bridge poseYour day is almost over and you didn't have a chance to fit in a workout? As long as you have a sliver of desire and an attention span of about 30 seconds, you can still get it done.  I'm a big person for quality over quantity when it comes to fitness. Shorter, more intense workouts are more effective (and efficient) at burning fat than longer, slower workouts. That's my (interval) story and I'm stickin' to it. 

Today I was interviewed by a newspaper about workouts that can be done from home. I talked about a lot of different ideas, gave a few examples, then found myself mentioning that there are about 20 minutes in the average 60-minute broadcast. I don't know about you, but when it comes to TV time, I don't have a lot. I enjoy a couple shows throughout the week, with Person of Interest at the top of the list. I think I have a soft spot for this show because A) I miss LOST (Michael Emerson is weird and quirky just like his 'Ben Linus' days), B) Jim Caviezel is really easy on the eyes is fun to watch, and C) I can't wait to see what happens to John and his ex-girlfriend. Is she dead? Did she get married and have four kids? Does she work at Burger King? Only time will tell. 

Good or bad, this workout has nothing to do with Person of Interest (or any other show for that matter), and everything to do with the commercials in between the plot line. In a nutshell, you relax, sip on some water and wait for the commercials. That's when the action starts!  Think of this as a "Workout Game." It's similar to a college drinking game, except your exercise (not drink) and partake only during the commercials, not every time Ally McBeal and Billy make eye contact. Here we go.

Commercial Workout "Game"

Commercial air space is roughly two minutes. I'll be conservative and say there are only eight breaks through a one-hour program. If you've recorded your show, you're not allowed to fast forward through the commercial. That's what the rules say. I swear! 

It might make sense to do a little movement beforehand. Stretching, taking a walk around the block, or even walking two or three loads of laundry up the stairs will get your blood flowing just enough. 

Most commercials are 30 seconds long. Every now and then, a 60-second commercial hits the airwaves. In that case, you don't stop doing what you're doing. Continue doing the exercise until the full commercial is over. Think of it as a bonus round. 

The exercises are pulled together to work from bigger muscles to smaller muscles, which will only help you though your workout. Don't mix sets around. Try to keep them in the same order. Keep in mind, it's ok to do these without shoes on. In fact, it's a great way to build foot and lower leg strength!

Set 1
Commercial 1: Split Leg Lunge (Right Leg)
Commercial 2: Split Let Lunge (Left Leg)
Commercials 3 & 4*: Plie Squats

Set 2
Commercials 5 & 6*: Body Weight Squats
Commercials 7 & 8*: Squat Jumps

Set 3
Commercial 9: Single Leg Hops (Right Leg)
Commercial 10: Single Leg Hops (Left Leg)
Commercials 11 & 12*: Bridge Pose

Set 4
Commercial 13 & 14*: Bridge Pose (again)
Commercial 15 & 16*: Wall Squat

Set 5
Commercial 17 & 18*: Wall Push Ups
Commercial 19 & 20*: Arm Circles

Set 6
Commercial 21 & 22*: Wall Push Ups (again)
Commercial 23 & 24* Straight Arm Plank

Set 7
Commercial 25 & 26*: Push Up to Plank
Commercial 27 & 28*: Crunches

Set 8
Commercial 29 & 30*: Plank
Commercial 31 & 32*: Mountain Climbers

CONGRATULATIONS! Wipe that sweat off, drink some water and stretch.

* = Two (2) 30-second commercials or one 60-second commercial

Exercise Definitions

Lunge: Start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Step one foot out about two to three feet in front of you. Bending your front knee, and dropping your back knee closer to the ground, go into a lunge position. Keep your back straight and don’t let your front knee extend beyond your toes. Return to a standing position.

Squats: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed outward slightly. Grasp your hands and hold them out in front of you, or up over your head. Drop down into a deep squat, putting the weight into your bottom, not over your knees. Quickly return to standing and repeat. Be conscious of your abs by keeping them drawn in. Watch your knees – don’t let them collapse in. 

Single Leg Hops: Simply hop on one leg, bouncing off the ball of the foot. Single leg exercises are GREAT at getting into the big muscles of our backside. Try to get at least two inches off the ground with each hop.

Supine Bridge Pose: Begin by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground about hip-width apart. With your heels driving into the ground, push your bottom up into the air. Your hips should be as high as possible. Squeeze your bottom, and don't let your feet move. Hold. 

Straight Arm Plank: Drop down to your hands and knees. Push your body up into a push up position. Keep your arms straight and just under your shoulders. Come up onto your toes, legs should be straight. Pull your belly button into your spine, and keep your back as straight as possible.

Wall Push Ups: In high repetition – and if done correctly – there is nothing easy about this exercise. Start with your feet about 12 inches out from a wall, hip-width apart. Place your hands just below shoulder height against a wall. Keeping your back straight (don’t arch), drop into the wall as close as possible without touching, and push back out. Really try to draw your belly button to your spine to engage your abs. Note: The closer you stand to the wall, the easier this exercise will be. The further back, the more difficult.

Mountain Climbers: Start down on the ground in a straight-arm push up position. Bring your right knee up and in toward your left elbow. Return your right foot back to the starting position. Now repeat by bringing your left knee to your right elbow. Concentrate on keeping your abs drawn in. This is a great whole body exercise that really gets into the abs!

Push Up to Plank: Start in a straight-arm plank position with hands just under shoulders and legs extended out. This is a 4-step exercise, starting from a straight-arm position, drop down to your right forearm, then left forearm. Immediately push up with your right hand, then your left hand. All you’re doing is dropping down, then pushing up one arm at a time. Keep your glutes tight and abs tucked in. 

Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here

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