There are plenty of reasons to skip a workout, but not having the time isn't a good one—you can squeeze in ultra-effective and efficient moves in very little time multiple times a week. For even greater efficiency, we turned to Ian Smith, M.D., an expert on the show The Doctors, to help teach us how to boost our workouts for max results in minimum time. Here are five moves in your standard workouts that you can upgrade to harder versions, getting more out of your sweat sessions. You can do it
Upgraded Plank = Rotating Plank
Get into plank position. Shift your weight onto your left arm and rotate your body, raising your right arm toward the ceiling. Hold for two seconds. Return to plank position and repeat on the right side. That's one rep. Do 8 to 10 reps. (For even more ideas, check out these 7 Ways to Make Planks Harder.)
More: 30-Day Plank Challenge
Upgraded Biceps Curl = Chin-up
Grab a chin-up bar with a shoulder-width, underhand grip and hang at arm's length. Slowly pull your body up to the bar. Pause when the top of your chest touches the bar, then slowly lower your body back to a dead hang. Work up to 10 reps.
Upgraded Front Raise = Shoulder Raise
Holding a pair of dumbbells, simultaneously raise your left arm straight out to your side, and raise your right arm straight out in front of you. Return to starting position, then switch your arm directions on your next raise. That's one rep. Do 12 reps.BEWARE: The 13 Biggest Fitness Myths
Upgraded Hip Extension = Add Small Circles
Stand with your feet together and your knees slightly bent; raise your left leg behind you, then trace a small circle in the air with your heel. Return to starting position. That's one rep. Do 15, then switch legs and repeat with your right foot tracing the circles.
More from Women's Health: The Best Workout for Your Body
Upgraded Lunge = Jumping Lunge
Stand with your feet together and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Lunge forward with your right foot. From there, jump straight up, scissoring your legs midair, and land in a lunge with your left leg forward. Do 10 reps.
More: 30-Day Lunge Challenge
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