No time to work out this week? No problem! This killer combo will tone your abs in just five minutes.
We get it: some days you just don’t have time to hit the gym or even do a home workout. And sometimes those frantic days turn into frantic weeks. Next thing you know, it’s Sunday night, you haven’t done any exercise in ten days and you’re sitting in a puddle of self-loathing, watching Carte Blanche while eating peanut butter out the jar with a spoon. This doesn’t have to be your life!
Just Do What You Can
We all have those days when it seems like the universe is conspiring to sabotage all our fitness gains. But don’t give up. A little bit of effort is always better than no effort at all. Research into HIIT (high intensity interval training) has proved that you can get the same benefits from a short, intense workout that you’d get from a longer, regular sweat sesh. The key is in the intensity. You want to push yourself to maximum effort – when you feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest and your muscles are burning.
Proof: Ten Minutes Is All You Need
In a 2005 study, exercise physiologist Prof Martin Gibala got a group of test subjects to ride a stationary bike at all-out effort for 30-second intervals, followed by four minutes of rest, repeated four to six times, three days a week. Essentially they were doing around seven minutes of actual exercise a week. Yet, after two weeks (14 minutes of exercise!) the group had doubled their fitness levels. Not bad, hey?
While the findings of this study can’t be directly translated to toning, it does prove one thing – squeezing fitness into whatever time you have a available, even if that’s just five or two minutes, can make a difference.
Do this quick abs workout from Next Fitness Star winner Mapule Ndhlovu three or four times this week, whenever you’re able to squeeze it in. Got time for a workout? Awesome! Throw it in as a sub for your usual abs routine – it’s always good to mix things up. Do the whole sequence as a flow, without stopping, rest for up to a minute, then repeat. Do a total of three rounds. Want to up the ante? Follow up each abs flow with 20 seconds of burpee-tuck-jump combos before you rest.