Four hours of sleep, a cranky toddler, an angry boss, and out-of-state in-laws visiting for the extended weekend. Once you sit down, you’re not getting up again—even for an easy workout. Still. You’re a man who appreciates the value of good cardio. It’s important for your heart (not to mention your head) to break a sweat doing something other than sprinting after your three-year-old.
You have options. How about an easy workout that requires zero moments of standing?
We’ll repeat that for you. In this workout you will lie on your back, or your stomach, or occasionally climb on all fours. But you will never, ever, have to actually stand up. We promise. Actually, this type of workout could very well burn more calories and build stronger muscles than your usual routine (whatever that was, pre-kids), because the body is not used to operating from non-erect positions. This inconvenience means your muscles have to work harder to stay in control.
The most important thing for this routine, cardio-wise, is to keep moving from one exercise to the next without stopping for a swig of beer or to check your iPhone. Doing this circuit in continuous motion burns more calories and keeps your heart rate elevated to moderate-intense levels:
Cardio: Cardio without standing isn’t easy. Start in a push-up position, lift one leg and bring your knee to your chest. Snap your leg back into place while bending the opposite knee to your chest. Continue is this sort of horizontal-running action for one minute. Then, flip over onto your back. Bend your knees and raise your feet in the air. Contract your abdominal muscles, raise your head off the floor, and make cycling motion with your legs. Air-cycle for one minute, before switching back to that horizontal-running-pushup-position. Perform the running/cycle combo three times.
Core Strengthener: This segment of the workout is all about planks. Hold a front plank (face down, rest on your elbows and flexed toes, creating a straight line from your head to your feet) for 60 seconds. Then, a side plank (same deal, but on your side and propped up on one elbow) for 60 seconds, followed by a one-minute back plank (on your back, with your hips raised).
Legs And Glutes: Start with 10, 20-minute reps of bridges, which involve lying on your back, bending your knees, and keeping your feet flat on the floor before lifting your hips off the floor. Then, move on to hinges—start from a kneeling position, back straight, and then slowly lean back until you can barely return yourself to an upright position. Repeat that 20 times.
Toning Your Arms: Open with pushups—drop and give us 10. Rest 30 seconds. Give us 10 more. Then, advance to chair dips. Sit on the edge of a hard, sturdy chair. Place your hands over the edge, fingers facing forward, and push your hips forward so you are no longer sitting, supporting your weight with your arms. Bend elbows and drop hips toward the floor. Push back up until arms are straight. Repeat 10 times. Rest 30 seconds. Do one more set.