A Bodyweight Workout for When You’re Too Busy to Be Healthy

You look at your phone and pray that the meeting, which started late and is dramatically behind schedule, wraps up in 15 minutes. If it ends then, you might still stand a chance of making it to the workout that you have scheduled. If you sprint. And the train’s on time. And no one tries to talk to you on your way out of the office.

Just when it looks like the odds are in your favor, the project manager casually mentions that everything is two weeks behind schedule. You’re thinking of clever ways to escape – coughing attack, fake phone call and flipping the conference table all cross your mind – but before you can moonwalk out of the conference room, everyone loses it and you know you’ll be there at least an hour longer.

If this scenario plays out often enough, you may start to feel like you’re too busy to be healthy. Take heart, busy bee, that’s just not so.

Being a responsible adult places demands on your time, regardless of whether your responsibilities are at home or at work. When things get hectic, repeat these two things to yourself:

  • Some activity is better than none
  • If you have a body, you have a gym

In just shy of 30 minutes, you can get in this workout no matter where you are. Be sure to warm up before you start the workout and stretch afterwards, OK? Great.

Go through this workout three times and give yourself about five seconds between each move.

Time Exercise
:30 Plank with a right side spiderman leg
:30 Plank with a left side spiderman leg
:45 Triangle burpee
:30 Push-up tap with right hand only
:30 Push-up tap with left hand only
:45 Squat with a jump forward and back
:30 Lunge to lateral lunge (Right)
:30 Lunge to lateral lunge (left)
:45 Fast feet
:30 Russian Twists (right)
:30 Russian Twists (Left)

We photographed this workout at Nike+ Studio in Chicago where you can find me teaching a complimentary class called “Intro to NTC” Wednesdays at 6:30 pm (Keep checking the schedule – it changes monthly). Don’t worry, it’s scalable for all fitness levels. Sign up here at exactly 2 pm on Sundays. 

Here’s what you need to know to do these exercises safely:

Plank with a single side spiderman leg (focusing on one side of the body): In a plank position with you hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line, take your right knee towards your right elbow. Then return to your starting position. Do this movement slowly and with control.


(All photos in this post by Christiana Basso)


Triangle burpee: Like a burpee, but with a twist. Put your hands on the ground jump or step your feet back and to the right. Hop or step back to your starting position. Hop or step your legs back to the left. Return your feet to the starting position and jump at the top.

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Push-up tap with right hand only (focusing on one side of the body): In a plank position on your knees or toes, bend your elbows out to lower down. Push back up, keeping your body in a straight line. At the top, engage your core to keep your hips steady and tap your right hand to your left shoulder. Repeat.

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Squat with a jump forward and back: In a half squat position (not quite all the way to parallel), jump forward and land softly in a squat position. Jump back and land just as softly.

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Lunge to lateral lunge (focusing on one side of the body): Start in a lunge and keep your front knee bent. Your foot that starts forward here is your stationary foot for this entire exercise and your foot that starts back is your moving foot. Step your moving foot forward, next to your stationary foot. Your moving foot then steps out to the side into a lateral lunge. Repeat.

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Fast feet: With your feet about hip-width distance and your knees bent, move your feet quickly.  

Russian Twists (focusing on one side of the body): With your core tight and your back flat, lean back about 30 degrees and keep your heels on the floor. Start with your hands up in front of you, twist to the right, keeping your arms straight. Twist back to your starting position.

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(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

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About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of asweatlife.com a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.