Plus a No Excuses 20 Minute Workout!

By Scott A. Jansen

As I write this we’re amid the holiday season. We all have more to accomplish in this busy time of year and are pressed for time.

Don’t cut out your workouts to allocate the time elsewhere, be sure to make your health a priority. We all know the simple truths that exercise aids our body through mental and physical benefits, as well as expends the inevitable increase in calories we’ll consume.

I’ve compiled this list of exercises and a workout for you to maximize your time more effectively.

Best 6 Exercises for Strength & Athleticism

  1. Front or Goblet Squat
  2. Power Clean
  3. Chin Ups
  4. Push Ups
  5. Glute-Ham Raise
  6. The Trap Bar Deadlift

20-Minute Workout

  • 5 Min Dynamic Warm Up (conditioning machine, or bodyweight movements)
  • 1 Min of each of the 6 exercises (or a set 10 reps)
  • 1:30 sec HIIT (conditioning machine or bodyweight movement)
  • 1 Min of each of the 6 exercises (or a set 10 reps)
  • 1:30 sec HIIT (conditioning machine or bodyweight movement)

The 6 exercises chosen for this article keep you strong and athletic for a dynamic life. Spending time rehabbing people in a physical therapy clinic taught me that people get hurt doing everyday basic tasks.

These exercises are geared to increase mobility, build essential frontal core strength, focus on essential muscle balance, and help generate more power from your posterior chain muscles. Simply put, do these and you’ll improve your health and decrease the chance of injury. These exercises also carry the bonus of being compound movements which utilize more muscles burning more calories.

Front Squat/ Goblet Squat
The positioning of the weight in front of your body while squatting has many benefits. This exercise requires more mobility from the ankle, knee, and hip joints while building your anterior core. This is more functional to everyday life than its powerlifting cousin the back squat.

Power Clean
This is the best exercise from powerlifting as it builds strength and power while increasing your athleticism. To learn this movement, seek a trainer’s help and start with lighter weights. Learning how to do this exercise will be the best thing you do to improve your body this year.

Chin Ups
This is a classic and should be incorporated by everyone. There are ways to simplify it or assist you if you’re just beginning the movement. This exercise strengthens your upper back and stabilizes your shoulder girdle. This will sustain muscular balance for your upper body to compliment pushing exercises.

Push Ups
This exercise is also a classic exercise. Again, you can adjust this movement to simplify it if you’re just building strength. The push up can have so many variations you should never get bored. One of the benefits is while maintaining the position required to complete the movement, you’re building your core and functional pushing muscles. These muscles assist you in pressing open doors and lifting items overhead.

Glute- Ham Raises
This exercise can be performed lying prone or using a GHD Machine. It’s one of the best developers for the Hamstrings and Glutes. It’s the best for strengthening the posterior chain muscle groups. These are best performed with bodyweight until full range of motion can be achieved.

Trap Bar Deadlifts
Deadlifts are the best movement we can do for our overall health. It builds strength and power which is required for everyday tasks. The Trap Bar variation is better for centering the weight load at your midline of your body versus having it out front. This variation also enables those with less mobility to complete the exercise with better form and less chance for injury. This movement can be completed with Dumbbells or Kettle Bells at your side, but is best done with a bar that has the elevated handles and wraps around your body.

In Summary
Learn these 6 exercises and complete this quick effective workout at least 2 to 3 days per week. You’ll be thankful you stayed disciplined and focused on your health during the holidays.

As always, reach out to your trainers on staff or me personally to help you with these exercises or find the location of these machines in the gym. For fun tips, exercises, and videos follow me on social media: FB: Scott Jansen, Instagram: @scottajansen.

I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Stay Healthy and Active,
Scott A. Jansen
Magnuson Athletic Club/ Fitness Manager