Some days time is definitely not on our side; I don’t care what Mick Jagger said in that song. When you are pinched for time one of the first things to be tossed out the window is things like hitting the gym because often times our personal goals take a backseat to professional needs or daily responsibilities. But it shouldn’t be that way.
Taking care of your self is a critical responsibility to your own well-being. So instead of giving up on the important workout we need to have alternatives in our pocket to get in a quick yet functional workout that meets our reduced time needs as well as personal needs for staying in shape. Thus we have this routine dubbed the two-for-one.
The basic premise is working two areas in the same exercise. Dumbbells and a Swiss ball are the tools of choice for this program. To ensure we keep our heart rate up for a cardio bonus the program is designed as a circuit. Do each exercise one at a time and then rest 30 to 60 seconds between circuits. Aim for at least 3 full circuits. For repetitions, aim for 8 to 12 on each exercise.
- Push-up Rows – Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands and assume a push-up position. Go down and come up for a standard push-up and then do a single arm row with the left arm. Keep your abs and core tense and tight to help balance. Then do another push-up followed by a single row with the right arm. This exercise hits most of your upper body.
- The Step Up – Grab a pair of dumbbells and get down on your knees. Press the dumbbells overhead and hold them there in a lock-out position. Now take your right foot and place it on the floor in front of you at a 90 degree angle and stand up using only the right leg. Keep the dumbbells in lockout. Reverse the motion to get back to a kneeling position and then lower the dumbbells. Repeat with the left leg to complete 1 rep.
- Squat Curls – Grab a pair of dumbbells and assume a squat position with feet shoulder-width apart. Perform a biceps curl bringing the weight to your shoulders. Pause the weight there and lower into a full squat, pausing at the bottom before pressing back up to a standing position. Now lower the dumbbells to complete the curl.
- Swiss Ball Bench Press – Lie back on a Swiss ball with a pair of dumbbells in hand. The ball should be under your shoulders. Bridge your body so it is almost parallel to the ground with a 30 to 40 degree angle at the knees and feet flat on the ground. Keep your glutes, hamstrings, and hips tight to support this position while you perform dumbbell bench presses.
- Side Lateral Back Extension – Lie flat on a Swiss ball with your chest on the ball. Hold dumbbells in each hand with your arms hanging down. Now perform a hybrid side-rear dumbbell lateral for the deltoids and traps. At the peak of the movement pause and raise the chest off the ball for a lower back extension so your body forms a ‘T’. Lower your torso and then lower your arms to complete the exercise.