We’ve all had those days — endless meetings, back-to-back clients, kids’ overloaded schedules – and they all lead us to very little time to exercise. But one 20 minute full-body workout done before you start your day or after you finish your day can be as effective health-wise as one long session, so bust out this program when you have 20 minutes to spare.
Go through this mini-workout 3 times a week and you’ll see yourself build muscle and blast calories all over. And the best part of this workout – it’s excuse-proof, because you can do it anywhere since it requires no equipment at all. Let’s get moving!
Directions: Warm up with five minutes of light cardio, then repeat each three-exercise circuit three times. Start with 10 reps of each exercise, building up to 15 reps of each move as you get stronger.
1. Reverse Lunge and Kick
This is a great move for warming up the entire body. It’s a dynamic stretch for both the hip flexors and the hamstrings.
- Step back with your left foot coming into a deep lunge bending both knees to 90 degrees.
- Press the right heel into the ground as you push off with your left foot, kicking your left leg to touch your left toes to your right hand.
- With control, return to the lunge position. This completes one rep.
- Do 15 reps on each leg.
2. Single-Leg Forward Reach
Similar to yoga’s Warrior 3, this exercise fires up your core by challenging your balance. As you move in and out of the pose, you will be working the back of your body too.
- Stand with all your weight in your left foot, abs engaged and chest lifted.
- Reach your torso forward as you lift your right leg behind you. Reach your arms overhead for balance as your torso and leg come parallel to the floor.
- Hold this position for a moment, and reach through your right heel to engage the back of the right leg.
- Moving in one piece, lower your right leg toward the floor as you return to standing upright, resting the right foot lightly on the ground. This completes one rep.
- Do 15 reps before switching sides.
3. Plié Squat and Reach
Adding an overhead reach to a squat challenges the core while engaging and toning the upper back.
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width, toes turned out, arms at your sides.
- Squat down, tracking your knees over your toes and keeping your back straight. Touch your fingers to the floor, then stand back up, coming up onto your toes and reaching your arms overhead to complete one rep.
- With each rep, try to go deeper into your squat. Aim to place your entire palm on the floor as you progress.
- Do 20 reps.
4. Lateral Plank Walk
This move will challenge your core and define your deltoids, shaping your shoulders.
- Begin in plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders, and your body in one straight line.
- Simultaneously cross your right hand toward the left as you step your left foot out to the left. Then simultaneously step your left hand and right foot to the left, returning to the plank position. Your hands move together as your feet step apart. Take two more steps in this direction, keeping your abs pulled toward your spine and your pelvis level. This completes one rep.
- Reverse directions taking three steps the right.
- Do 15 reps in each direction to complete one set.
5. Push-Up and Rotate
Add a twist to your basic push-up to work your waist even more — rotation never felt so good.
- Begin in a plank position with your feet in line with your hips.
- Lower your body toward the floor, then push through your arms returning to plank.
- Twist to the left, reaching your left arm to the ceiling without letting your pelvis raise or lower.
- Return to plank position, bringing your hand back to the floor. Complete another push-up and twist to the right.
- This completes one rep, and 15 reps completes a set.
6. Reverse Plank Bridge
This move is the ultimate booty burner, and it gets the triceps nicely too.
- Begin seated with your hands behind you with your fingers pointed away from you.
- Press the heels of your feet and hands into the ground as you raise your pelvis off the floor until it is in line with your shoulders and knees.
- Lower your pelvis back to the ground to complete one rep.
- Do 15 reps.
7. Bird Dog Crunch
This is a multi muscle-target move – it targets your back, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, abs and chest.
- Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Keeping your spine neutral, extend one arm and the opposite leg parallel to the floor. Then bring your knee and elbow together underneath your body, touching them if you can. Extend back to the start, replace them on the floor and continue, alternating sides.
- Keep your spine as neutral as possible throughout.
- Do 20 reps.
8. Spiderman Push-Up
This moves targets your chest, triceps, core and shoulders.
- Get into a push-up position with your hands underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels in line.
- Do a standard push-up, then bring one foot forward and place it to the outside of your hand. Do another push-up with your foot forward, then return your foot to the start and do another standard push-up. Continue, alternating sides.
- For a greater challenge, draw your knee up toward your elbow and hold it there as you perform a push-up.
- Do 15 reps.
9. Walking Lunge And Rear Lift
This exercise focused on building strength in your lower body.
- Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips.
- Take a large step forward with one leg and bend both knees, lunging straight toward the ground.
- Extend your legs and push off your rear foot, lift that leg straight up behind you and squeeze your glute. Then swing it through to the front and continue forward, alternating legs with each rep.
- To help maintain your balance, focus in front of you rather than on the floor.
- Do 20 reps