Need to get in shape? Here are the 7 best exercises to get in shape fast!
We've all been there, you have an event on your schedule, or summer's coming up, and you need to get in shape fast. You had been planning to start working out, but you got busy, forgot, and now you're running out of time to get in shape. What do you do?
First off, don't panic, you can do it. It will take some hard work and focus, but you can get in shape for that big day, month, or season.
Second start right now, don't put it off another day, don't wait till tomorrow, start right now. Use the ideas from this article and start right now.
The key to getting in shape quickly is to target the major muscle groups of the body and mix in cardio. When you do exercises that target major muscle groups and increase your heart rate through cardio, you will burn more calories.
Most of the exercises listed require equipment, however, if you don't have access to equipment check out this 30-minute at-home workout, you can do using just your bodyweight.
Ideally, you should give yourself the most amount of time to get in shape, however, that is not why you clicked on this page, so without further ado here are the 7 best exercises to get in shape fast.
1. Hill Sprints
If you're not already doing hill sprints, you need to start! If you're looking to get in shape quickly, look no further than one of the most effective exercises out there.
Hill sprints build muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness.
Hill sprints increase the amount of power you need to go faster because your body is working against gravity. This means your muscles have to work harder to push yourself uphill. The glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves will all grow stronger from this increased workload.
Your heart and lungs will be pushed to max effort while doing hill sprints. The intensity of running uphill will put your whole cardiovascular system to the test and in the end you will come out stronger.
Both of these factors combined will expedite your fitness level and get you in shape fast.
The squat is a great exercise for getting in shape because it targets the large muscles in the lower body. Some of the biggest and strongest muscles in the body are in the legs.
The biggest muscle in the whole body is the Gluteus Maximus. The Gluteus Maximus is the most superficial of the gluteal muscles (butt muscles) (1).
The squat targets the major muscles of the leg, including the gluteus maximus. These major muscles will require the most amount of energy to repair, maintain, and function, which means more calories burned every day. The more calories you burn the more fat you can lose and the quicker you can get in shape.
This is a bonus to the calories already burned during your workout. The same rule applies, it is a big muscle so it requires more energy while you use it which will burn more calories. The higher the intensity (added weight) the more calories you will burn, both during and after.
3. Bench Press
The bench press is a big and effective movement for the upper body. By activating multiple muscle groups in one movement, it allows you to work out your upper body more efficiently.
The main target of the bench press is the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor, also known as your chest (2). The pectoralis major is one of the most powerful muscles on the anterior side of your upper body. Similar to the squat, by working a big muscle, the bench press allows you to burn more calories during your workout as well as after.
This exercise also targets the deltoid (shoulder), specifically the anterior side and the triceps. Recruiting more muscles to help with the movement allows you to grow multiple muscle groups at once. This will lead to more efficient workouts and more growth in a shorter time frame.
As full-body workouts go, there is almost nothing better than swimming. Even better, you don't need to be an Olympic level swimmer to reap the benefits.
Swimming is the ultimate full-body cardio workout.
It engages your leg muscles for kicking, your upper body muscles for each stroke, and your core to stabilize you in the water. The water acts as your resistance, which actually makes swimming a form of strength training.
Not only is swimming a form of strength training but it is also a great cardiovascular exercise. This is because it raises your heart rate and the anaerobic nature of having your face in the water strengthens your lungs and improves breath control.
For these reasons, hopping in the pool a few times a week will get you in shape quickly.
The burpee is an interesting exercise and unlike the squat and bench press, it is a bodyweight exercise. Despite being a bodyweight exercise the burpee packs a huge punch that will help you get in shape.
This exercise is so effective for two reasons:
The first being that it targets your entire body. The push-up attacks your arms, shoulders, chest, and abs. While the squat and jump portion of the movement, targets your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. This will lead to muscle growth in your entire body and as we just learned, more muscles mean more energy needed and more fat burned.
The second reason is through the cardio aspects of the exercise. The burpee will really increase your heart rate because of the high-intensity nature. This increase in heart rate will cause you to burn more calories.
So not only will it help you get in great shape through toned muscles, but it will also greatly improve your cardiovascular fitness. The burpee is a great exercise for mixing cardio and strength into one.
We really like the burpee and it is included in a number of our bodyweight workouts.
The deadlift is a very effective exercise to quickly get in shape. It works your whole body and will give you an added boost of strength
The deadlift works the posterior chain of your body from the upper back down to the feet and it activates your core for a complete body workout.
Similar to the squat, the deadlift will work the big muscle groups in your legs such as the glutes and hamstrings. As you strengthen these muscles they will need more and more energy to maintain, helping you to burn fat and get in shape to reach your goals.
7. Cycling (Stationary or Outside)
Another great form of cardio exercise, cycling is one of the best choices you can make if you want to get in shape.
First and foremost, cycling is a great cardiovascular exercise that will increase your lung capacity and strengthen your heart (3). If you have joint pain or want a low-impact exercise, cycling is perfect for you.
Along with being great for cardio, cycling is also a great strength builder. Think about it, you can only use your legs to push yourself forward. You can't cheat, or use any other body part to make you go faster. The harder the resistance you use, the more power you need and the stronger your legs will be.
Another great combination of strength and cardio, cycling is a great way to increase your fitness.
It's important to note that without proper nutrition and a healthy diet, you may not be able to reach your goals of getting in shape quickly. One of the most important factors in raising your fitness quickly is the post-workout snack. So it is essential that you not only work hard during your workouts but that you also work hard in keeping a healthy diet.
Thank you, stay safe and good luck!