Our resident workout fanatic and certified personal trainer Hexpert Pyro Maim Ya of Pynk Fitness is a woman with a hell of a schedule and knows just how it feels to not have enough time in the day to workout. This week she brings you a quick, energizing workout that is the perfect way to rev up your day and build a little muscle along the way.
The 7-Minute Kick-Starter
I was making coffee recently and found myself pacing the kitchen with nothing else to do while my cup brewed. Since I’m a serial multitasker, this made me feel really inefficient. Since I’m also a little crazy, I decided it might be a good time to throw in a superquick workout. I devised this little plan as I went and found that after I was done, I felt so alert and energized that I almost didn’t need that cup of joe. The keyword is “almost”, but it did feel like a reward for the toning I’d just done! It struck me that on really busy days, this was a guaranteed way to get my blood pumping and my metabolism firing.
I’ve broken this routine down into two parts – a 3-minute upper body and core routine while I microwave my water, a really quick break to pour the water into my French press, then a 4-minute lower body routine while the coffee brews. Do the routine all the way through one time for a quick jolt of energy in the morning, or if you have time to repeat it you can run through the circuit two or three times. Each exercise only takes a minute, so you can use an egg timer, an interval timer or just watch the clock. I have a Gym Boss that beeps at set intervals, or I just set the oven timer and work out where I can keep my eye on it.
Okay, putting my cup in the microwave for 3 minutes now…
3:00-2:00: Punch the air in front of you as hard and as fast as you can. Engage your core! Keep your knees slightly bent and behind your toes. Punch harder! Faster! Breathe!
2:00-1:00: Drop to the floor! Push-ups or elbow plank. Squeeze your glutes and suck those abs up to your belly button.
1:00-0:00: Cross mountain climbers: in up push-up position, bend right leg and tuck knee up and across chest as far as you can while maintaining your plank. Straighten leg to return to center and repeat on left side, alternating for one minute. Try to get those knees up to the opposite elbow (or armpit if you’re really flexible).
Beep! I figure I get about a 30 second break while I dump coffee and water into the French press. (If you have never brewed your coffee this way, I highly recommend you try it. Best cup I’ve ever had, especially made with Oak Cliff Coffee Roaster’s Hidden City Espresso blend.) I set the timer for 4 more minutes…
4:00-3:00: Squat kicks: (Umm, you should probably make sure you have enough room to kick before you do this. I don’t want you to waste your remaining minutes looking for a Band-Aid. If there’s no room, just squat and stand, keeping core and glutes tight) With feet hip-distance apart, squat to the height of a chair, then kick right leg out to the side hard and fast. Sink into squat and repeat on left side, alternating for one minute. Make sure your knees don’t creep out past your toes! If they do, sit back farther into your squat.
3:00-2:00: Plie squats: Widen your stance into an A-frame, toes pointed out. Squat to about chair height, hold for 2 seconds and straighten legs to return to start position. Repeat for one minute.
2:00-1:00: Calf raises: so easy, yet so effective. Stand with feet hip width apart and raise and lower on toes/balls of feet. Try to hold at the top for a second or two before lowering.
1:00-0:00: Invisible jumprope: pretend you’re holding a speed rope and hop quickly, alternating heel taps in front of you and swinging your arms.
Beep! You should probably drink a glass of water while you wait for that coffee to cool. Dump it in your travel mug and grab some protein on your way out the door! You have a 30-60 minute window to refuel those muscles.