By Melissa Pheterson
Updated: December 16, 2015
Shutterstock

If you tend to watch the clock during workouts that seem to drag on, you'll be happy to know that a quick 20-minute or 30-minute workout routine can be just as good-if not better. Last week, the New York Times reported on a few "express" classes that reduce workout time by revving up intensity. We've rounded up the top 7 reasons why shorter workouts are long on results:

1. Burn more fat-all day. "Making your workouts shorter and more intense not only saves time, but can also burn more calories overall," says Jari Love, star of the "Get Extremely Ripped Boot Camp" DVD. Shorter workouts often involve quick movements and rapid muscle contractions, which tap into carbs as a fuel source. "When your heart rate is elevated to the point that you are burning carbs primarily, it means you will burn more fat during the workout and even after the workout is over."

2. Build muscle. Our 'fast-twitch' fiber muscles-the ones recruited during quick, rapid movements-are "crucial for muscle strength, speed and power," says Love. When you need a quick break during the workout, switch to more deliberate 'slow-twitch' moves, like squats or crunches; they'll help round out your muscle workout.

3. Strengthen your heart. Getting your heart elevated for 20 or 30 minutes every day will make it stronger and healthier, according to Love. Check out our round-up of quick cardio routines.

4. Prevent injury. "When you train your body to be able to handle fast and sudden movement, you will be better prepared for day-to-day activities," says Love. Plus, a shorter workout means less of the wear-and-tear that leads to sore muscles.

5. Bust excuses. You may not be able to commit a whole afternoon to the gym. But half an hour-or less-of working out is easy to squeeze into even the busiest day.

6. Maximize your time. The best quick workouts help you "multitask" with moves that hit several muscle groups in succession, like lunges with bicep curls or squats followed by an overhead press. And "express" workouts kick up the intensity to speed your trip to the fat-burning zone.

7. Sharpen your focus. "I often see students holding back during an hour class, so worried about pacing themselves that they never give it their all," says Donald Hunter, a cardio kickbox instructor in Rochester. "Knowing a workout is shorter means you're more likely to give it your all, right from the get-go."

Melissa Pheterson is a health and fitness writer and trend-spotter. Follow her on preggersaspie.com and on Twitter @preggersaspie.

Recommended for You

Kelly Osbourne's 30-Minute Cardio Playlist

Toning Exercises: 30 Minute Workout Routines

The Melt Fat Cardio Workout

Advertisement


Comments (4)

Anonymous
February 22, 2019
Do you want to get a body you can be proud of? Are you prepared to become one of the very few women who don't have cellulite? Be very careful what you answer, because you will become the target of insane envy from other women. Being there, done that. When I was overweight, I used to believe that my female friends were so nice and supportive, but when I achieved the body of my dreams, some of them turned nasty. Misery loves company, I guess. They probably didn't want me to become better than them. But, you know what? It was worth it! Read my story here ...==> http://bit.ly/cellulitecured
Anonymous
November 27, 2018
Wanna increase muscle size, strength and performance ? i found this powerful product that is a safe, legal and side effect free i tried it myself and it realy shows good results for more info check in here -> bulkm.net
Anonymous
October 29, 2018
hey i found a rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks!!! watch this video here -> 3weeksdiets.net
Anonymous
October 23, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? you can burn 1.2lbs daily and It only takes 13-seconds! watch this video : flatbelydetox.net