Sometimes fitting a workout into a busy day can be a tight squeeze, but it’s important to get in all that you can in whatever time you have.  Here is one I use that combines cardio, upperbody, and plyometric components.  Working faster and super-setting exercises will allow you to get in the exercises you need while raising  your heart rate enough to compensate for the lack of time spent working out.

This is a workout that should be finished in 30-35 minutes and includes running, body weight upper-body strength training, and a mix of relatively low impact plyometrics.  Try to use a track, dirt or grass surfaces, or another ground with some give (avoid pavement).

1.  Warm up by running 8 minutes.  Time it so that you start out at a light, but challenging pace (you can talk, but it’s a bit difficult with labored breathing).  Increase your speed each minute.  You should distinctly feel a change in pace each 60 seconds. By the last minute you should be at or above your race pace (you cannot talk much, lengthened stride).

2. Complete 3 sets of each group of exercises as quickly as possible. (descriptions of select exercises at end).

  • Push ups x12
  • Shift from *plank to push up position x 12 (6 each arm)
  • *Tuck Jumps x 20
  • *Tricep push ups x12
  • *Side pillar with hip touches x12
  • *Donkey kicks x20
  • Wide grip push ups x12
  • Tricep dips x12
  • *lateral line hops x 20
  • crunch x 25
  • *row boats x 25
  • side crunch x 25 (each side)

3. Cool down by running 8 minutes.  Time it so that you start out at your fastest pace and slow down each minute just enough so that you end at a light but challenging pace.

Exercise descriptions:

*plank= in prone position, hold yourself up with your elbows and toes so that you have a straight line from your shoulders to your hips to your toes. Your shoulder is right above your elbow, your back is flat and your stomach pulled in towards your spine.  When you shift to push up position, straighten one arm and then the other so that you’ve risen to the position that you would start for push *ups. Lower back to plank with the same lead arm.

*tuck jumps= starting with both feet planted on ground, explosively jump up so that your knees tuck up to your chest.  As soon as your toes touch the ground, reload  jump up again. Limit your time in contact with the ground as much as possible.

*tricep push ups=  Same as other push ups except for hand placement.  bring hands in so that they are just under your shoulders.  Bend your elbows so that they point towards your feet and stay as close to your body as possible. Keeping your back flat and stomach pulled in towards your spine, lower yourself to just above the ground so that your elbows are bent at nearly 90 degrees.

*side pillar with hip touches= lie on your left side. Lift yourself up so that you are balancing on and holding yourself up with your left forearm and the side of your left foot so that the rest of your body is held in straight line. Hold your right arm out straight at a right angle the right side of your body. This is holding yourself in side pillar.  Now lower your left hip to touch the ground and then come back to side pillar.

*donkey kicks= start on hands and knees. Raise up so that knees are off the ground and you are now on hands and toes. Simultaneously kick up both legs (like a donkey) and land back on your toes. Go as quickly as possible, limiting your contact time with the ground.

*lateral line hops= standing on the side of a line on the ground (or stick, cone, shoe, whatever), jump sideways to land on other side of line. Keep feet together the whole time. Minimize contact time with ground.

*row boats= balance on your tailbone with legs  held out straight so that they form a V shape with your torso. Arms are held out in front for balance.  Now pull torso and legs in together and then return to starting position.