3 Workout Tips for Busy People, According to a Westchester Pro

Spoiler alert: you can still get a great workout in only 10 minutes.

It happens so easily: We look down at our laptops and before we know it, the next time we come up for air it’s 5 p.m. Sitting hunched over for hours with our eyes glued to screens, there’s no movement to be seen. Don’t let the work grind sand away all your exercise progress or your basic health, even if it feels like your schedule is booked. Strength and conditioning coach, performance coach, and owner of Harrington Sports Performance and Transform Fitness in Tuckahoe, Brian Harrington wants you to know that a short workout is better than no workout.

“Anything we can kind of do to pull the shoulders back and create good posture with a pulling exercise or pulling down exercise is key.”
— Brian Harrington

If you can only do one thing, do…

Weight training

“Especially as we get older, it’s very important to maintain our muscle mass, and it’s important to lift weights for our bone health and our joint health,” Harrington says. If you’re tight on time and are deciding what to do, a squat, hinge motion, or split squat are ideal options. “That’s going to incorporate a lot of your lower body muscles, and muscles tend to get stiff when we’re sitting down and not being used throughout the day.”

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If you barely move from your chair all day…

Train smarter, not harder

The need for standing desks and exercise-ball chairs was born out of how poor our posture can get at work. “For the most part, people are sitting at a desk, and they’re stuck to a screen. As we get older, gravity takes over and pronation also just takes place. Anything we can kind of do to pull the shoulders back and create good posture with a pulling exercise or pulling down exercise is key.” Work moves such as rows and lat pulldowns to combat the curve. Getting your heart rate up is also a crucial element. Even something as silly as keeping a jump rope in your office to do for a few minutes (if you’re in biz casual clothing, obvi) can have a huge impact on your cardiac health.

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Here’s what not to do:

If you’re rushing to the gym and want to get in the greatest number of reps possible, the natural response is to jump right into your workout cold. For Harrington, that’s worse than the trade-off of shaving a few minutes off your workout. “We see a lot of what we call ‘straight off the bus.’ People like to get off the bus, start playing a game and don’t warm up right. That’s when injuries take place, especially when you have people that are older and the body doesn’t operate like it used to.” To avoid being sidelined, Harrington says mobility work like lateral lunge rotations and knee circles prep your joints to move.

For a speedy, under 20-minute workout burst, Harrington recommends the following circuit:

Squats, Push Ups, Jump Rope, Rows, Plank Hold

Three rounds, repeat each exercise for a minute, and use weights where you feel appropriate. Now you’ve just completed a highly effective workout in less time than it took for you to decided what to have for lunch.

Related: How to Choose Between HIIT and LISS Workouts in Westchester

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