Break a sweat and burn calories wherever, whenever
Q: Hey, Rabbi, I know that exercising is important and I probably should be doing more of it, but honestly my schedule is just insanely busy. Between earning a living, davening, learning, time with my wife and family, I simply have no energy left! There are only 24 hours in a day! Feeling frustrated and looking to change; what would you advise me?
Yitzhak, Forest Hills
A: Hey, Yitzhak,
Being a frum man who also is blessed with a packed schedule, I totally get you! Life’s not easy, and as we get older our responsibilities only increase. The cool thing about working out is that even though there is an investment of time and energy, it pays dividends – many times over! Meaning, I’ll have more energy to accomplish what I need to get done in less time, or I won’t be so physically drained by my daily grind because my stamina levels are higher. I’ll need less sleep to feel rested, or I’ll be in a better mood, which leads to greater productivity, etc. You get the idea.
Strength training at the gym or taking a class at a fitness studio is great, but sometimes we’re simply unable to train at a gym or studio. To the uneducated, this is room for a poor excuse to crop up... “I’m unable to work out,” “Got no time, too busy...”
Of course, equipment can help and is great for progressing and diversifying a workout program. But if you want to just get moving and do some strength and cardio work wherever you are, that’s completely doable with a body weight workout.
The workout below challenges your entire body and doesn’t require a single piece of equipment. It’s a full-body, dynamic workout that includes strength, power, mobility, and cardio. It’s also great because it’s customizable: If you have less than 20 minutes you can do the circuit one time, or if you have more than 20 minutes you can do it three times.
The workout includes a dynamic warm-up to get your blood flowing and prep your body for the rest of the work ahead, and a cool-down to help you slow back down and wrap it all up. If you want to make the workout more challenging – maybe you’ve done it a handful of times and are ready to turn things up a notch – add weights to the lunge and squat movements. You can also add another round of the main strength circuit.
Ready to fit in a quick, equipment-free workout in around 20 minutes? Let’s go:
This workout is broken up into four sections: a warm-up, a circuit, a burnout ladder, and a cool-down.
Do each move for 20 seconds. Do this warm-up twice.
*Inchworm walk out to shoulder tap
Do each move for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds in between each move. Do the entire circuit twice.
*Mountain climber twist
*Plank up to frogger
Do 1 rep of each, then 2 reps of each, then 3 reps, etc., and go as high as you can get in 3 minutes.
Do each move for 10 to 30 seconds...or longer if it feels good and you have time.
*Standing quad stretch
Many of you are wondering what on earth do these exercises mean?? Huhhh?? “Burpee” “plank up to frogger” “child’s pose.” Not to worry; instead of writing what each exercise is and then explaining how to perform properly, I made a short tutorial video on my YouTube channel “Rabbi Fitness.” Take a look there for a brief visual of what each one looks like and proper form.
As always, I appreciate the feedback and encouragement. Keep your questions coming. I’m here to help you, so let me know what’s on your mind. Keep growing little by little, and make time for what matters!
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only. Rabbi Fitness LLC is not a doctor. The contents of this article should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and/or engagement in physical activity, especially if you (or your family) have a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or if you have ever experienced chest pain when exercising or have experienced chest pain in the past month when not engaged in physical activity, smoke, have high cholesterol, are obese, or have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in physical activity.