The Ultimate 20 Minute At-Home Workout

Megan Calcium and Bone Health 1 Comment

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Don’t have any equipment at home? Don’t have enough time for a long workout? Well, here’s the workout for you to challenge your whole body without needing any fancy equipment or gyms. In my experience, the best workouts are those that mix in strength with bursts of high intensity intervals for a cardio benefit. When they are balanced together in a fast-paced workout, you can make the most of your time and burn some serious calories quicker than you might have before!

Now, before getting started with any new fitness regimen (including this one), be sure to talk to your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to participate, based on your individual medical status. Always make sure it’s okay for you to be pursuing this or any activity before getting started!

Workout Design

This workout is designed in two rounds of 10 exercises for 40 or 50 seconds each, with short breaks in between each exercise. I am a big fan of working out for a specified duration of time rather than a certain number of reps, because you can focus on the workout rather than counting. Also, it allows you to go at your pace! Because this is timed, you’ll need a stopwatch to keep track of time. You can use your phone stopwatch or your fitness watch to track time.

One great thing about this workout is that you can do it anywhere—at home, in your backyard, at the park, or at the gym. Its incredibly versatile and allows you the freedom to workout wherever you are, even if you’re travelling for work! You can even use objects around your home to add weight to any of these workouts, such as a milk gallon or carton, wine bottles, books, weighted toys, or seltzer/soda bottles are only some of the examples! But these can all be done without any weights at all.

The Ultimate 20-Minute At-Home Workout

The 20-minute workout has you performing two sets of each exercise.

Round 1 Round 2
Perform all 10 exercises for 40 seconds each (+20 seconds of rest). Perform all 10 exercises for 50 seconds each (+10 seconds of rest).

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Save the image above for a quick reference!

1. Jumping Jacks

These are a great way to warm up your body and get your heart rate up!

2. Walking Lunges

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Here’s how to do a lunge correctly: Stand upright with both of your feet together. Take a step forward with your right leg and lower your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90 degrees. Your front knee should be over your ankle (NOT past your toes) and the back knee points toward the ground.

Push up with your right foot/heel and push off with your left foot while stepping forward to bring both legs back together.

Now, step forward with your left leg and repeat, walking forward.

If you want to challenge yourself a little more, hold 5-10 lb weights. If you don’t have weights, you can use items around the house, like a gallon of milk (which is about 8 lbs). You can also increase the challenge by doing lunge jumps rather than walking lunges; in that case, though, don’t use weights.

3. Step Ups

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Use an elevated step, bench, or stable chair that will result in a 90-degree knee angle when you put your foot on it.

First, place your right foot onto the bench and press through your heel as you bring your left foot to meet your right foot on the bench. Return to start by stepping down with your right foot first to meet your left foot. Repeat by starting with the left foot stepping onto the bench first.

Take it further by adding a forward of side kick-out at the top of the step with the opposite leg OR you adding a hop at the top of the step.

4. Bicycle Ab Crunches

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Lay on your back with your hands behind your head, elbows bent. Bend your right knee and try to touch your right knee to your left elbow, crossing your body and activating your core. Bring your body back to starting position and repeat with your left knee and right elbow.

Ideally, you should do this while lying on your back. But if you cannot lie on your back for any reason, you can do this standing. Bring your hands behind your head in standing and bring your left knee to your right elbow, then both back to neutral, followed by your right knee to your left elbow. Repeat.

5. Push-ups

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Start on your hands and knees, with your hands underneath your shoulders. You should be putting weight through the heels of your palms and the balls of your feet so you are in the plank position. Keep your hips lifted and your spine in neutral (no sagging of your back!).

Next, bend at your elbows and lower your body to the floor without letting your back sag—keep everything stable by using your core and back muscles. Bend your elbows out to the side. Push back up to start and repeat.

Now, push-ups are hard, so to modify them to make them easier, bring your knees to the ground as you do a push-up, or you do a standard push-up onto an elevated surface such as a bench.

6. Squat Jumps

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Standing with both legs shoulder width apart, head facing forward, shoulders back. Then sit back and down (like you’re going to go sit in a chair) by bending your knees, without letting your knees go past your toes. To make this easier, simply remove the jump portion of the exercise, and do squat repeats. Your thighs should be as parallel to the ground as possible. Press your weight back into your heels and return to standing.

Hold a dumbbell, kettlebell, or weight while performing this exercise to give yourself that added resistance.

7. Bicep Curl with Overhead Press

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Using dumbbells, kettlebells, or a heavy item in your home (like a seltzer/soda bottle, milk carton, wine bottles), stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your arms at your side, palms facing outwards. Next, bend your elbows and bring your palms to your shoulders. Next, push your arms up towards the ceiling. Slowly return to start and repeat.

For more of a challenge, progressively use heavier weights (as safely possible, of course). You can also add in a squat!

8. Mountain Climbers

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(or if you can’t do this, you can instead do high knees in standing).

This is a fun exercise! Assume the start position of a push-up (face-down on your hands and feet). Keeping your arms straight, bring your right knee towards your chest. Your back should be slightly arched. Bring your right leg back to start and repeat with your left knee.

Do these as fast as you can, and mix in cross body kicks for more added effort. That is, bring your left knee to your right arm, and right knee to your left arm.

9. Quick Feet/Toe Touches

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Using a box, book, step, or something secure around the home, lightly tap your right toe to the box and then quickly jump to touch your left toe to the box. Continue alternating.  

Challenge yourself by holding light to medium-weight dumbbells while performing this exercise.

10. Standing Arm Circles

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Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, lift both arms out to the side at shoulder-height. Move your arms in circles 4-7 inches in diameter with your palms facing the floor. The first round, circle in the clockwise direction and the second round circle in the counterclockwise direction.

If you’re ready for more pressure, hold weights while performing this exercise. All you really need a few pounds—it’s hard!

Be sure to go through a good stretching routine after any workout. Make sure you’re stretching once you’re done with round two!

Bonus: Grab a friend to workout with you! I highly recommend it because it makes exercise way more fun and exciting, plus it helps keep both (or all) of you accountable. Exercise with a buddy can be much more effective since you can push and encourage each other to keep going!

Got any workouts you love to do? Post them in the comments!

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Disclosure: Cal-EZ has compensated me for this post, but all opinions are my own and always will be my own. I use Cal-EZ daily not because I was asked to or have to, but because I love it. I am happy to be able to share it with you!