5 Time Saving Workouts To Stay Fit – Even When You’re Crazy Busy

One of the most challenging parts of sticking to a workout routine is simply fitting it into our crazy schedules!  I feel ya, ladies.  Between work, kids, house stuff, trying to keep a relationship up with the hubby – things can get crazy.  That’s why I love these three types of time-saving workouts!  Each is easy to cram into a packed schedule to help keep yourself in great shape.

a women picking up a kettlebell for a time saving workout

1. Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebells are a great option for time saving workouts.  With just a few different weight sets at home, you’ll have an endless supply of exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.  You can do a lot of the same movements with kettlebells as you can with dumbbells, but the way they’re structured allows for additional variety with momentum-based exercises.

Here’s one example of a kettlebell exercise – a kettlebell swing.  In this case, you’re going to hinge your hips and swing the kettlebell between your legs then back up until your arms are parallel.  You want to have your legs slightly bent with the swing, but avoid squatting too much on each repetition.

Here’s a quick video that demonstrates how to do kettlebell swings:

Of course, there are tons of other exercises as well – think kettlebell squats, kettlebell lunge press, kettlebell deadlifts, and more.  This kettlebell article from Greatist has 22 different kettlebell exercises you can do with illustrations of proper form – it’s a great resource!

Here’s another helpful resource for you – an awesome 10-minute kettlebell workout that you can do at home.  Talk about a time saving workout!

10 minute kettlebell workout:

2. Tabata Workouts

Tabata is a form of interval training that was actually discovered by a Japanese scientist.  He did research on two different exercise protocols – standard steady state exercise in one group, and intense interval training in the other group.  The intense interval training group showed greater overall fitness improvements when it came to both the aerobic and anaerobic systems (versus the steady state group that had primarily aerobic improvements).

Traditional tabata workouts are comprised of the following:

  • Intense exercise for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Repeat 8 times for a total workout of 4 minutes

Sample tabata workout:

Most time saving tabata workouts will include several different exercises in this rhythm, for a total workout of around 20 minutes.  For example, you might to a tabata that includes these four exercises:

  • Push ups
  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Plank step ups

30-minute hip hop tabata video:

If you want to try something a little different when it comes to tabata, I think you’ll L-O-V-E this hip hop tabata workout.  Think of it as a mixture between a dance class and a tabata session.  This 30-minute video will lead you through a warm up followed by the actual tabata moves, which include things like a jump followed by twerking your legs.  I love it!

3.  At-Home Circuit Workouts

Essentially, circuit training is alternating between several different exercises that target different muscle groups.  Circuit workouts can be done using different types of body weight, dumbbell, and resistance band exercises – depending on what you have on hand.  Because you don’t have to spend time getting to the gym and back, at home circuits can definitely be time saving workouts!

DIY Circuit Workout Format:

One way to create your own circuit workout is to choose 1-2 exercises from each of these categories, and then rotate through them:

Cardio:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Jumping rope
  • Running/jogging
  • Skipping
  • Stairs
  • Side shuffles
  • Dancing

Lower body:

  • Squats (regular, sumo, goblet, single-leg, etc.)
  • Lunges (forward, backward, walking, side)
  • Hip extensions
  • Side hip abductions
  • Calf raises (on a ledge or stair)

Core:

  • Crunches (regular, twisting, bicycle)
  • Leg lifts / scissor kicks from laying position
  • Planks (on hands, forearms, side planks, etc)
  • Bridge pose
  • Supermans

Upper body:

  • Push-ups (regular or modified)
  • Tricep dips using a chair
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extensions
  • Bent over row
  • Lateral raises
  • Upright row

If you want to get out of the house, you can also choose exercises that you can do outdoors while hanging with the kiddos – like this quick workout at the park!

20 minute at home workout:

If you really like variety, you can try this time saving workout video that’s only 20 minutes long.  It has a bit more exercises than I’d normally put in a circuit workout, but it’ll definitely keep you on your toes and keep you engaged!

4. Personal Training Sessions

OK, this one isn’t an at-home workout – but hear me out on how it can be a time saver!

