While the call for a summer body gets louder by the day, finding the time to carve a six-pack is still not easy. Waking up in the early hours to sweat it out sounds hellish, but post-work most of us are either too tired to consider the gym or planning on heading to the beer garden. So, what are you left with? A lunch break.
It might not sound long enough to be worthwhile but, as personal trainer and fitness expert Patrick McAleenan shows here, swapping the sandwich shop for the squat rack, is enough to blast your body with a 1,000 calorie killer workout.
Fitting a hardcore workout into a short amount of time is difficult, though not impossible. The secret, says McAleenan, is to push the body’s metabolic rate through the roof.
“You should perform these exercises as a circuit, doing each for 30 seconds with a 15 second rest time in between. After you complete all five, repeat with four circuits in total, increasing rest periods by 15 seconds each time.”
To really torch the calories, go harder on the weight-centric exercises. “Push yourself with the kettlebell and dumbbell, aiming for a weight above your usual.”
The goblet squat will blaze through calories and improve core strength, a two-in-one deal that’s too good to resist.
“Hold a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest, cupping one end in both hands. Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can with a straight back. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position.”
Explosive Incline Push-Up
One of the most intensive workouts in the book lives up to the name – this powered-up push-up will carve your pecs into Adonis material.
“Assume a push-up position with your hands on a bench. Bend your elbows and lower until your chest is just a few centimetres from the bench. From there, push back up with enough force for your hands to leave the bench. Land, and repeat.”
One of the meatier courses on your lunch hour menu, it’s also one of the most effective, working your posterior chain for better form and posture.
“Place a kettlebell on the floor in front of you. With feet slightly beyond shoulder width, push your hips back and grab the handle with both hands. Swing the weight between your legs, and the thrust your hips forward as you swing it up to chest level. Swing it back between your legs and repeat.”
Just make sure you’re in a safe, secluded space – one of the most important gym commandments is to maintain the safety (and jaws) of fellow gym goers.
Rolling Side Plank
Although it sounds like what you might do in bed when hungover, this is actually a gruelling exercise that’ll pay dividends, working your abs and shoulders for increased core strength.
“Lie on your left side with your legs straight and body propped on your left elbow and forearm. Your body should be straight from ankles to head. From there, roll onto both elbows and hold for a count or two, then roll onto your right elbow and repeat. Continue rolling back and forth.”
In the spirit of time-saving, this all-rounder of compound exercise works your back, biceps, traps and all the stabiliser muscles in between in one fell swoop.
“Secure a bar at waist height and slide beneath it. Grab it using an overhand, shoulder-width grip and hang with your hands directly above your shoulders. Keeping your shoulder blades back, use your arms to pull your chest to the bar. Pause, lower yourself to the starting position, and repeat.”
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