The 5 Best Floor Exercises For "Exercise Snacking," Trainer Says
If you feel like there's never enough time in the day to squeeze in a workout, you're not alone. Balancing a busy work and social calendar can be a real struggle. But don't let your fitness fall by the wayside completely, because we spoke with Jayne Gomez, personal trainer and CEO of Entrepreneur PT about an exercise regimen you'll want to get on board with—even amid a hectic schedule. It has to do with a little something called "exercise snacking," and Gomez put together the best floor exercises for exercise snacking.
If you haven't heard about exercise snacking before, it's the name of the game whether you're on a time crunch or you're looking for a quick sweat session. Gomez tells us it's very common for clients to claim they don't have enough time to exercise. When hearing this, Gomez suggests they start "exercise snacking" for a minimum of 10 minutes per day, even just a few free minutes works. She continues to explain that something really is better than nothing and completely agrees that it works where your fitness is concerned, too. You will burn more calories the more you move, because your metabolism will work faster.
One of the best features of exercise snacking is you don't need to grab a pair of dumbbells, kettlebells, or head to the gym to use the machines. All you need is your body weight and some motivation. A study published in the International Journal of Exercise Science reveals "simple bodyweight training"—aka exercise snacking, which won't take up too much of your time—can improve cardiovascular fitness in individuals who are inactive. The study also concludes this quick-workout method is great for people who are looking for a "time-efficient" workout. Gomez adds that little commitments that are performed on a daily basis will compound your effort. Not only will your health benefit from this, but your general mood will improve and so will the results on your scale.
So, if you're curious about the floor exercises for exercise snacking, we have them covered below. Read on to learn your new favorite workout routine, and next, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Bicycle crunches (60 seconds)
You'll begin this exercise by lying on the floor. Make sure you're pressing your lower back flat into the ground and lifting your shoulders and head a bit above it. Lightly place your hands on each side of your head without lacing your fingers. Then, Gomez instructs to lift one of your legs a bit off the floor while extending it outwards. Lift your other leg while bending your knee towards your torso. Simultaneously twist through, allowing your opposite arm to come toward your raised knee. It's not necessary to touch your elbow to your knee, but rather focus on moving through your core while you're turning your torso. Keep your elbow in the same spot in relation to your head during this movement.
Gomez notes it may be helpful to focus on "shoulder to knee" while you move, over "elbow to knee," and continues to explain that you should lower your arm and leg simultaneously as you're bringing up your opposite arm and leg to replicate the movement. Continue to alternate sides for the remainder of time.
Commando planks (60 seconds)
Assume a typical plan position on a mat, with your forearms shoulder-width apart and the balls of your feet hip-width distance apart. Activate your core, make sure your head stays in a neutral position (Gomez says you can make believe you are securing a fruit like an apple between your chin and the top of your chest.), and squeeze your buttocks. Use your right hand to push up until your arm is straight. Next, bring your left arm into a high plank. Lower your back downward on your right arm to the start position, then do the same with your left arm. Your spine should remain neutral and your core should be tight so you will not rock side to side during this exercise, Gomez explains. Then, take a 30-second rest.
Your hands should be shoulder-width distance apart on the ground or on a stable chair/secure bench. Gomez says to place your butt at the front of the chair/bench. Your legs should be straight in front of you. Put your feet approximately a hip-width distance on the ground. Your arms should be straight. Then, gradually bend at your elbows, bringing your upper body towards the ground. When your arms reach a 90-degree angle, press off slowly using your hands, and push your body straight up to the position you began in. Complete a total of 25 reps.
Mountain climber (60 seconds)
Assume a press-up position—your hands should be positioned shoulder-width distance apart, right below your shoulders. Gomez points out you should bright your right knee to your chest in a speedy fashion, but do not let it touch the ground. Then, go back to the position you started in. Repeat the second step with your left leg, and keep going until you finish your reps.
Donkey kickbacks (30 seconds each leg)
Position yourself on your hands and knees on the ground. Your hands should be right below your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Activating your abs will ensure pelvis stability and a strong back. Your chin should be a bit tucked, and your gaze out and down—you want the back of your neck to remain flat.
Gomez instructs to squeeze your glutes to ensure they're activated. Bring your right leg up then behind you toward the sky, maintaining the 90-degree right leg bend while flexing your right foot. Then, lift to the position right before your lower back scoops down or your hips tilt; if one of these things occurs, it means you've gone up too high. It's important that your hips are level and your back remains strong. This is a motion you don't want to rush. Next, lower your right leg to the position you started in, then repeat with the same leg. Once you perform the prescribed reps on one leg, switch to the other.