Working out during lunchtime is becoming increasingly popular. It’s the perfect counterbalance to a stressful job and helps you fit your training around a busy schedule. But how can you get the most out of this brief period of time?
If you have the classic one-hour break, and 30 minutes is dedicated to the gym, you still have all the time you need to burn fat and build muscle effectively. Follow these five exercises and you’ll feel pumped for the rest of the day.
1. DEADLIFT WITH BARBELL (12 REPS)
Muscles trained: This will strengthen your lower back, backside, hamstrings and quadriceps, grip strength, forearms, and spinal erectors which straighten and rotate the back.
Execution: Take a hip-width stance with the joints of your toes under the bar, lower your body so your thighs are parallel with the floor and grip the bar at the side of your legs. Look forward and lift with your heels, extending your knees and hips until full extension of the body. Keep your back straight throughout. Most of the power comes from the legs, then from the back.
2. DUMBBELL INCLINE BENCH PRESS (12 REPS)
Muscles trained: You’re now going to stretch the entire chest muscles as well as the triceps, the serratus anterior and the front part of the deltoids.
Execution: Lie on your back on a bench that has been set to an incline of 30 to 45 degrees, and then bring each of the dumbbells in your hands to shoulder height with palms facing forward. Next raise the weights evenly upwards until both arms are fully extended and exhale. Go back to the starting position while breathing in, and then repeat.
3. LUNGES (12 REPS)
Muscles trained: This is going to work your calves, hips and thighs, quadriceps and hamstrings, and gluteus muscle. It’s also great for improving lower body balance and stability.
Execution: Standing with your feet together, take an extended step forward with one leg and lower your body until both knees are bent 90 degrees (the back knee almost touches the floor). Keep the upper half of your body straight and maintain balance, then step back into the starting position and repeat, alternating between legs.
4. CHIN-UPS (12 REPS)
Muscles trained: The chin-up is going to work a slightly different mix of muscles to the pull-up. Both exercise the biceps, back and forearms, but this is also going to strengthen and tone your deltoids, lats and trapezius.
Execution: Take a shoulder-width grip of the pull-up bar at arm’s length, with your palms facing backward, and then hang in a straight position that goes from your head and back all the way down to your legs. Keep your arms slightly bent. Next pull your chest to the bar while exhaling slowly and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, and then return to the starting position, inhaling slowly, before repeating.
If you’re new to this exercise, you can use an assisted machine to begin with and work your way up to doing it unaided.
5. KETTLEBELL SWINGS (25 REPS)
Muscles trained: This workout is great for your hamstrings, abdominals, lower back, glutes and shoulders. You’ll also find that this is a mixture of strength and endurance training.
Execution: Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and bend the knees slightly, keeping your back straight. Grip the kettlebell between your legs in both hands with an overhand grip, and then push your hips forward while squeezing your glutes. Allow the movement to bring the kettlebell to shoulder-height with your arms extended; the lifting motion should come from your hips, not your arms. Then return to the starting position, allowing the bell to swing back down with the arms remaining extended and the back straight throughout. Repeat.