Sweat is a good indicator that you're working at the right intensity.
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Don't let lack of time stop you from staying in shape and even improving your fitness level. Men should make exercise a top priority, but if work, family or other obligations seem to take all your time, you'll need a full body workout routine that's fast, intense and effective. Fortunately, you can bust out a killer workout and reap all the benefits that fitness has to offer in just 20 minutes a day.
Your full body workout should include both cardio and strength training exercises. To accomplish this goal, alternate three minutes of cardio with one set of strength training throughout the duration of your workout. Do two minutes of moderate intensity, followed by one minute of high intensity to get the most bang for your cardio buck. Choose compound exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. Do three sets of each exercise and vary the reps from five to 15 per set. Pick a weight that makes each set almost impossible to finish. If you fail to complete the last rep, even better. Change your exercises every two months to keep your routine effective.
Grab a Jump Rope
The jump rope is a convenient exercise tool to get in the 150 minutes of cardio that the American Heart Association says adults need weekly. It's a great option for alternating your cardio with strength training exercises. Jumping rope incorporates your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, core and shoulders. To use the jump rope in your workout, begin with your first set of a strength training exercise. After the set, jump for one minute at a high intensity and then two minutes at moderate intensity. On a scale of one to 10, you should perceive your exertion as a seven or more during the high intensity minute. Return to your strength training exercises. Continue to alternate the jump rope with strength training sets throughout the duration of your workout.
Focus on Your Core
Your core muscles link your upper body to your lower body, support your spine and hold in your internal organs. They're involved to some capacity in practically everything you do and consist of muscles in every major muscle group. By including some core exercises into your workout, you'll focus on a key area of your body and improve many of the physical tasks you perform each day. The American Council on Exercise says to try front and side planks since they target your abdominals, shoulders, chest, back and quads. Lunges with a twist and glute activation lunges incorporate your glutes, quads, hamstrings, core and biceps. These exercises are practically full body exercises on their own.
An Oldie But a Goodie
Pushups work your chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, quadriceps and the erector spinae muscles in your back. If you can do more than 15 pushups in a set, you need to use a more challenging variation for your other two sets. You can add weight to your pushup by placing a weight plate on your back between your shoulder blades or try putting your feet up on an exercise ball for a decline pushup. When classic or decline pushups get too easy, switch to clap or diamond pushups.