“It’s a very intelligent study,” says David Kirsch, fitness and wellness expert and owner of the Madison Square Club in New York City, who gets the booties of many beauties in shape — including Kerry Washington, Liv Tyler, and Heidi Klum — and is a pioneer of ‘express’ workouts with his well-known In a New York Minute workout. “The number one excuse I am given by my clients is the lack of time or the intimidation factor, so breaking it down into segments is very smart.” Because frankly, what can’t you do for 10-minutes, right? “Anyone at any level of fitness could do 10 minutes — whether it’s walking or a more intense workout — and it is a very doable time to start with and escalate from there,” he says.
Of course, quickie workouts — getting in, working hard, and getting out — are not exactly new. It’s just that having more science-backed feedback that proves they’re legitimately good for you can take away the I’m-not-in-the-gym-forever guilt. One biggie is CrossFit, an 8-minute workout with a badass reputation for being designed for diehards. Then there are the slightly shorter variations of cult favorite classes like Chaise 23 Cardio Chair Express — a speedy version of its total body toning and cardio session in 40 minutes, not the standard 60. Or Aerobox at Aerospace, its standard boxing-inspired class in just 30 heart-pounding minutes.
The bottom line: “You need to move and engage your body every day.” Of course, Kirsch does add that it’s not all about the workout — and that eating nutritious food and a well-balanced diet is crucial to staying healthy, too. “You aren’t going to workout then go and eat an Egg McMuffin and feel or look good,” he says. “Working out like this — moderate, quick routines — complements what you are doing for your body overall, it isn’t just about exercise.”
Prefer to squeeze in some calorie-burning when and where you want it? Try these back- to-basics toners backed by Kirsch. Sure, they aren’t fancy but you know what? They work. Do each move for two-a-half minutes each (10 minutes total); one round in the a.m. before you hit the shower, the second when you get home, and the third while you tune into The Voice (or whatever your TV weakness). Just don’t try and sing along, while you bang these out. You’re. Going. To. Get. Out. Of. Breathe. And then it’ll be over. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.
The Move: Sexy Leg Squats
What It Works: Legs and butt
How To Do It: Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
Keeping knees above toes, drive your butt back like you’re going to sit in chair (bringing your butt down to knee level). Return to the starting position; repeat as many times as you can for 90 seconds.
The Move: Real-Deal Push Up
What It Works: Upper body and abs
How To Do It: Start in a classic push-up position (arms straight and palms wider than shoulder width; core engaged and legs straight back with feet slightly separated).
As you bend your elbows, try to lower your chest as far down to the floor as you can without allowing your stomach or legs to drop. Do as many reps as you can for 40 seconds; pause for 10 seconds; then continue for 40 more. Remember: exhale as you push up.
The Move: Old-School Crunches
What It Works: Abdominal muscles as well as obliques (along the sides of your stomach)
How To Do It: You know the drill. Lie on your back, knees up, and feet on the floor.
With your hands resting behind your head, pull your body up toward your knees using your upper and lower abdominal muscles — not your back. Lower back down and repeat.
The Move: Killer Core Plank
What It Works: Your entire upper body (shoulders, chest, biceps) and stomach
How To Do It: Get into a standard plank position (palms on floor, shoulders in line with wrists and core and legs engaged). And then, hold this position. And breathe. 90 seconds later: rest.
Photographed by Aaron Richter
Taylor is wearing Roxy activewear and Adidas sneakers.
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