty of excuses to skip workouts this time of year. But what if there was an effective indoor workout you could do in minutes and with no special equipment? Marco Borges, author of Power Moves, recommends the following five exercises for a no-excuses workout. “Consistency is key,” says Borges. And he offers these words of wisdom for staying active during the winter months or any time of year: “Whatever workout you choose, it needs to be fun. If you don’t like something, keep looking until you find something you enjoy—or hate the least!”
Here’s a total-body exercise routine that you can do indoors with very little time investment, and still see results. “These exercises can be done by anyone at any age, and are safe and effective,” says Borges. He recommends doing them for 30 seconds–1 minute each, depending on your fitness level. Do as many sets as feel comfortable.
1. Start from a standing position.
2. Squat down with your arms outside your legs and hands on the floor.
3. Kick feet backwards until they are in the push-up position, maintaining a straight back.
4. Without pausing, jump feet back forward between your hands, and then jump up, returning to a standing position.
1. Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to focus on in front of you so you don’t look down).
2. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until your front knee is bent at about a 90-degree angle; make sure it is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your back knee is lowered toward the floor, but doesn’t touch the floor.
3. “Step back to the starting position before stepping forward with the other leg,” says Borges. “Count slowly for about 3 seconds for each leg.” Repeat 30 seconds–1 minute.
1. Get into a plank position with hands directly under the shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes touching the floor, and back and ab muscles engaged so that your body is straight.
2. Begin to lower the body until the chest nearly touches the floor. Keep your body straight throughout.
3. Exhale as you push back to the start position. Modify intensity by doing them on your knees or toes.
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“What’s great about this exercise is that engages the majority of muscles in the body,” says Borges. “Weight is distributed evenly and it’s low-impact.”
1. Begin from a push-up position with your arms in line with your chest and your legs extended outward.
2. Bring one leg forward to your chest, then back to its original position, then repeat with the other leg.
3. Alternate this motion rapidly, alternating one leg forward and one leg back, mimicking the movements of climbing a mountain.
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Work your abdominal (and back) muscles by bringing your knees up as you bring your elbows up, meeting at the belly button. “You’re engaging your serratus anterior muscles, hip flexors, and abs,” says Borges. “The serratus anterior muscles are very infrequently targeted, but working them helps get rid of the fat that hangs over the side of the bra,” explains Borges. “This exercise works your back and core muscles.”
Photography: Courtesy of Marco Borges, from his book Power Moves