It really doesn’t take long to knock out an effective training session, as long as you’re prepared to work very hard. And you should be prepared to work very hard if you decide to tackle this workout. There’s no drifting between different types of free-weights or resistance machines, or pausing to check your phone. It’s a simple, three-move circuit where you make sure you leave absolutely everything on the gym mat.
The reward for that effort is that you’ll be done in under 20 minutes, and you’ll have strengthened muscles all over your body.
How To Do This Workout
Steel yourself, then work through two eight-minute stints, trying to complete as many rounds as possible of the three exercises below in those eight-minute periods. Rest for two minutes between the first and second stint, and if you need to then take a breather between exercises or rounds too, but remember the aim is to complete as many reps as possible.
“The key is to go at your own pace and make sure you take small amounts of rest – 20 or 30 seconds – between each exercise,” says Hannah. “Five rounds would be a really good effort.”
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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell by the handle in both hands in front of you. Bend your knees and hinge at the hips, swing the kettlebell back between your legs, then drive your hips forwards and swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Control the descent of the kettlebell and go straight into the next rep.
“The kettlebell swing engages the posterior chain and gets the glutes, the biggest muscle group in the body, firing,” says Hannah. “You want to use the bigger muscle groups because that’s where you get the biggest response; whether it’s building strength, losing weight or toning up, you always want to hit the big muscle groups to get results.”
Get into a press-up position with your hands underneath your shoulders. Drop your chest towards the floor, then push back up.
“The press-up is a classic upper-body strength move,” says Hannah. “Having just worked the lower and back of the body you flip to the upper front of the body – the arms and the chest, especially the triceps.”
Stand holding a medicine ball in front of you in both hands. Raise it above your head until your arms are straight, then slam it into the ground. Follow the weight down by dropping into a squat and try to catch it on the bounce, or scoop up the weight, then stand back up.
You can also use a sandbell for this exercise if you’re trying to protect the floor you’re working with.
“This is an explosive movement which gives the workout a nice balance,” says Hannah. “You use your entire body for this one, and it’s a cardio move so it gets your heart working hard and builds up your calorie burn after the more strength-based moves.”
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.