When life just won’t spare you an hour to go to the gym, this supercharged, Tabata-based, full-body workout will leave you gassed in less than 20 minutes!
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I’m a busy mom with three little boys running around the house, so I can’t always block out time to go to the gym for an hour. What I can do, however, is bust out a short workout while the kids are napping or watching television. A short home routine with minimal equipment doesn’t need to be low intensity, though. My Restless Workout utilizes dumbbells, a kettlebell, and Tabata intervals, which will have your heart racing and your muscles screaming in no time flat!
If you’ve never tried Tabata, it’s about to become your new best friend—well, one of those best friends you have a love/hate relationship with, anyway. Tabata normally consists of 20-second work intervals followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of eight rounds, which allows for an intense workout in only four minutes. My Restless Workout kicks it up another notch, though. Instead of resting, you’ll use those 10-second intervals to squeeze in yet another exercise. Some work your core, while others are straight-up lung burners.
Timing yourself is important; the 10- and 20-second intervals are what set the furious pace and keep the intensity elevated. You can use the basic stopwatch feature on your phone, but I like apps designed for HIIT and Tabata, such as Tabata Stopwatch Pro, because they let you program the intervals in ahead of time. Pausing to reset the stopwatch on your phone just brings down the intensity of the workout, defeating the whole purpose of these fast-paced intervals.
In fact, I strongly encourage you to complete the entire 20 minutes without taking a break, if possible; it’s called the “Restless” Workout for a reason! If you absolutely do need to rest, keep it to a minimum, and jump back in as soon as you’re able to.
The Restless Workout is a great option for those days when you need to push yourself hard in a short amount of time. However, it also makes a great finisher for the end of your existing workout. You can even use it as a warm-up to get your blood pumping and your energy surging before you hit the heavier weights. However you choose to use it, make sure you keep the pace fast and furious!
| Manmaker |
Assume a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand. Perform one push-up, then bring your right arm up into a single-arm row. Perform another push-up, then do a row with your left arm. Next, hop your feet up by your hands and jump up into a standing position with both dumbbells raised above your head.
I love this exercise because it really works your upper body and chest, and elevates your heart rate. You’ll feel what I mean when you’re busting out those pull-ups between rows!
| Plank |
Set your dumbbells in front of you, and stretch out into a plank position, as if you’re about to do a push-up. You can do a straight-arm plank or a plank on your forearms. Choose whichever is more challenging for you; you’re only holding it for 10 seconds, and the point is to push yourself hard here. Don’t allow your back to sag, and don’t push your butt into the air. If you’re new to planks, try practicing in front of a mirror to check your form. Your body should be straight like, well, a plank.
| Dumbbell Thruster |
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and sit in a full-squat position with a dumbbell at each shoulder and an elbow at each knee. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width. Extend straight up to a full standing position and press your hands overhead. Then bring your arms back down as you return to the squat position. Try to come all the way back down to where you began.
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