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side planks

Somewhere between overtime at work and road construction that doubles your commute, your plan to get to the gym becomes a distant memory. But you do not have to let unexpected errands or projects derail your fitness goals. Here is a quick and efficient routine you can squeeze into the morning before you leave or during your lunch break. All you need is ten minutes! Do as many reps as you can with each of these exercises for 30 seconds. Move continuously through the circuit four times total. This workout combines cardio and strengthening exercises for your legs, core, obliques, sides, and shoulders. All you need is some floor space.


Exercise #1: Mountain climbers

In a plank position (the top of a push-up), bend one knee toward your chest with your foot hovering above the floor. Return that leg to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Try to refrain from swaying your upper body from side to side and make sure your backside is not jetting up to the ceiling or sagging down toward the floor. Move your legs quickly in this position for 30 seconds. If you have wrist pain, you can modify by dropping down to your forearms.


Exercise #2: Oblique rotations

Sit back on the floor, knees bent, and cross your arms on your chest. Tighten your abdomen by pulling your navel into your spine and rotate your body left and right. The rotation should feel as though it is generated from your mid-back.


Exercise #3: Squats

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart and parallel to each other. Keeping your back flat and weight in the heels of your feet, bend your knees as you squat down like you are sitting back into a chair. Bend your knees no farther than a 90 degree angle and then return to a standing position. Repeat this motion at a moderate pace.


Exercise #4: Side planks

Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up on your right forearm with your legs stacked forming a diagonal line with your body. Place your right hand on your right hip and lift your knees and hips off the floor. Brace your abdominals as you hold the position for 15 seconds. Repeat on your left side.


Exercise #5: Alternating jumping lunges

Keeping your torso upright, step one foot out into a lunge with your front knee bent at a 90 degree angle and your back knee bent and hovering just above the floor. Explosively jump and alternate legs so you land in a lunge on the other side. Keep repeating your split jump lunges for the duration of the 30 seconds. Aim for soft landings.