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What's a workout I can do at home when I can't get to the gym?

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QUESTION

I go to the gym regularly. A few times per year my life becomes extremely busy. Can you recommend a workout I can do in my living room during these times?

ANSWER

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Try the full body weight circuit and tabata intervals below. Both workouts are time efficient and require minimal space and equipment.

Full Body Circuit

10-15 push-ups

8-12 reps of bent over rows

10-15 dips

8-12 squat thrusts

10-12 plank and rows

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Side plank

Do the exercises back-to-back with no rest. When finished, take a one minute break, then repeat two more times.

Tabata intervals. Any exercise can be made into a tabata interval. Alternate twenty seconds of intense work with ten seconds of rest for a total of four minutes. Try jumping jacks, burpies, mountain climbers or high knees.

With exception of the squat thrusts and the 'plank and row,' videos of all the above exercises can be found on The Globe and Mail website.

Squat thrusts

Stand holding a free weight in each hand, with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend through your knees and hips to squat down. As you squat, do a biceps curl. Push through your legs and engage your core to stand up while simultaneously pushing the weights up over your head. Stay standing and bring the weights back to their starting position. Repeat eight to twelve times.

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Plank and rows

Start in a plank position on your hands and toes with a free weight on the floor under your chest. Keep your hips stable, hands under shoulders and back neutral as you pick the weight up and row it towards the ceiling. Alternate arms for ten to twelve reps.

Trainer's tip

For variety, try the "elevens" challenge. Pick two exercises, for example push-ups and 'plank and rows.' The total combined number of repetitions of the two exercises should always equal "11."

Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your fitness questions at trainer@globeandmail.com.

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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