10-Minute Fitness

A quick daily routine to maintain essential muscles for any sport.

Hip thrust

Hip thrust.     Photo: Shana Novak

Some days hey, some years there's just no time for any exercise beyond your regular run or ride. Or maybe you just hate the gym. Either way, skipping strength-and-conditioning work altogether will hold you back: You'll be weaker, less flexible, and likely slower and more prone to injury.

You can avoid all that with this simple, ten-minute daily maintenance routine prescribed by Jonathan Carlock, the strength-and-conditioning coach at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The five moves he details here target= every major muscle group. As Carlock puts it, they'll "prepare your body to do work." Think of it like brushing your teeth, and knock it out while the coffee is brewing.

THE WORKOUT
For starters, do 25 to 50 reps of the exercises in the order shown here. As your fitness improves, build up to 100 reps of each. You can break those reps up into two or three sets as in a circuit workout or, ideally, perform the 100 reps straight through.

Hip Thrust
TARGETS: glutes, hams, calves, lower back
Lie in crunch position with knees bent, feet flat on floor, back flat, and head down. Thrust your hips toward the ceiling, reaching a straight line along your shoulders, hips, and knees, then return to start. (For added challenge, rise up onto the tips of your toes at the peak of the thrust.)

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