Juggling Fitness on a Busy Schedule


When you don’t have much time to devote to your fitness and wellbeing, you have to plan for more time-efficient workouts. In this case you should employ what are called ‘fitness hacks’ – strategies or techniques adopted in order to manage your time and daily fitness activities in a more efficient way. These “shortcuts” can help you to reach your goals by incorporating multi-joint exercises which work several muscles instead of just one.

The “fantastic four” Exercises

Instead of doing a variety of isolation exercises that target one specific muscle, you should perform exercises that stimulate muscle groups. Not only will you strengthen and tone several muscles at once, you’ll also be burning many more calories with these type of exercises. I have put together what I call the “fantastic four” exercises which work your entire body in a time-efficient manner.

Squats to develop overall leg development. Leg extensions isolate the quad muscles on the front of your thighs. The hamstring curl targets the muscles on the back side of your thighs. The adductor machine works your inner thighs and abductor machine the outer hip and butt. However, the squat exercise hits them all! So, if you’re pressed for time, do a variety of squats. Another option is to do lunges (which are basically one-legged squats) as this exercise will also hit all the leg and butt muscles.

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Push-ups to develop your upper body muscles. Why do multiple exercise like chest flies, incline press, flat presses, and numerous other chest exercises that target various portions of your chest? The standard push up hits them all, as well as your shoulders, triceps, and even your abdominals (isometrically). And, when you vary your hand and elbow positions you can effectively emphasise a different area of your upper body muscles. You can even scale down the push-up by doing them on your knees or elevating the surface from which your hands are pressing.

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Pull-ups will develop all your back muscles. You can choose from several types of pull-ups dependent on your strength capabilities. If you are strong enough, you can do a standard pull-up. Otherwise there are several modifications you can employ based on your strength levels and equipment availability. Options include strap-anchored pull ups, assisted pull up machine, or a horizontal bar pull up.

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Prone Plank for your core (abdominals and low back). The primary purpose of your core muscles is to provide stability to your trunk for effective movement of your extremities. One of the best ways to challenge your core muscles is to perform a prone (face down) plank. There are other variations as well to challenge other core muscles, like the side plank and supine plank. Practice holding the plank for 20 seconds and work your way up to 2 minutes.

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Do you want to learn the most efficient way to work out and reach your individual goals? In the AUT Millennium Gym we offer all members 7 free sessions with a qualified fitness trainer as part of our Everyday Champion programme.

What sets us apart at AUT Millennium is that we do a comprehensive fitness evaluation, followed by a step-by-step progression towards your goals. We will help you to set goals, take body-fat measurements, teach you proper lifting form, and take you through a few physical fitness tests. This way your workout will be specific to you and your abilities. You will learn how to move properly and perform all exercises with the correct mechanics for safe and effective exercise.

Please call (09) 477 2082 or stop in to schedule your first appointment in at the fitness reception desk.

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With over 30 years in the fitness industry I offer an opportunity of making usable sense of often confusing research and technical science to exercise enthusiasts. My background in exercise biomechanics allows me to teach safe and effective exercise that is also time-efficient so you don’t waste your valuable time trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t for your body type and structure.