Don't Have Time To Work Out? The Only 5 Exercises You Need

Written by Krista Stryker

There are so many different exercises you can choose from for your workouts, from super-complicated ones that require equipment to simple, body-weight ones.

But if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you really only need to focus on just a few.

Here are five of the most effective exercises you can do.


Photo by Krista Stryker

You might dread doing them at times, but burpees will work your entire body and get your heart rate up in no time.

To do them, stand up straight then lower into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into a push-up position and immediately drop your chest to the floor. Bow your chest up as you return your feet back to the squat position as fast as possible, then jump up into the air as high as you can. Add a little clap for pizzazz, then do it all over again!

You can also do burpees with a full push-up or end in a plank rather than lowering all the way to the floor.

If you get bored with regular burpees, try mixing it up with fun burpee variations like burpee tuck jumps, burpee lateral jumps, and burpee box jumps.

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Jump Lunge Squat Combo

This combo squat-lunge move will make your legs burn while adding a plyometric twist.

Start in a lunge position with your knees touching or almost touching the floor. Jump up explosively and switch legs so that your rear leg is in the front and front leg is in the rear. Repeat with the other leg. Without pausing, jump back up, but this time, land in a squat position. Repeat the sequence.


Push-ups work both your arms and your core and should be a staple move in everyone's workout, no matter what your current fitness level.

To do a basic push-up, make sure you keep your core and butt muscles tight as you lower your chest down toward the floor. Aim to touch your chest to the floor before pushing back up through your shoulders.

To keep it interesting, try mixing up your push-ups with variations like reptile push-ups, push-up plank jumps, and dive-bomber push-ups.

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Jump Roping

Forget the treadmill, try jump roping to get your cardio in. You'll boost your conditioning and work up a sweat in no time. As a bonus, jump ropes are super portable and are easy to throw in your backpack, suitcase, or even purse for a take-anywhere workout option!

Try mixing up your jump-rope styles with variations like single unders, double unders, and high knees with a jump rope.

Jump roping is also an awesome addition to any HIIT workout.

Wheel Pose (Or Bridges)

If you want to keep your back strong and flexible, there's no getting around doing wheel pose, also known as bridges in gymnastics.

To do one, lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your hands on the sides of your head, fingers pointing toward your toes. Push your hips up, rounding your back and squeezing your butt, abs, and leg muscles as you do so. Push through your shoulders as far as you can without causing pain, and breathe deeply.

You can hold bridges for time or just do a few in a row.

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