Short on time? Turn that to your advantage and make speedy progress with these physical tests for the time-poor. Today’s is test one.
When it comes to training, quality tends to trump quantity. That’s why, even if you only have 10 minutes, you can still complete a useful training session. The key is to use the time that you do have as effectively as possible and keep the intensity of your session high. That means focusing on fat loss and either power or strength endurance. The following three challenges all involve working for the whole time period with minimal rest, so they will challenge your cardiovascular system as well as your muscles. Your mind will get a workout too, because they will probably be harder than any other session you do this month. In fact, by the time you’re finished you’ll be glad that you only had 10 minutes.
Challenge 1 Kettlebell snatch
WHAT Do as many kettlebell snatches as you can in 10 minutes.
WHY This will test your power endurance, your grip strength and your determination.
This challenge is simple and effective but far from easy. It’s inspired by Kettlebell Sport challenges, which typically involve maximum reps done for time. In this instance, you’ll do as many snatches as you can in 10 minutes using a 16kg kettlebell. Start with the bell on the floor, swing it back between your legs, hinge at the hips, then snap your hips forwards to put some momentum into the kettlebell.
As it passes chest height, pull your elbow back and “slide” your hand around and under the bell to catch it on the back of your wrist. Return to the start and repeat.
Hand swaps When you start you can swap hands as often as you like and just focus on the total number of swings. As you advance, your aim should be to swap sides just once. Rest Initially you can rest when you need to.
As you progress you should aim to reduce the rest until you’re doing the whole 10 minutes without stopping, ideally swapping hands just once.
Weight You should work through the progressions above using a 16kg kettlebell. Once you can do 10 minutes non-stop
10 Minute Tips
Load your hamstrings
The key to expressing hip drive power is to effectively load the hamstrings. You do that by hingeing at the hips, rather than squatting before you initiate the movement. Push your backside back to ensure that you feel the tension in your hamstrings.
Don’t be a slapperIf you finish the challenge with bruises on the backs of your wrists where the kettlebell has slapped the skin, you’re doing it wrong. The movement should be smooth so the weight nestles rather than landing with a thud, which would suggest that you’re pulling your arm back too late.
The snatch is a technical move so when you get tired it’s easy to get pulled out of position and get injured. To avoid that, make sure you keep your core tight throughout the challenge. It’s tough but preferable to a herniated disc.