Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
With a busy schedule, it can be tough to fit in a run some days. Strength training can seem time-consuming and daunting. Fear not! A head-to-toe workout doesn’t have to take all day. Focus on exercises that provide the most bang for your buck. We asked experts for their favorite exercises to get you in and out of the gym in a hurry—while working your body from head to toe.
Janet Hamilton’s Pick: Chair Squat
(a) With a box, chair or bench behind you, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
(b) Squat down as if you were planning to sit on the box. Allow your weight to brush the box and immediately return to a standing position. Repeat 20 times.
Janet Hamilton, author of the book Running Strong and Injury-Free, is an exercise physiologist and running coach based in Atlanta.
Amy Brown’s Pick: Glute Buster
Use a loop resistance band around your ankles.
(a) Get into a shallow squat position with your chest lifted.
(b) Take as big of a step as you can to the side. Complete 10 steps before switching directions.
Amy Brown, owner of Athena Rehab and Fitness in Portland, Ore., helps Olympians, including Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan, perform at their best.
Dr. John Ball’s Pick: Step Up
(a) Place your left foot solidly on the platform of a chair, box or bench.
(b) Step up pushing through the left leg to bring both feet onto the chair. Step back with the right leg lowering your weight slowly in a controlled manner. Perform 10 steps with the left leg, then repeat with the right.
Dr. John Ball, chiropractic sports physician and founder of Maximum Mobility in Phoenix, Ariz., has worked with elite track athletes such as Lauren Fleshman.