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We have all heard that losing weight has a lot to do with what you eat and the amount of physical activity you do in a day. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise in a week. However, it is not possible for everyone to squeeze in the time to exercise. Enter mini-workouts!
Health Shots got in touch with fitness expert Rahul Basak to understand how you can incorporate mini-workouts for weight goals in your busy schedule! But let’s understand how they work.
How do mini-workouts work for weight loss?
As the name suggests, mini-workouts are 5-10 minute sessions of workout that you can do anytime, anywhere. Fitness expert Basak explains, “People think, that for weight loss they just need to perform long 45-60 minutes workout sessions but mini workouts performed throughout the day can equally be beneficial. For weight-loss, staying active throughout the day can help burn a lot of calories, and is better than one long session of workout and staying sedentary for the rest of the day.”
Not only do these workouts are easy to include in your busy schedule, but they offer other health benefits as well.
1. Starting back after a long break or injury
Are you starting working out after an injury or a long break? The fitness expert says that mini workouts can help you get back on track in such cases. “It helps you to slowly ease back into the process without pushing your body beyond its limits and reduces any chances of injury,” he further explains.
2. Reduced mental barrier to start working out
The one thing all of us dread is the mental pressure of actually getting up and working out. But with mini workouts, that’s not the case! A short or mini workout session does not require a lot of mental effort to start a workout and helps in improving exercise adherence, says Basak.
3. Helps you stay active throughout the day
This goes without saying that getting some sort of physical activity is better than not working out at all! He advises that staying active throughout the day is more beneficial for your than just performing a 45-60 minutes of workout while staying sedentary throughout the day.
4 Mini-workouts for weight loss
Basak suggests that the following mini workouts for weight loss you can perform in the comfort of your home:
1) HIIT Upper and Lower Body Tabata: Total Time 9 minutes
Get on all fours with your hands placed wider than your shoulders and your legs straight. No, lower your body to the floor, then push yourself back up and repeat.
- Air Squats
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Now, bend down as if you were sitting in a chair. Make sure you engage your core muscles as you bend. You should keep your weight in heels. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds, then repeat.
- Plank Shoulder Taps
Get in a plank position with your hands in line with your shoulders and core tight. Now, bring your left hand up and tap your right shoulder, then repeat on the other side.
Start by standing straight up with your feet slightly apart, then step forward. Your front thigh should be parallel to the floor as you squat down. Your toes should remain over your front knee. The next step is to stand back up by pushing through your front heel. Repeat on the other side.
Duration: Do each of these exercises for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second gap between circuits. Do 8 rounds of the circuits. Take one minute break between the circuits.
2) Full Body Circuit: Total Time 10 mins
- Hand release push ups
Begin in a plank position. Slowly lower down your chest with your elbows at a 45-degree angle from your torso. Now, pick your hand up a little to hover off the floor Hold the position and place your palms back. Make sure your core is engaged when you perform these exercises.
- Kang Squats
Hold a barbell over your shoulders as you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now, slowly hinge at your hips and lower your chest until it is parallel to the floor. Next, take a seat backwards while bending your knees and lowering your hips into a squat position. Straighten your legs and return to the initial position. Now, get back into the starting position.
- Glute Bridges
Lie on the floor with your face upwards to the ceiling. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the mat. Keep your palms on either side. Now, lift your hips off the ground and squeeze the glutes. Hold the position for 30 seconds and move on to the next exercise.
- Plank Hold
Begin in a plank position with your face down towards the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat.
Duration: Perform each of these exercises for 30 seconds. Take 30 seconds of rest in between the circuit and repeat 4 times to avail the benefits.
EMOM stands for “every minute of the minute,” which is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that gets your heart pounding wherein you begin one exercise at the first minute and then another at the start of another minute. For instance, If you complete the necessary exercises in 40 seconds, you have the remaining 20 seconds to yourself to take a breath. Here’s an upper-body and lower body EMOM mini-workout for you:
Upper Body EMOM: Total time 9 mins
Minute 1: Bodyweight Renegade Rows- 10 repetitions
Begin in a push-up position with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands on the floor. Engage your core as you get into the position. Pull the weight to your waist with your right hand with your left hand pushed hard into the ground. Lower the weight slowly to the initial position and repeat.
Minute 2: Reverse Snow angels- 10 repetitions
Lie down on your stomach on a mat. Bring your arms to either side and lift your arms up. You can grab a lightweight if you want. Stay in the position and release.
Minute 3: Jumping Jacks- 30 repetitions
Stand in a straight position with your feet and arms fully extended. Now, slightly bend your knee and jump. Swing your arms as you jump and raise them above your head. Return to the initial position and repeat.
4) Lower Body EMOM: Total time 9 mins
Minute 1: Air Squats – 10 repetitions
Perform it the same way as mentioned above.
Minute 2: Glute Bridges – 10 repetitions
This will be performed the same as mentioned above.
Minute 3: High knee jumps – 30 repetitions
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your right knee as high as you can and raise the opposite arm. Now, switch to the other side.