Fit in 9 Minutes: The Busy Woman’s Workout

With four kiddos and all of the activities that go along with those four kids, if transformation wasn’t our business, I’m not sure how we’d ever get to the gym. So trust me, I understand—you’re busy. But your hectic schedule can actually work to your advantage: You can slim down faster when you spend less time working out. Remember…I said to trust me! 😉

Short bursts of exercise trigger a release of hormones that help your body burn fat for hours after your workout is over. There’s just one small catch: The shorter the workout session, the more intense it has to be. So the key is to focus on exercises that work the largest muscles in your body—they require a lot of energy to move, which torches more calories. Start with this quick circuit three times a week (take a day off in between), and soon you’ll be stronger and leaner than ever!

How it works: This is what we call a stepladder circuit. Set a timer for 9 minutes and start by doing three reps of each move. Then run through the sequence again, this time doing each exercise six times, then nine times, and so on—keep adding three reps until the time runs out.

MOVE #1: BACK LUNGES

Lunges fire up those key muscle groups—your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. They also help improve your balance and coordination.

  1. Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips (or on a chair in front of you for balance).
  2. Take a big step back with your right foot, gently touching your knee to the ground. Place your weight in your left heel and return to standing. Repeat on the other side for one rep.


MOVE #2: MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

You’ll feel this one most in your core and shoulders. Pick up the pace and you’ll notice a calorie-burning spike in your heart rate too!

  1. Start in a runner’s lunge, with your hands directly under your shoulders, your right leg stretched back, and your left knee tucked into your chest.
  2. Keeping your abs tight, jump and switch your legs in midair. As soon as your feet touch down, quickly do it again. That’s one rep. 

MOVE #3: THRUSTERS

This powerful move targets every muscle in your body and will leave you huffing and puffing by the end. Pace yourself.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a set of dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing in.
  2. Gently drop into a low squat, drawing your hips back and down until they sit just below your knees.
  3. Press through your heels and return to standing, forcefully driving the dumbbells overhead, elbows fully extended. Lower the dumbbells to shoulder height again to complete the rep.

Yep! That’s it. 3 moves, 9 minutes, done! You can now check “work out” off of your to-do list, which is seriously one of the most amazing feelings ever!

Xoxo,
Heidi

Related reading:

Top 10 At-Home Exercises for Total Body Toning
My Top 4 Fat-Blasting Cardio Workouts
How to Begin Your Transformation Journey – Step by Step
Underarm Flab Frustration: The Gym Mistake That’s Keeping You From Sexy Arms
Build-A-Booty Workout Video with The Glute Goddess
Transformation Tip | 5 Minutes to Fight Fat and Get Fit


17 Comments

  1. Caroline - October 29, 2017

    Heidi and Chris have inspired me. I was watching some of the older episodes online and it really motivates me to take this journey. I do have a question on exercise. One of the contestants made the comment about working out 4 hours a day, can I do 1 may 2 hours and still get the same results? I’m a mother of 2 little kids and go to school and just don’t have the time to do 4 hours. And what cycle would I get best results turbo or extreme? I’ve been overweight my whole life and I’m ready to change and change quick and I feel like I CAN do this with the tools on this site and my book. I also have so many questions when watching the show or even reading. I want to know all I can to succeed.

    I love that you post recipes and workouts, they help SO much.

    • Team Powell - October 30, 2017

      Hi Caroline: You definitely don’t need to exercise 4 hours a day, and in fact, we don’t recommend it. The workouts on the show were different than what the average person would do, and the show also had medical professionals keeping an eye on the contestants throughout the whole process. You can definitely achieve your goals on much, much less! Heidi has some amazing (and totally doable in a short period of time) workouts on this blog, so you might try these: http://heidipowell.net/category/blog/workouts/. And I’d start with the Extreme Cycle, and there is a full workout program in the book. You can totally do this! 🙂

  2. vasavi - October 27, 2017

    I am 40 yrs old and a mom of two kids I weight around 215 pounds and I am from India . I saw your videos of extreme makeover ,I just would love to be your next student /client for the make over target
    I have gained a lot of weight and tried a lot of things to lose weight but no change in the scale and every time this happens i loose my hope please help me out With my weight i have slowly stopped/avoided my social life and now I prefer being alone . I am not able to enjoy my kids
    Chris please please help me out

    • Team Powell - October 28, 2017

      Hi Vasavi: Thank you for your comment! Casting for the show is closed, but you can begin your transformation journey today with the tools in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And you might also be interested in Chris and Heidi’s new app – Transform with Chris and Heidi – which offers you a customized nutrition and workout program, and it changes as you progress towards your goals! You can learn more about the app here: http://thetransformapp.com. Either option will work – you can totally do this! 🙂

  3. vasavi - October 27, 2017

    Hi ! I have tried a lot of things and a lot of diets but not able to see any change on my weighing scale please i would need your help in this

  4. Sheena Nash - October 13, 2017

    Thanks Heidi! This is a great reminder that every day counts. Often times I have this idealistic vision for a perfectly uninterrupted workout, but it typically never pans out the way I dream it to be. Peaceful yoga turns into changing diapers or I’m too tired to get up for a run from being up with the baby. Such is life! Thank you for the reminder to just fit it in. Because if mama isn’t fit and healthy, then how can I be able to take care of my family. 💕

  5. Valerie - October 13, 2017

    I love this! I’m a working mom and can’t always make it to the gym everyday. A quick workout like this helps me keep on track. Especially when traveling!

  6. Tammy Shaw - October 12, 2017

    I have been slowly cutting back on my workout routine so this will be a fun way to switch it up! Thank you for the new challenge!

  7. Nicolle Goodman - October 12, 2017

    I am going to add this to my busy schedule. Who doesn’t have 9 minutes?! Thank you for the info.

  8. Katie - October 12, 2017

    Love this! As a mom of a three year old and five month old, plus working full time and finding time in the day to spend with my husband, working out often is hard to fit in. But I sure can find 9 minutes to spare, plus my 3 year old will join in I’m sure!

  9. Ashley Chin - October 12, 2017

    Love this! Mom of 5 kiddos, age 5-14 and on days I can’t make it to the gym, we can all go to the park and I’ll do this. Wonder if I can get the kids to join in??

  10. Maria - October 12, 2017

    I am going to try these workouts! Seem simple and doable for a busy mom.

  11. Valarie - October 12, 2017

    Love this simple yet effective workout!! I’ve learned that a short workout like this can boost my metabolism and even help my attitude for the remainder of the day! Thank you for all your inspiration Heidi!!!

  12. Sonnie Linebarger - October 12, 2017

    Love this!! Given I travel every week for work, these are great sets to add to my hotel room workout (and they don’t take long!! Woohoo!!🤣💪🏼👍🏼🙌🏼) Thanks for being an amazing and real role model in mommyhood, business and fitness!

  13. Dawn Cooksey - October 12, 2017

    Love this ! Who doesn’t need a 9 minute workout in this busy world ! Thank you Heidi for being so inspirational and real !

  14. Mandy - October 12, 2017

    No matter what I do I can’t seem to lose wt or get fit. I need help. You guys are amazing! 💪🏻

  15. Holli - October 12, 2017

    I love this being a mom of 5 kids 10 and under . I just can’t seem to get any workouts in

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