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What's a quick home workout that will fit my busy life?

THE QUESTION

I am a 26-year-old woman. I work two jobs, so I don't have time to go to the gym. Can you suggest a routine that I can do at home quickly, with minimal equipment, that will burn calories and target my abdominals?

THE ANSWER

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I would suggest alternating skipping and core exercises.

On three days a week, do three sets of this routine: Two to 10 minutes of skipping, 10 seconds to one minute of front plank, 10 seconds to one minute of side plank, 20 to 50 bike kicks.

To avoid hitting a plateau, change the core exercises every two weeks (look for more at tgam.ca/coreexercises).

Vary the skipping routine slightly by increasing the time you spend skipping and/or by adding higher-intensity intervals. My suggestions for intervals: Raise your knees high for 20 seconds of every minute of skipping; every 40 jumps, do 10 quick two-feet jumps; increase the speed of the rope for 20 seconds of every minute of skipping.

Front plank

Start on a mat on your stomach. Prop yourself up on your forearms and toes so your body looks like a board. Engage your core and don't let your back arch or round.

Side plank

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On your side on a mat, prop yourself on one forearm and your feet.

Bike kicks

Lie on your back with your hands at your head and your legs up at 90 degrees. Twist your shoulder over to the opposite knee as the other leg kicks straight out. Switch and repeat.



TRAINER'S TIP

For best results, pair this workout with two days of lower-impact cardio exercise such as walking, biking or swimming. On your low impact cardio days do resistance training other than just core. Work your large muscle groups by doing exercises like squats, push-ups and lunges.



Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at trainer@globeandmail.com . She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

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Read more Q&As from Kathleen Trotter

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The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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