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 a 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 a 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.