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Five workouts you can try in 30 minutes

By Vikas Jain
November 26, 2018 08:21 IST
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These short workouts will help you burn fat and build your muscles, says Vikas Jain.


Photograph*: Kind courtesy Shweta Rathore/Instagram

Most of us complain not having sufficient time to exercise for a healthy living.

For people who work or stay out of home for over 12 hours in a day, it becomes nearly impossible to bump in a gym and exercise for 1 to 2 hours.

There are a number of studies showing that shorter; high-intensity workouts can offer the same benefits as longer, moderate exercise sessions.

In many cases, those shorter workouts can actually be more effective in improving athletic performance than a long, slow jog.

Many of these routines include muscle strengthening elements, helping you cover your bases while still getting in an aerobic workout.

Here's how to get into shape if you can only dedicate 30 minutes or so at a time to working out.

1. Reverse Lunge with Overhead Press

This is one of the most powerful arm exercises because it strengthens your shoulders and triceps, the muscles on the back of your arms.

How to do it

Stand with your feet together and hold onto the weighted plate in front of your chest.

Pull your shoulders down and back.

As you lunge back with your left leg, brace your core to press the plate up overhead.

Lower your body towards the ground without arching your back or swaying sideways.

Be sure to keep the plate slightly forward on the face.

Then, drive the left knee forward to bring it back to the starting position as you rack the plate back on your shoulders in line with the collar bone.

Repeat on the right leg and alternate for 15 reps.

2. Squat Plate Press

Glute exercises are the prime muscle movers in a squat but it becomes a total-body exercise when you add a plate press.

Anytime you press a weight overhead, you’re also working your arms, shoulders and core.

How to do it

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold onto the weighted plate in front of your chest.

Pull your shoulders down and back.

Bracing your core and keeping your chest high, sit into your heels and bring your hips and butt back and down.

As you drive your hips forward to stand, press the plate up overhead.

To make this move plyometric, add a jump squat.

Instead of straightening your legs to stand from the squat position, drive your hips forward and jump up explosively as you press the plate overhead.

3. Reverse Lunge With a Plate Arc

Rotations are a key functional movement pattern, and this compound exercise helps you hone this skill by challenging your stability.

Unlike a squat, the lunge forces you to recruit other muscles to maintain balance.

This move targets your quads, glutes, obliques and arms at once.

How to do it

Stand in a lunge position with your left leg extended behind you and your right leg in front.

Hold onto a weighted plate on the outside of your right knee with your arms extended.

As you drive your left knee up to stand, create a rainbow with your arms and bring the plate to the outside of your left knee.

At the same time, step your right leg back into a lunge.

4. Squat Jump With a Plate Snatch

Theres no better exercise that tests your quickness and strength like a snatch, and this combo move is packed with explosiveness to get your heart rate up.

How to do it

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hold onto a weighted plate in front of your thighs.

Jump forward, landing in a sumo squat position, as you snatch the plate overhead.

Be sure to keep your arms straight throughout the entire movement.

5. Single-Arm Fly Crunch

If you want to get rid of those pesky love handles, this crunch variation is for you.

It incorporates abduction to help you target your obliques more effectively, while strengthening your chest and shoulders.

Form is key with this exercise, so move slowly through the entire movement to fully engage each muscle group.

How to do it

Lie on your back and bend your knees in front of you.

Make a 'T' with your arms and hold onto a weighted plate with your right hand.

As you crunch up, bring your arms together towards the midline of the body.

Repeat with the plate on the left hand and alternate for 15 reps.

To isolate one side more, crunch the side with the plate towards the midline while keeping the other arm flat on the ground.

 The author Vikas Jain is managing director, Anytime Fitness.

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