Quick and Effective Lunch Break Workout
Whether you’re a busy mom, a rapid-fire executive or an athlete looking to get in two-a-day workouts, the flow of this quick and effective exercise sequence can boost your afternoon productivity and dare I say, replace your afternoon coffee! Reboot your posture and prime your metabolism with a brisk 20-minute Total Gym pre-lunch workout.
Perform each of the exercises for 45-60 seconds unless otherwise noted, completing about 12-15 reps within this time frame. The workout incorporates active-rest, which keeps you moving but allows fatigued muscles to recover or contribute in a different capacity during the ensuing exercise.
Once you’re dialed into the flow of the routine, vary the tempo of each exercise and continue for the same 45-60 second set. This strategy stimulates different fibers within the muscle and helps maintain overall musculoskeletal health.
Your digestive system will be primed and ready for nutrients immediately following this total body workout.
High Incline Level (Top 1/3 of the Tower)
Cardio Pull – This is a great warm-up movement that uses the large muscles of the shoulders, back and legs. First perform the action with a squat, then progress to alternating legs, and if you’re feeling peppy you can add a small hopping component. Continue this exercise for about three minutes to help prepare the body for heavier workloads.
Tall Sit with reaches – The focus of this exercise should be on posture and lengthening the spine. This exercise will awaken the core, which is needed for the next few exercises. The higher incline reduces the hamstring tension, which facilitates better posture throughout the movement. Keep your abdominals active as you twist and reach with one hand back toward the tower. Return to the upright position with both hands in front, and then twist in the other direction.
Plank Series – Start in a quadruped position (hands and knees on the glideboard) placing the feet on the floor, in-between the rails. Knees are on the bottom edge of the glideboard and hands are directly below the shoulders. Find your neutral spine position then raise the knees about an inch above the glideboard. Keep your core active and slowly push the glideboard up the rails, pause, then return to the starting position. After 10 repetitions, push the glideboard up the rails and maintain the static plank position for 30-45 seconds. Remember to breath!
Pull-up– For this exercise, be sure to keep your chest on the glideboard and a neutral neck position. Initiate the pull-up by drawing the shoulder blades down the back before pulling yourself up the incline. Fine-tune your resistance with an incline level that fatigues the muscles between 45-60 seconds.
Low to Moderate Incline (Middle 1/3 level on the Tower)
Seated or Low Kneeling Surfer. Focus on keeping the spine in neutral and shoulders pulling away from the ears.
Seated Chest Press. As you perform this exercise think about sliding the shoulders away from the ears and tightening the core. Ensure that you are perpendicular to the glideboard, versus leaning forward or backward.
Backward Lunge. Keep the core tight and ensure the front knee is aligned with second and third toe, versus pushing inward or bowing outward. As an option you can hold the last lunge for 30-60 seconds and feel the stretch in the front of the hip.
Inverted Reverse Crunch & Decompression: The inverted position allows for neutral spine position, which means less stress to the back and neck. Keep the shoulders lengthened away from the ears to help deter any stress to the cervical spine. Once you’ve completed the workout, relax back onto the glideboard and simply breathe for two minutes as your joints enjoy the low level decompression.
Take your time returning to an upright position then enjoy a healthy lunch to get the most out of your afternoon!