The Best Workout when You’re Not Feeling It

by Michael Plank

I’ve been working out for 20 years. For a long time I thought there would come a day when I would be totally motivated and engaged for every workout, every day, without exception.


Some days, even now, I am just. not. into. it.

So what’s a person to do? Skipping is definitely an option, but you can’t expect to keep getting results if you skip every time you’re not feeling it. So never fear! There IS a workout you can do. It will help you improve balance, flexibility, body awareness and control, shoulder strength, and core strength. You don’t need equipment. You probably don’t even need to change clothes.  And it’s not physically demanding enough to make you feel like it’s a whole freaking thing.

Enter: SLIPS

SLIPS is an acronym from the gymnastics world. It stands for Scales, L-sits, Inversions, Planks, and Stretching.

Scales look super boring, and yet are amazing at improving balance (if they’re easy to do, try closing your eyes). L-sits are incredible for building core strength (they’re very advanced though, so we often sub in hollow variations). Inversions include the downward dog pose, wall walks, piked handstand holds, handstsands against a wall, and freestanding handstands. They build shoulder strength and help improve your proprioception (your body’s awareness of itself in space) by being upside-down. Planks are great for core strength too, and Stretching is always good (the wall straddle stretch is my personal favorite for SLIPS).

There are countless ways to work on these, but my favorite is 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of transition for several rounds. I like to do:

3-5 Rounds:
-30s front-to-back scale (left leg)
-30s front-to-back scale (right leg)
-30s rest
-30s accumulate max L-sit/hollow
-30s rest
-30s accumulate max inversion hold
-30s rest
-30s accumulate max plank hold (squeeze core muscles at 10/10 for added intensity)
-30s rest
-30s wall straddle stretch
-30s rest

In and out in 15-25 minutes. No warmup necessary. Will absolutely make you a better athlete. And you might not even break a sweat.