The most common excuse for not working out is a lack of time, personal trainer Christopher Woolen said.

Musical theater junior Whitney Jones said she typically takes seven classes a semester and is involved in various organization, making it difficult to work out as much as she would like to. Nursing freshman Jenny Kim said that although she enjoys working out, she often doesn’t because of laziness or lack of time.

“The most common misconception is that you have to work out an hour a day,” Woolen said. “Even small burst of exercise, 10, 15, 20 minutes, can do a lot for your body. It can help lower blood pressure, glucose levels, lower stress and give you energy for the day.”

Woolen said students can do these six quick and easy exercises during breaks in their schedule, on their way to class and during lecture.

During your break

To build muscle during down-time begin by sitting down, Woolen said.

Workout: Accordion Crunch

Sit on the edge of a bench and stabilize yourself by bracing core and placing hands at sides. Raise feet off the ground while leaning back 45 degrees. Draw knees and chest towards the midline of the body and exhale. Extend knees and lean back into the starting position and inhale.

Muscles activated: hip flexors, upper and lower abdominis rectus.

Reps: completes as many reps as possible for 30 to 45 seconds, 60 secs for advanced. Repeat for 3 to 5 rounds

Workout: Chair Dip

Sit on the edge of a bench and stabilize yourself by bracing core and placing hands close to the gluteus maximus. Grip edge of the base. Extend arms and move body’s center of gravity slightly away from the base. Maintain a 90 degree bend in the knees and elbows. Lower down as you inhale. Straighten arms as you exhale and return to the starting position. For moderate difficulty straighten the legs. For more advance technique raise the legs in air or on raised surface.

Muscles activated: the triceps brachii, abdominals

Complete as many reps possible for 30 to 45 seconds, 60 secs for advanced. Repeat for 3 to 5 rounds

During the commute

Woolen said it’s possible to make the daily commute a work out with these modifications to walking.

Workout: Bodyweight lunge

Turn your steps into large exaggerated steps by activating the hip flexors and bending the lead knee into a 90 degree angle while preventing the trailing knee from making contact with the ground and maintaining a long stride. Keep the chest up and core braced to maintain good posture.

Muscles activated include: the quadriceps, glutes and hip flexors.

Complete as many reps possible for 30 to 45 seconds, 60 seconds or more for advanced. Repeat for 3-5 rounds.

Workout: Glute kick

While walking on toes, flex the knee in an exaggerated manner drawing the heels back in hopes to make contact with the glutes. Perform at walking or jogging pace, pump arms and “kick butt.”

Muscles activated include: the hamstrings, glutes and calves.

Complete as many reps possible for 30 to 45 seconds, 60 seconds or more for advanced. Repeat for 3-5 rounds.

During lecture

Perform cobra and pigeon stretches for increased alertness, flexibility and strength, Woolen said.

Seated Cobra Stretch

Sit in an upright position, grasp hands behind back, with arms fully extended at the base of the chair. Expand the rib cage by inhaling deeply. Hyperextend your spine by drawing the hands down and shoulder blades inward. Hold breath and stretch, release tension and exhale and repeat.

Perform 5-8 times.

Seated Pigeon Stretch

Sit in upright position. Place right foot on knee of left leg. Lean forward and draw chest downward while inhaling. Hold breath and stretch, release tension and return to upright seated posture. Exhale and repeat.

Parts of body stretched: hips, hamstrings and glutes.

Perform 3-5 stretches, then switch legs.

Woolen said that this routine won’t turn you into a bodybuilder overnight but will bring about beneficial health changes.

“The look will come — it’s a great side effect, but what happens inside the body whenever you increase your flexibility and your blood level decreases, and you have higher energy levels — that it so much better,” Woolen said.

@arianamariel_

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