If you’re like many people, you’ve probably learned how to exercise by what you’ve picked up from friends, media, etc.  And that’s great, because any exercise is amazing for your body!

But if you want to maximize your workouts, a session with a personal trainer can really help to make sure you’re getting the most out of every minute.  They’ll ensure you are using the right form, they’ll be able to guide you on appropriate weight settings at the gym, and they can help you figure out the proper balance between cardio and strength training to reach your fitness goals.

5. Break out the Games!

Back when I owned my corporate wellness company, I taught boot camps on site for different companies.  Games and challenges were always an integral part of those boot camps, because they push you to your (reasonable) limits in a fun way.

Song-based games

One of my favorite types of games are song-based ones.  In this case, find a song with a lot of repetitive phrases, and challenge yourself to do a certain exercise each time a phrase is said.  For example, I like to use the song “Roxanne” and assign a different exercise for each time “roxanne” and “put on the red light” are said.

Or find a song where it instructs you to move in a certain direction.  “Bring Sally Up” is a common one and you can do it with either squats or push ups:

Card workout game:

Break out a deck of cards and assign a different exercise to each suit.  For example, spades might be squats, hearts might be push-ups, diamonds might be mountain climbers, and clubs might be jumping jacks.  Go through the deck, doing the number listed on the card for each exercise (I usually make face cards 10, but you can choose whatever you want for that).

Run through as many cards as you can in a specific time frame, like 20 minutes, for an awesome time saving workout.

Here are a few other game and challenge-type workouts:

Share:  What are some of your favorite time saving workouts?  Which of these workout ideas do you plan to try?

Sharing is caring!

Jenn

Jenn Mitchell is a proud mom, wife and adventure seeker. She’s traveled either solo or with family to 20 countries and 36 U.S. states so far. A former personal trainer, Jenn looks for ways to keep her family fit and active both at home and on the road. Her goal is to inspire other moms and families to live happy and healthy lives.

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Jenn

    Me too. Thanks for stopping by Sara.

  2. Teresha

    I think many moms think that they have to work out at a gym for an hour and so they do nothing. Some exercise is always better than no exercise. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  3. Jenn

    I could not agree more. After completing P90X, I felt like I always needed 60-90 minutes of exercise and that is simply not true.

  4. I absolutely LOVE kettlebells! These are great workouts, I have a lot of busy days where I don’t have much time, but I’d have time for these. Thanks!

    1. Jenn

      Glad to give you some time saving ideas.

  5. Jenna Wood

    I’ve never heard of Tabata, but that sounds like a great way to infuse lots of training into a small circuit. Thanks for the tips Levi!

  6. Keianna

    Thank you so much for sharing your blog on Google+. It is just what I need. I just recently gave birth to a baby 3 months ago & I need to get my body back to normal.

    1. Jenn

      Glad to “meet” you on Google + Thanks for passing along my blog to your followers.

  7. Dawn

    I have never tried kettle bells before – thanks for all the info though. I might try them out now!

    Dawn

    1. Jenn

      Kettlebells are great. Just be sure to start light and use correct form. Google Lauren Brooks. She has some great instructional videos.

  8. mel

    Kettlebells is my favorite. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Great workouts! I got a kettlebell last fall and really need to start using it more… I bet even 10 min/day will benefit my swimming and running. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Jenn

      Kettlebells really do give you a total-body workout in about half the time.

  10. mina rizk

    Excellent article! And entertainingly written
    I found another helpful way is to buy ” flat belly fix” that is really helped me a lot to be the way i like
    if anyone want to buy it you can easily do it from here ” https://bit.ly/2Tw2PJR

  11. Steve Jones

    Great Blog!! Thanks for sharing such a great blog with us. It was really inspiring and helpful to us.

  12. IMPERFECT STORE

    I have checked the list of Health blogs you have shared. It’s really worth to read all the health-related stuff here. We are also dealing in the Health & Fitness related books for the users. Anyone who wants to know more on health topics can buy them from the largest Online Bookstore, “The Imperfect Store”.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.