9 Minutes for Strength Training
The following nine moves are strength training exercises that you may have seen before. Alone, they work a set group of muscles, but strung together in one-minute intervals, these nine exercises become a complete, whole-body workout.
We’ve broken down the nine exercises into three sets of three. Before you begin each set, set a timer (or work out near a watch with a second hand). If you are just starting to work out, do each exercise as hard as you can for one minute, followed by the next, until you complete the first set. Then, take a one-minute break before moving onto set 2, in which the exercises should also be performed for one minute each.
Ultimately, you’ll complete the whole workout, having completed nine minutes of training with two minutes of breaks in between.
Do this workout two to three times a week for maximum benefits.
Ready to give it a try? Lace up your sneakers and let’s do it.
Detailed Workout Plan
Do each of the exercises in this set for one minute each, not stopping between exercises.
You squat every time you sit or stand, but don’t take this exercise for granted. It works your legs and your glutes, the most powerful muscle group in the body.
Be careful: Done incorrectly, squats can be hard on your knees. As you squat, keep your butt pushed out, like you are about to sit on a chair. Use the muscles in your hips and thighs to push yourself up; don’t press your knees forward as you move. If you’re doing it correctly, your knees will move only during the first half of the squat; your hips will finish the movement.
Challenge yourself: You can add some plyometric motion to a squat by jumping from the lowest position back into your starting stance.
There’s a reason push-ups are a go-to exercise for body builders. They effectively work the muscles in your shoulders and chest.
Modify it: If standard push-ups are too challenging, try them with your knees on the floor. That will reduce the amount of weight you need to lift.
Challenge yourself: If basic push-ups are too easy, place your feet on a step or block to increase the intensity.
This exercise mimics the motion climbers make as they climb steep peaks, except it’s done on the soft, flat surface of your floor. Mountain climbers are total body workouts, building strength in your core, back, arms and legs — not to mention your heart.
Modify it: If this exercise puts too much strain on your wrists, try elevating your upper body by placing your hands on a step to reduce the weight being placed on your arms.
This variation on a squat really targets (the quadricep and hamstring muscles in your legs as well as the glutes. Jumping into your starting position from the lowest point in your squat also adds a plyometric boost.
Be careful: If balance is an issue, you can do this exercise close to a wall, resting your hand on it for support.
Modify it: Omit the plyometric jump if you find this exercise too hard on your knees.
Challenge yourself: Jump higher to really get your heart pumping and build more strength.