If you only have time for one exercise…

burpeesDo some burpees! Burpees are tough, but they’re great when you don’t have a lot of time to work out because they work your entire body—arms, chest, back, shoulders, abs, thighs, hamstrings, and butt. They also get your heart rate up, so they count as cardio, too! Start with 10, take a break, then do 10 more. Work up to doing 10 sets.

Another reason I like this exercise is that there are a lot of variations you can do to mix things up. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Regular Burpees: Put both hands on the ground (bend your knees if you have to). Jump your feet straight back so you’re in a high plank position. Jump your feet back in towards your hands. Then stand up and jump straight up towards the ceiling.
  • Burpees with Push-Ups: Same as a regular burpee, but after you jump your feet back and are in a plank position, do a push-up before jumping your feet back in towards your hands.
  • Burpees with Leg Lifts: Same as a regular burpee, but after you jump your feet back and are in a plank position, lift one leg a few inches and lower it back down, and then the other, before jumping your feet back towards your hands.
  • Side-to-Side Burpees: Put both hands on the ground. Jump both feet back and to the right at a 45-degree angle until your body is in a straight line from your head to your heels. Jump your feet back in towards your hands, stand up, and jump straight up towards the ceiling. Repeat on your left side. This one is great for your obliques.
  • Beginners: Put both hands on the ground. Step feet back one at a time until you’re in a plank position. Step feet back in one at a time before standing up. If this is still too difficult or if you have wrist issues, just step one foot out and back in before standing. Alternate legs with each rep.

Be sure to pull your belly button in towards your spine throughout all of these so your abdominals are engaged and your back is supported.

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