Looking to get shredded for beach season but running on limited time? Don’t stress out about not having hours on end to exercise as the weather slowly turns for the better—you can get the work you need done in the time it take to watch your favorite TV show.
Michael Piercy, C.S.C.S., creator of The Men’s Health 30-Minute Shred, has spent the past 20 years training time-strapped clients. In the process he learned how to whittle a workout down to its essentials, eliminating the need for extra long workouts every day. Here’s proof: This half-hour program will whip you into shape in record time.
Warm up with a 6-minute mix of jumping jacks, inchworms, and high knees. Then do exercises 1A, 1B, and 1C as a 10-minute circuit, completing as many rounds as possible (AMRAP).
Rest 1 minute; then do 2A, 2B, and 2C as an 8 minute AMRAP circuit. For the last 6 minutes, do 5 to 8 burpees (with a twist: In a pushup position, pull your right foot outside your right hand, then back, then repeat on the other side) each minute.
Do this workout twice a week.
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1A. Traveling Dumbbell Swing
Hold a dumbbell by its head at your hips. Swing it down through your legs. Now drive your hips forward and swing the weight up. Step both feet to the left and assume a shoulder-width stance; repeat the swing. Step to the right and repeat. That’s 1 rep; do 15.
1B. Pushup to Shoulder Tap
Do a pushup. Pause as you straighten your arms. Maintaining a high plank, slowly lift your left hand off the ground and tap your right shoulder. Return your left hand to the ground. Do another pushup, and then tap your left shoulder with your right hand. That’s 1 rep; do 12.
1C. Plank to Side Plank
Start in a plank position, forearms on the ground. Lift your right hand and reach for the sky, rotating your torso into a right-side plank. Hold for 1 second in the side plank; then return to the forearm plank position and repeat the move on your left side. That’s 1 rep; do 5.
2A. 180-degree Squat Jump
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hinge your hips back and bend your knees. In one motion, jump and rotate your body 180 degrees to the right, landing with knees slightly bent. Repeat, rotating 180degrees to the left. That’s 1 rep; do 15.
2B. Alternating Renegade Row
Start in a high plank position, your feet shoulder-width apart and hands gripping 15-pound dumbbells. Pull the left dumbbell up to your upper abs (elbow behind your rib cage). Return to the starting position. Repeat the sequence with the right dumb-bell. That’s 1 rep; do 6.
2C. Side Plank with Dumbbell Reach
Start in a right-side plank, your left hand holding a 5-pound dumbbell, reaching for the sky, feet either stacked or split. Rotate the plank downward, moving the weight under your torso; don’t let it hit the ground. Return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep; do 5 reps per side.
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