Fifteen minutes. It’s not even long enough to catch up on your favorite TV show, drive to the gym, or do a load of dishes, especially if you’re my husband. But if you want to make the same 15 minutes feel like an eternity? Try an AMRAP workout.
AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds As Possible, and is a common workout used at CrossFit gyms throughout the world. I’m a fan, because it’s a great way to challenge yourself and get a killer workout in about the same time it takes you to check your e-mail.
They are perfect workouts for CrossFit beginners and longtime enthusiasts alike, because they work for every level; as your fitness increases, so will your speed and your ability to get in a few extra reps. They are also a fun and easy method for measuring your progress. I recommend doing this workout once, writing down your totals, and then repeating it in a few weeks to see how you improved.
1. The workout begins with Goblet Squats, which are a variation of the classic squat using a kettlebell or dumbbell. Hold the kettlebell on either side of the handle in front of your chest below your chin throughout the movement. This not only works your bottom half, but also your biceps and arms from holding the weight static during the squat.
2. Snatches can also be done with either a kettlebell or dumbbell, beginning with the weight in one hand hanging down between your knees. The goal is to bring the weight up your body and over your head in one fluid movement.
3. Push Ups are great for both upper body conditioning and core strength. If you are not able to do a standard push up yet, don’t worry, there are plenty of variations to choose from until you are ready. I recommend trying push ups performed on the knees and even push ups on an incline. Do you have the opposite problem and standard push ups are too easy for you? Try doing them on a decline with your feet up on a block to increase the difficulty and really break a sweat!
4. Lateral Mountain Climbers seem easy, but I promise you’ll feel them the next day. Start with your hands in a push up position with your right leg extended and left knee bent in. Next, kick your left leg out to the extended position, bringing your right leg in to a bent position. Repeat until you get to 30.
5. Lunges basically work your entire bottom half — your Glutes, Calves, Quadriceps, and Hamstrings — so you know it will kick your butt (literally) into gear for the summer! Alternate lunging forward with your right and then left leg, making sure that your front knee does not extend past your ankle to avoid injury.
* Remember, always consult with your doctor before beginning a workout regimen, especially when pregnant.