People are even busier than normal during the holidays. That typical year-end rush piles up, work is more hectic than ever, we’re carefully buying gifts for our friends and family and spending time with those we love. Many of us understandably sacrifice our gym time in favor of other activities.
The truth is, you don’t have to give up physical activity. Even 20 minutes of rigorous physical activity a day can get the job done. In other words, with time constraints, you can still get an efficient workout in.
To make things a little easier for you, we chose several 20-minute workouts that you can sneak in anywhere with no equipment. They target the entire body, making sure that no muscle group is left out. Even on the most hectic days, don’t forget to pause and get your fitness in.
1. Jason Khalipa’s “Hit It Hard” Bodyweight Workout
CrossFit champ Jason Khalipa is capable of great things, and getting a serious workout in with limited time is one of them. Here’s an intense 20-minute workout he swears by.
Warm-up: 1-2 minutes of jumping jacks
20-minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)
- 15 squats
- 15 push-ups
- 15 sit-ups
Take brief periods of rest in between movements, for about 10 seconds each, or 60 seconds after each round.
2. Keeping It Simple
This one is easier and fit for beginners. You only need to know four different moves. Perform them one after the other, then rest for 60 minutes before starting another round. 20 minutes is equal to three whole rounds, or more if you can.
Three rounds for 20 minutes or AMRAP
- Army crawlers (6 reps)
- Single leg-bridge crunch (15 reps each leg)
- Thread the needle (15 reps each side)
- Inner thigh leg lift (15 reps each leg)
Army crawlers target your triceps, shoulders and core. Start in a plank. Bring one knee to the side of your body toward your arm, alternating legs each time.
Single leg-bridge crunches work your glutes, lower abs and hamstrings. On your back, bend your left knee with your foot on the ground. Keep your pelvis slightly tucked as you push through your left heel to lift your hips up off the ground. As you lift your hips, bend your right knee to crunch it toward your belly button. Extend the right leg long again, as you lower your hips to hover just above the ground.
Thread the needle is for your obliques. Start in side plank with your left shoulder stacked over your left elbow, core engaged and hips lifted off the ground. Lift your right arm straight up and slowly begin to wrap it down and around your waist, keeping your hips high. Reach your arm back up, re-stacking your shoulders.
Inner thigh leg lifts work on your adductors, or your inner thighs. Laying on your side, prop yourself up on your left arm, elbow under your shoulder and legs extended slightly in front of you. Roll back onto the soft spot of your booty to take pressure off the hip bone. Bring your right (top) leg up and over, planting the foot on the ground in front of the left (bottom) knee. Keeping your upper body steady and abs engaged, lift your bottom leg up toward the inside of the bent knee. Flex the foot and lift with the heel. Slowly lower the leg to hover. Repeat, then switch.
3. Stay Lean Full Body Workout
Here’s a workout you can do at home. Like the other workouts in this article, this will target your whole body in 20 minutes or less with no equipment needed.
Warm-up: Perform each exercise for one minute.
- Active hamstring stretch
- Alternating reverse lunge with scarecrow arms
- Calf rocks into small hops
- Trunk twist
Workout (repeat circuit twice)
- Single-leg advance bridge (12 reps each side)
- Reverse bird dog (20 reps, alternating sides)
- Straight arm push-ups (10 reps)
- Side plank pulse (15 reps each side)
- Triceps push-ups (12 reps)
- Squat hop and hold (5 reps, hold squats for 10 seconds)
- Wide-grip push-up walks (10 reps, alternating sides)
Cool-down: 3 minutes of stretching
Need a guide? Check out this infographic.
Get the Most Out of Your 20-Minute Workout
Here are a few tips you can follow to optimize these short workouts.
Focus on Intensity, Not Time
Make sure you maintain proper form and you’re not just going through the motions. It’s not about how long you work out, but the intensity. Since these are quick workouts, look at them as a sprint, not a marathon.
There may not be a coach there to keep an eye on you, but that’s no excuse not to try your hardest. After every workout, ask yourself if you pushed yourself as hard as you possibly could.
Keep It Fun
If you’re not enjoying it, you shouldn’t be doing it. Do these with a buddy and don’t lose sight of the spirit of fitness. Staying healthy can be something you look forward to each day.