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7 Fast Fitness Moves

By Sara Haley

7 Fast Fitness Moves

Some days you just have 5 minutes. These moves are from my second Daily Sweat and Sweat UNLIMITED fitness workouts. I can choose 1 or all of them based on how much time I have: 5, 15, 30 or 45 minutes.

1. Five Minutes is Better Than 0

This plank is perfect when you only have 5 minutes because it works so many muscles at once. Start in plank (top of a push-up) and do any of these:

  • Hold the plank
  • Add challenge: Lower down to your forearms
  • Row one arm back to your rib cage at a time, tightening the back muscles around your bra line
  • Throughout, pull your navel to your spine and squeeze your butt for added stability. Repeat up to 1 minute; combine with 4 other favorite exercises for a quick 5-minute workout.

2. Build Muscles For Calorie Burn

Spend 5 minutes each on your upper and lower body, and 5 minutes on your core with elbow-to-knee obliques that whittle your waistline:

  • Begin on knees, right leg out to the side, right foot on the floor
  • With hands behind your head, lean your upper body (torso leading) toward the knee, getting your elbow as close to your knee as possible, keeping your hips to the front
  • Add challenge: Lift your right foot off the floor as you bring your elbow toward the knee
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times on each leg.

3. Use Your Body Weight

Don’t load an exercise with weight; do it differently, as with this rotational ankle squat:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Reach arms up
  • Sit back with your weight in your heels, like a traditional squat
  • As you get lower, reach toward 1 ankle with both hands
  • Keep your feet, knees and hips to the front as your torso and upper body slightly rotate and twist toward 1 ankle
  • Stand tall again and repeat toward opposite ankle
  • If your knees buckle as you squat, widen your stance until you gain inner thigh strength.

4. Dance it Out

I love to dance; it’s the perfect cardio for me. If you’re more into sports, try sports-specific cardio drills! Here’s a favorite dance move anyone can do called “Swing It”:

  • Begin in a plié squat, hips and toes rotated out to the corners
  • Swing your arms back and forth behind your back (a great chest opener, moms!)
  • Bend your knees, and as you swing from right to left, push off the floor into a little jump
  • Land with the balls of the feet on the ground first, followed by your heels
  • Put on your favorite song; freestyle on the verses and “Swing It” on the chorus!

5. Tabata Training

It’s quick, efficient, and only takes 20 seconds at a time! Take a drill (jogging in place) or an exercise (push-ups) and give it everything you’ve got for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. Repeat 8 times. Try doing 2-8 different drills. Trust me; it beats the heck out of running on a treadmill:

  • Rotate your hips and feet to the corners
  • Bend both knees, as you rotate into a lunge toward the left corner your right knee should get closer to the floor, as you punch the right arm toward the floor
  • Add challenge: Go lower, hit the floor if you can
  • Quickly go back through the center and rotate into a lunge to the right corner
  • Push off the floor in between each lunge to get a little air time in the middle
  • Repeat for 20 seconds, rest for 10 between, for 8 rounds.

6. Pick Up Boxing

It’s an amazing cardio and strength-conditioning exercise that works your core like crazy:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Bend your knees into a mini squat
  • With arms tight, squeeze your elbows close to your body, and block your face a bit with your hands
  • From this position, extend and punch 1 arm out in front of you at a time; your knuckles should be in a straight line to the front
  • Repeat for speed for 30-60 seconds.

7. Remember to Stretch

Give yourself a 5-minute minimum stretch with my big spinal twist:

  • Seated, cross your right leg over your left; right knee up
  • Cross your left arm over your right leg
  • Rotate to the back
  • Hold for 2 counts, then return to start
  • Repeat up to 4-6 times on one side
  • Repeat other side

Also read: Sweat funk: Cardio dance workout for pregnant women

Sara Haley (sarahaley.com) is a mom and certified fitness instructor. These exercises and more are from her Daily Sweat and Sweat UNLIMITED work-outs, available online or on DVD.


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