The 20-minute, bang-for-your-buck bodyweight summer workout

by | May 14, 2019 | Fitness, Health

A couple of weeks ago we talked about how you can shorten up your gym time this summer…
 
So you can spend more time at the cabin, 
 
So you can be outside in the yard, 
 
So you can be out with your family and friends, 
 
And still, get rock-star results. 
 
But, sometimes you just need a good 10-20-minute workout you can do on the run.
 
Well, that’s what this post is all about. 
 
Big, 
 
Bang-for-your-buck 
 
movements that can be strung together to get in a quick workout between barbecues and birthday parties. 
 
 

The value of the short workout

Now, such a short workout may not even seem worth it. 
 
What’s a 10-20 minute workout going to do anyway?
 
Well, there definitely will be some physiological benefit in terms of maintaining strength,
 
Mastering technique,
 
Elevating your metabolism, 
 
Clearing your head,
 
And if you’re just starting, 
 
Even gaining some muscle.
 
But, the real magic of the quick workout lies elsewhere.
 
Deep in your brain…
 
In the basal ganglia,
 
Where your habits are stored.
 
The 10-minute workout, 
 
More than anything else,
 
Helps you to maintain the habit of working out. 
 
How easy is it to miss two workouts once you’ve missed one?
 
How easy is it to miss three workouts once you’ve missed two?
 
Whereas, if you just kept up a little steady momentum, 
 
You’d be fine.
 
It’s like the story of the pump
 
It takes a lot of effort to get the water flowing from the pump,
 
But once the water is flowing, 
 
All it takes is a little steady effort to keep it going. 
 
So, let’s get started with the warm-up 
 
 

The warm-up 

Glute bridge x 6-8
 
 
The glute bridge is a great way to turn on the lower body muscles for the workout. 
 
Plus, it can help keep your posture,
 
So you’ll need them for upper body movements too. 
 
Plus, they help keep the hips and back healthy, 
 
Plus, ain’t no one going to say no to a nice butt!
 
If you want to make this move more challenging, 
 
Opt for the glute bridge march,
 
 
Or if you need to dial it back,
 
Opt for the prone 1-leg glute activation. 
 
 
Dead bug legs x 6-8/side
 
 
The dead bug is our favourite anterior core exercise.
 
Not only does it help keep your back safe,
 
Not only can it make your abs pop,
 
Not only can it help keep your posture,
 
It just feels awesome to do it! 
 
If you want to make it more challenging, 
 
Add the arms into it,
 
 
If you need to dial it back a bit, 
 
Opt for the dead bug heel taps
 
 
Butt-to-heels thoracic rotation x 6-8 per side 
 
 
The upper back gets pretty rounded out 
 
and 
 
takes a pretty serious ass-kicking from the rigours of sitting at a desk,
 
Sitting in a car, 
 
Hunching over a phone,
 
Or hunching over a computer.
 
Mobilizing the upper back can not only help restore your posture, 
 
It can keep your shoulders and neck healthy and safe. 
 
If you want to step your game up, try the quadruped thoracic rotation.
 
 
If you want to dial it back, try the side-lying extension-rotation.
 
 
Bowler squat 
 
 
If you want to dial in your balance, 
 
Fire up your glutes even more,
 
Turn on your hip and knee stabilizers,
 
And pull some core into an integrated movement, 
 
The bowler squat is a gold mine.
 
This move is a great capper to the warm-up as it incorporates everything you just worked in the warm-up…
 
Glute activation,
 
Core integration,
 
Balance and stability,
 
And posture. 
 
To dial this move up, try the 1-leg walking deadlift,
 
 
To scale it back, 
 
Try the assisted 1-leg deadlift.
 
 
After running through these moves for 1-2 rounds, 
 
Your body should be primed and ready to go for the workout. 
 
 

The workout 

The workout is really simple…
 
Set a timer for 10 minutes,
 
Do 10-15 reps on each side of the first movement listed below (split squats)
 
Do 10-15 push-ups 
 
And if you have a suspension trainer, 
 
Do 10-15 suspension trainer rows. 
 
Repeat for 10 minutes.
 
Rest as needed to maintain picture-perfect form. 
 
Let’s check out the movements…
 
Bodyweight split squats x 10-15 per side 
 
 
The split squat is an amazing move for getting a pump in the quads,
 
For strengthening up those glutes for next season,
 
For dialing in your functional core strength,
 
And for just putting in some high quality work.
 
To dial this one back,
 
Try the half- or three-quarter split squat,
 
 
 
To take it up a notch, 
 
Try holding for 3-10 seconds at the bottom of the movement.
 
Push-up
 
 
We love push-ups,
 
There is nothing quite like it in terms of core activation,
 
Glute involvement,
 
Upper body strength,
 
Posture, 
 
Mobility,
 
And if you think about a lot of sports, 
 
They mimic what happens in a push-up….
 
You brace in your glutes and core, 
 
And you produce force in your arms,
 
Umm, hello hitting, 
 
Shooting, 
 
Throwing, 
 
Even running. 
 
But, man, do these get butchered. 
 
It’s often the most-bastardized movement in gyms across Canada.
 
Now, don’t get it twisted,
 
Just because you don’t do push-ups off the floor, 
 
Doesn’t mean your a. Not getting any benefit,
 
Or b. Not doing “real” push-ups….
 
They’re still push-ups,
 
And they’re still going to give you all of the awesome benefits listed above. 
 
You just won’t destroy your back and shoulders when doing them.
 
To make push-ups harder, 
 
Elevated your feet,
 
To make them easier, 
 
Elevate your hands. 
 
Bonus movement – suspension trainer rows 
 
 
If you have some rings or a suspension trainer kicking around, 
 
You can throw in one of our favourite bodyweight moves – suspension trainer rows. 
 
These further cement that awesome posture,
 
And core benefits that optimize sport performance that we’ve been talking about this whole article. 
 
There’s nothing quite like a solid row to help keep the shoulders and upper back healthy,
 
And to really round out an awesome strength training workout. 
 
If you don’t have a suspension trainer or rings, 
 
Try some backpack bent-over rows  
 

 

Wrap-up

Life gets crazy in the summer, 
 
We get that.
 
Sometimes 10-20 minutes is all you have between pool parties,
 
Family reunions,
 
And friendly get-togethers.
 
So, this summer, maintain the habit. 
 
Make it easy to get back to your workouts come fall time by not succumbing to the busy-ness of the summer.
 
Something is always better than nothing.
 
Getting and staying in shape is a life-long thing…
 
There will be ups and downs,
 
Peaks and valleys.
 
The ticket is to stay on the ride.
 
Once the ball is rolling, 
 
All it takes is a little steady effort to keep it going, 
 
So, keep the ball rolling this summer with the workout above. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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