What Top Fitness Instructors Do When They Don't Have Time to Work Out

One involves doing squats while watching TV, so there's that.

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Working out is great and all, but we get it. Some days get busy. Luckily, our favorite fitness instructors and trainers have some quick ways to get a sweat in even when you don't have a lot of time. Because, yes — sometimes they even have trouble squeezing in a workout.

1. Chelsea Foss

Back to the studio tomorrow which means push-ups! 😈 | @hbfit #hbfit

A post shared by Chelsea (@chelseajfoss) on

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Chelsea Foss, instructor at SoulCycle, goes for two trusty moves when she doesn't have time for a full routine.

"I do planks and push-ups because they truly work you from head to toe and can be done quickly," she says.

2. Tara Palsha Moats

"I love taking brisk walks when the weather is nice," says Tara Palsha Moats, instructor at FlyBarre.

3. Lana Herzig

Even a short workout can make you work up a sweat.

"When I'm pressed for time, I like to do short, HIIT-style, full-body circuits," says Lana Herzig, New York City-based personal trainer and instructor.

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Here's an example of one of Herzig's favorites.

After warming up for 5-10 minutes, do the following:

  • 5 jump squats
  • 8 goblet squats
  • 10 push-ups
  • 6 lat pull-downs/pull-ups
  • 30-second plank

Rest for 90 seconds, then repeat entire circuit 2-3 times, resting as little as possible between exercises.

4. Naimah Jackman

"If I don't have a lot of time to work out, I play at least three songs and do some ab exercises," says Naimah Jackman, instructor at 305 Fitness. "But to really sweat, I just let my music play and dance around as fast as I can. Like the kind of dancing you do when no one's looking. I basically jump around, whip my hair, and shake my booty. Doing this for a couple minutes without stopping is a great mini cardio workout!"

5. Kristin McGee

Kristin McGee, celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City, loves grabbing some weights when she's short on time.

"I lift heavy weights! I do deadlifts, squats, rows, and chest presses," she says. "If that's not your style, I also love doing 15 minutes of vinyasa yoga or 15 minutes of hard-core Pilates."

6. Lauren Chiarello

Runs don't have to be long. When you're short on time, a brisk jog can be your best friend.

"I love putting on my sneakers and hitting the pavement," says Lauren Chiarello, New York City-based barre and Pilates teacher and founder of ChiChiLifeNYC.com.

7. James Scully

James Scully, instructor at SWERVE Fitness, has the perfect way to enjoy your favorite TV show and get a workout in.

"My personal favorite way to work out when I'm short on time is turning my workout into a game. Instead of playing a drinking game during a popular television show or movie — where you take a sip of wine every time Olivia Pope's lip quivers — change it up and make it fitness-based," he says. "If you traded out that sip of wine for 10 jumping jacks and 5 jump squats, you could crush your workout, all while enjoying your favorite primetime drama. Multitasking at its finest."

8. Amanda Russell

Amanda Russell, founder of Fit, Strong, and Sexy, is a fan of HITT-style workouts, too.

"I love a good high-intensity interval circuit workout that can be done anywhere, no equipment needed! Here's my go-to when I'm short on time," she says.

9. Anna Kaiser

Anna Kaiser, founder of AKT InMotion and celebrity fitness expert, fits every aspect in even when it's a quickie.

"Make your time count! I always integrate everything into one workout — cardio, flexibility, and strength," she says. "It doesn't matter how much time you have if you don't use the time effectively."

Kaiser has an online streaming membership that has workouts that range from 10-90 minutes, giving everyone a good workout no matter how much time they have.

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