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THE INC. LIFE

This 20-Minute Routine is the Laziest (but Most Effective) Workout Ever

By properly distracting yourself, this kind of exercise can actually be enjoyable.

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BY Christina DesMarais - 23 Dec 2017

This 20-Minute Routine is the Laziest (but Most Effective) Workout Ever

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Maybe you don't have time to exercise. Or, maybe instead of logging some miles on the treadmill, you tend to use your spare minutes shopping online or wasting time on Facebook. Whatever your excuse, you know that exercise will make you a better person. For one thing, when you're fit, you're more attractive, which increases your confidence which naturally aligns your trajectory toward success. It's true--I've polled hundreds of successful executives and entrepreneurs about their daily routines and they almost uniformly make exercise a personal requirement.

I'm not here to guilt you into going to the gym. Rather, I offer freedom. Getting fit doesn't need to take a lot of time, and you don't need to leave your office or home to do it. And, by properly distracting yourself, this kind of exercise can actually be enjoyable.

First, you need to understand that building strength is more important than cardio because the more lean muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate.

And watching your diet will do more to help you lose weight than exerting yourself. Consider this: There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat and most people will only lose 100 calories by running a mile. In other words, you'd have to run 35 miles to burn a pound of fat.

Here's a simple way to get stronger, without killing yourself at the gym.

You'll need three pieces of equipment: Your smartphone, your laptop and air-filled 75 cm exercise ball. Open the clock app on your phone and get the timer ready. Now go to YouTube and find your favorite vlogger or show (this is the distraction part). Turn on your show and place your laptop on the floor near where you will be exercising.

Minutes 1-3:

Get on the floor into an elbow plank position, resting on your forearms and toes, so your weight is mostly on your elbows. Turn your timer on and lift one of your legs off the ground toward the ceiling. Alternate legs every 30 seconds until the time is up. If 30 seconds is too difficult, you can alternate every 15 seconds. This is a tough exercise, but well worth a few minutes of hell. It works nearly all the muscle groups on your body.

Minutes 3-8:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and the laptop (distraction) on your stomach. Turn the timer on and lift your butt off the ground as high as you can. Hold. The burn gets pretty bad after a few minutes but your ass will thank you later.

Minutes 8-11:

Go to a wall with your laptop (distraction) placed where you can see it. With your feet shoulder width apart and about two feet away from the wall. Now sit back on the wall so that your upper legs are at a right angle with your body. Turn on your timer and distract yourself again through the burn. Keep in mind that your quadriceps are large muscles which can take the abuse.

Minutes 11-20:

Now use the rest of your minutes to do 100 pushups and 100 hamstring curls using the exercise ball (with your distraction playing nearby). You don't have to do them all at once (I do 10 pushups at a time, and on my knees). To do the hamstring curls, lie on your back with your feet on top of the ball. Lift and hold your butt off the ground while pulling the ball as close to yourself as you can. Push back out and repeat (I do 25 at a time, but more or less is fine).

You're done. Don't you feel strong (and smarter than all those people spending an hour at the gym)?

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