No matter what technological advances come out to make our lives more efficient and effective, we seem to have less and less free time in our daily lives. With the daily responsibilities of being a parent, it seems nearly impossible to consistently make time for the gym. But don’t worry; there are exercises you can fit into your existing day that can be surprisingly effective. If you want to lose weight and have more defined muscles, fit the below routine into your daily schedule for 4 weeks.
The Wake and Tuck
After your alarm clock goes off, tuck your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around your knees. Now, just rock slightly from side to side. This will wake up your spine and stretch your legs a bit. After doing this stretch for about 30 seconds, straighten your legs and move them from side to side (keeping your back on the mattress). This will further loosen your back and also engage your core. Depending on how you feel, you can choose to do 10 or 15 crunches in bed.
The Doorknob Squat
This might seem silly, but it works well. For your morning routine (the time you spend in the house before you leave for work), every time you touch a doorknob do 10 squats. Personally, I touch about 6-8 doorknobs on average during my morning routine. So before I even leave for work I have already done about 60 squats, which are a powerful bodyweight exercises and a great calorie burner.
The Ab Flex
During your drive to work do at least 5 sets of 15 ab flex’s. Squeeze your abdominal muscles as though you’re trying to touch your ribs to your stomach, hold for a couple seconds, then release. Of course, it goes without saying if this exercise takes away from your attention on the road, then stop doing them.
At this point, you are arriving at work and you have already stretched your legs and back and exercised your legs and abs. The first time you do this morning routine, you might find you feel more awake than you have in a long time and more focused and attentive at work. The human body is very adaptive and responds to change well. Your body will reward you with even these subtle changes to your daily routine.
The Three Card Monte
I realize once you get to work you’re busy, but no one is too busy to take a 30 second break here and there. Grab a deck of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight fitness cards and deal three cards (called the Three Card Monte). Each card will give you an exercise that requires only your bodyweight. Three cards are just enough to get your blood flowing, keep your metabolic rate high and thus keeping your energy level up. An average workday lasts 8 hours (not including an hour for lunch). If you can focus on playing Three Card Monte once an hour you will have completed 24 exercises just during your workday. Do you realize that most people who go to the gym for an hour every day don’t do 24 exercises? You completed 24 exercises taking only a 30 second break every hour, wow!
The 10 Minute Lunchtime Battle
You know how to play War with a deck of cards right? Simply grab a friend and a deck of cards, or use your Strength Stack 52, and play a game of War. With Strength Stack 52, playing War is easy, whoever deals the lowest card number has to do both exercises on the card. If you are using a regular deck of cards, you will need to determine what exercises should be given to the person who loses the hand. After playing War for just 10 minutes you will definitely notice a heart pumping workout.
The Evening Drop
This is a fun exercise to do with your family. Assign a “keyword of the day” and don’t tell anyone. Let’s assume the keyword is dog. Now, whenever anyone in your household says the word dog, you have to drop and do 10 push-ups. The next time that word is used, do 9 push-ups, then 8 and so on. The first time you do this your kids will laugh wondering what keyword made you drop. And if your kids are normal, if they find out what that keyword is, they will use it to their full advantage.
So now you are at the end of your day, you have worked your entire body, never needed to go the gym, never needed to carry any equipment with you and didn’t need to schedule any time for a workout, yet you burned a bazillion calories and firmed every muscle in your body. Great work!
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This article was written by Sergeant Michael Volkin. Mr. Volkin is a U.S. Army veteran, author, and entrepreneur. He is the inventor of Strength Stack 52, a unique deck of bodyweight fitness cards designed to get you in shape faster than ever before. Mr. Volkin has authored 3 military books aimed at helping recruits prepare for basic training. Be sure to check Muffy’s Fitness Blog for future guest entries from him.