Superfast Meals and Moves

30 minutes is all it takes to keep your resolutions. Try this 10-minute upper-body circuit, then enjoy a 20-minute recipe.

Upper Body - Part 1

Upper Body - Part 1

What you'll need: a mat or carpet, a step or low bench, two sturdy chairs of the same height, a three- to five-pound dumbbell, and a dowel or broomstick

Minute 1: Step-Ups on a Bench (cardio)
Stand facing a bench or step. Quickly step up with your right foot, then your left, then step down with the right foot, followed by the left. Repeat, moving comfortably as fast as you can. After 30 seconds, switch the lead leg.

Minute 2: Wall Push-Ups (toning, pictured)
Stand facing a wall, slightly more than arm’s length away. Lean forward, and place hands on wall so arms are parallel to floor, shoulder-width apart. Bend elbows, and bring chest forward until your forehead nearly touches the wall. Hover for a count of three, then slowly return to start.

Upper Body--Part 2

Upper Body―Part 2

Minute 3: Sideways Shuffle (cardio)
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Step to the right with right foot, then quickly bring left foot to meet it. Repeat, picking up the pace as you shuffle sideways all the way across the room; return with left foot leading. Continue going back and forth for a full minute.

Minute 4: Broomstick Pull-Ups (toning, pictured)
Place two chairs three or four feet apart, and lay a broomstick across the seats. Sit on the floor between chairs. Bend knees with feet flat on floor, grabbing broomstick firmly with hands shoulder-width apart, as shown (broomstick remains steady throughout move). Lean back to feel a stretch in upper back and shoulders, and a strong contraction in your abdominals, then pull upper body toward broomstick. Hold for a count of three, then slowly lower.

Minute 5: Football Drill (cardio)
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Run in place as fast as you can. Take periodic 10-second breaks to jog, if needed.

Upper Body--Part 3

Upper Body―Part 3

Minute 6: One-Arm Push-Ups (toning, pictured)
Lie on right side on the mat or carpet, with right elbow under right shoulder. Place left hand on floor next to right hand. Switch upper body weight to left hand as you reach your right arm around front of chest to hold left shoulder, as shown. Now bend left arm, bringing right shoulder to ground. Hold for a count of three, and return to starting position. After 30 seconds, switch sides.

Minute 7: High Knee Lifts (cardio)
Jog in place, bringing each knee up until thigh is parallel with the floor.

Upper Body--Part 4

Upper Body―Part 4

Minute 8: Seated Concentration Curls (toning, pictured)
Sit in a chair, holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in right hand. With legs apart, lean torso forward a few inches, and rest right elbow on right inner thigh. Curl dumbbell toward chest, keeping elbow still, and hold for a count of three. Slowly lower; repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.  

Minute 9: Stair Climbers (cardio cooldown)
Run up a flight of stairs as fast as you can, then jog down. Repeat for 30 seconds. (If you don't have stairs, do the Sideways Shuffle.) Then walk in place for 30 seconds to slow your heart rate.

Minute 10: Doorjamb Chest Stretch (stretch)
Stand near an open doorway with right elbow bent, as if swearing an oath. Place right palm on doorjamb, and slide it up slightly. Slowly lean forward into door opening until you feel a stretch in chest and front of shoulder. Hold for at least 15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

Now that your upper-body workout's complete, here's a dish that's almost as quick to make: a simple sautéed tilapia with herbed butter for extra flavor.

View Recipe: Skillet Fillets with Cilantro Butter

Printed from: