May is National Fitness Month. Join CollegeFashionista as we celebrate fashion and fitness all month long using the hashtag #CFsweats.
Even when you’re busy and stressed (like during finals weeks), carving out just a few minutes each day to work up a serious sweat will help you calm your nerves and sculpt some seriously toned muscles. But you don’t have an hour to spare at the gym—we get it. That’s why we asked our friends at SELF to create this fast, effective routine that works your entire body while also spiking your heart rate. Bonus: you don’t need any equipment for this bodyweight workout—you can do these eight exercises anywhere. So grab your workout partner, lace up your favorite pair of sneakers and let’s get started…summer is coming!
Here’s how to do it:
Do each exercise for one minute. Perform as many reps as you can of each exercise in the allotted timeframe. (You’ll switch sides halfway for a few of the moves.) Once you complete the circuit, immediately repeat it one more time before going back to hit the books!
Learn the moves:
Start in the top of a push-up position. Stagger arms so that left hand is in front of left shoulder and right hand is slightly behind right shoulder. Lower into a push-up, bringing chest as close to floor as possible (as shown). Push through palms to straighten arms. Do as many reps as you can in one minute, alternating hand position each time.
Form Tip: Make it easier by lowering knees to ground.
Sumo Squat, Lift and Twist
Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Place fingertips at temples and push elbows wide. Hinge at hips to lower into a squat. Drive through heels to stand while lifting left knee to hip-height, twisting torso over left leg (as shown). Lower and immediately start next rep. Do as many reps as you can in one minute, alternating sides each time.
Form Tip: Keep head and chest lifted throughout the exercise.
Single-Leg Pike Push-Up
Start in the top of a push-up position. Hike hips toward sky and shift bodyweight forward so that shoulders are above wrists. Turn fingertips slightly in and lift left leg to sky. Bend elbows to lower crown of head to floor (as shown) then push through palms to straighten arms. Do as many reps as you can in one minute, alternating sides each time.
Form Tip: If calves are tight, try lifting on to the ball of your bottom leg.
Start in a lunge position, left foot forward and arms extended out to the left. Step right foot forward and out to right side so that right heel aligns with left foot. Point right toes out approximately 45 degrees and touch left hand to right foot (as shown) or shin. Drive through right heel and return to starting lunge. Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side for 30 seconds.
Form Tip: Throughout the movement, your left foot should remain still and stable with toes pointing forward.
Start in the top of a push-up position. Take three big “steps” to the right, walking hands and feet in and out (as shown). Pause, jump or step feet under chest, then jump or step feet back to plank position. Now repeat, moving to your left. Do as many reps as you can in one minute.
Form Tip: Keep core muscles tight and hips in line with your shoulders throughout the exercise.
Start standing with arms raised overhead. Bend knees and lower hands to floor, to the right side of feet. Jump feet out to left (as shown). Pause, then jump feet back under hips and return to standing. Do as many reps as you can in one minute, alternating sides each time.
Form Tip: When doing the burpee, be careful not to jump feet too far behind or in front of body—extended legs should be in line with wrists.
Single-Leg Floor Bridge
Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor with arms extended by sides, palms facing up. Cross left ankle over right knee. Raise hips off ground (as shown), then slowly lower butt back toward floor. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side for 30 seconds.
Form Tip: Push through the heel of your bottom foot to drive hips up further.
Lie on back with arms extended overhead, legs lifted straight in air. Lift upper body off ground while opening legs to create a “V” shape, then reach arms between thighs (as shown). Lower arms and legs back to start. Do as many reps as you can for 60 seconds.
Form Tip: Squeeze your inner thighs when bringing legs back together to reap extra firming benefits.
Author: SELF magazine
Photo credit: Cheryl Carlin