If you’re looking to stay fit, but don’t have enough extra time to spend hours at the gym, consider a quick 20 minute workout in the comfort of your own home. The key to getting the most out of a fast workout is keeping your moves synergistic by working several areas of your body at once. This 20 minute at home workout combines cardio, stretching, and strengthening moves that target your whole body and can help build strength, stamina, and flexibility. The only items you need are a chair, small weights (or filled water bottles), and a yoga mat for support. Of course, remember to consult with your physician before starting a new exercise routine.
Rather than counting reps, simply keep track of your time with a clock or the timer on your smartphone. Each move should be done for a full minute. Then, repeat these 10 moves again.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Spend two minutes warming up and cooling down at the beginning and end of your workout. Start by shaking out your arms and legs to get moving. Step into a straddle, bend your knees, and stretch your arms above your head as you breathe in and out. Straighten your legs and reach down, first to one foot and then the other. Reach down to the floor and step back into a downward dog position.
1. Warrior Lunges
Stretch your hands straight up above your head. Step forward with your right leg, bending your knee and keeping your left leg straight. Bend down into a deep lunge and then rise up again. Repeat this for 30 seconds with your right leg forward, then another 30 with your left.
Stand with your feet together, hands on your sides. Bend your knees into a squat as you lift your arms straight out in front of your body. Bring your arms back down as you rise to stand. Repeat for 30 seconds. Bring your hands to your hips, step your feet out wide with your toes pointed out, and bend to a squat. Rise to a stand again and repeat for 30 seconds.
As if you were running in and out of tires, raise one knee up high, then place your foot back down and raise the opposite knee, jumping forward as you do. Repeat running four times forward and four times backwards.
4. Chair Step
With weights in your hands, place your left foot on the seat of a chair. Step up with your right foot to stand on the chair, curling the weights up to your shoulders as you do. Step back down, first with your right foot and then your left, bringing your arms back down. Repeat, alternating the first foot you use.
Stretch your arms out to your sides. Lift your right leg up and swing it forward, leaning back slightly. Swing your leg back behind you, leaning forward slightly. Repeat this for 30 seconds on one side and then 30 on the other.
Lay facedown on the floor and spread your hands shoulder-width apart. Perform push-ups for 30 seconds by lowering yourself almost to the floor then lifting your body back up. Spread your hands out wider than your shoulders and perform push-ups for 30 more seconds.
Lay facedown with your arms extended above your head and your toes pointed. Inhale as you raise your arms and legs. Exhale as you lower them back down again and repeat.
8. Plank Climb
Start on your hands and knees. Step both feet straight back. Step forward with your right foot and step it back. Repeat, alternating feet.
Lie on your back with your heels on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest. Crunch your knees to your elbows, lie back, and repeat.
Lie on your back, hands behind your head, with your legs extended and feet raised off the floor. Bring your right knee up to meet your left elbow and hold for a second. Repeat, alternating sides.
I have found that this sequence and length works great for me, but remember, every person is different! Some days, even a short 20-minute at-home workout can seem hard. If that’s the case for you, simply do one rep of the moves for a 10-minute workout, or try to find a minute here and there throughout your day to complete a single move at a time. You won’t get the same cardiovascular benefits of keeping your heart rate elevated for 20 minutes, but you will still benefit from the strengthening exercises and feel a sense of accomplishment. You can also substitute any of these exercises with those recommended to you by a physician or personal trainer.
Keep in mind that a workout routine is most successful when coupled with a healthy diet as well. Clean eating, for example, can go a long way toward helping you get fit while you work out.
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