Working out has a myriad of benefits, and some of these are more apparent in the short-term, while others show up later in the longterm. If you're having a day where you're feeling lethargic, bloated, and moody, you might be looking for some exercises that can give you immediate results, and thankfully, you're in luck. Some workouts have effects that are apparent immediately, so it's good to know which types to do on days you're feeling like you need an instant boost.
"In general, circuit workouts with resistance exercises give you the best results," says personal trainer Henry Halse CSCS, CPT over email. "If you combine upper and lower-body resistance exercises into groups of three or four and do them one after the other without resting, you work your muscles and cardiovascular system at the same time."
It's worth noting that there's no one exercise that can help you tone up instantly, as it takes some time to feel changes, but some workouts do make you feel better overall right after you do them, with muscle results coming later. Whether you're trying to feel your muscles burn, you're looking to break a sweat, or you want to improve your mood and energy levels, try one of these 11 exercises that can give you immediate results. But remember, the more often you do them, the better results you'll get!
"I love running and it definitely is my favorite exercise," says fitness expert Dempsey Marks over email. Running is not only good for your body, but it's also good for your brain. Multiples studies show that cardiovascular exercise can cause changes in the brain that help improve your mood, your focus, and even your memory.
Want to stand up straight at your event tonight? Try a plank. "It is the single best body weight exercise for core conditioning," says Marks. "This exercise tones your transversus abdominis along with your glutes and obliques. It benefits glutes and hamstrings as well as improves posture."
If you want some cardiovascular exercise but aren't a fan of running, try burpees, which also add in an element of strength training. "Burpees are an amazing exercise because they work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs," says Marks. "This exercise burns fat and revs the metabolism like few others do, which is why it helps you see results faster."
"Most people don’t recognize that this exercise does such a great job of defining your chest, shoulders, and torso," says Marks. "It is also one of the best moves to improve muscular endurance. You may have to modify the exercise until you build your strength, but it is one of the oldest exercises to keep you fit and looking like a million bucks."
5High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
You may have heard about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as it has gotten quite popular, and this type of exercise alternates between intense burst of activity with periods of less intense activity. "HIIT exercises burn up to 50 percent more fat than moderate exercising," says Marks. "That is why this is so popular. You can use this exercise anaerobically (weights) and aerobically (cardio)."
The elliptical is a good choice for low-impact cardio that works both your upper and lower body. "It works the chest, shoulders, arms, legs and back," says Marks. "The real beauty of this exercise is that it works 80 percent of your body and that helps you accomplish faster results (when done properly)."
7High-Rep Weight Lifting
Want to look a little more toned for the day? Try some weight lifting, even if it's just using your body weight. "Doing exercises like push-ups, curls, and even squats for sets of 20 reps will flood your muscles with blood, making them look bigger and tighter," says Halse. "This effect is known as 'the pump.'
"If you need to run faster or jump higher, the best type of workout is plyometrics," says Halse. "That's a technical term for explosive or jump training. It's when you do an exercise either without weight or with very light weights. Vertical or horizontal jumps are plyometric exercises."
Get those legs working with some lunges. "One of the best exercises to work all of your main leg muscles at the same time is the lunge," says Halse. With lunges you work your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps all at the same time."
Hill sprints can improve your cardiovascular capacity super quickly. "When you sprint up an incline, it takes away the pounding that your legs can take from running on flat ground, so you don't run the risk of shin splints or knee problems," says Halse. "They also push your hearts and lungs to the edge and force them to adapt."
"Climbing stairs is my go-to for getting in shape quickly," says exercise physiologist Kate Vidulich over email. "Why? It’s simple, and your heart rate will skyrocket so you boost your cardio fitness. Even better, it’s a great way to strengthen your glutes, legs, abs, and calves so your muscles look tight and toned."