Can You Squeeze In a 20 Minute Workout Today?

by on August 20, 2012
in exercise, workout tips, workouts

Of course you can!  Who can’t find 20 minutes to spare?  This is what I do if my day is booked, there is not a chance I can get to the gym, and I need to break a sweat to maintain my sanity.  It is short, but it is not easy.

Basically, you pick one exercise for each of the SIX basic movements that human bodies are designed to do: a squat, a hip hinge, a push, a pull, a twist or anti-rotation move for the abs, and a single leg move.  Pick your favorites, or get crazy and try something you never do.  You will do three supersets of paired exercises.  In a superset, you move from one exercise directly to the next with no rest.  THEN, you rest, and repeat the superset for a specific number of times.  Huh?  Never mind. Here are the pairs

Squat move + Twist or Abdominal stability (examples below…or come up with your own!)

body squat x 15 followed immediately by front plank x 60 seconds

kettlebell goblet squat x 8 followed immediately by Russian twist x 16

dumbbell squat x 12 followed immediately by side plank, 30 sec/side

Pick one of these combinations, and do three supersets, resting only 60 seconds between each.  The grand total of time for this superset pair should be around 6 minutes or less.  Then, move to the next superset pair.

Push + Pull (examples below or come up with your own!)

Push Up x 10 followed immediately by horizontal rows x 8 (I use my dining room table for these)

Dumbbell military press x 8 followed immediately by pull ups x as many as you can do (this number will go down with each superset!)

Dumbbell chest press x 8 followed immediately by bent over dumbbell rows x 8 (use heavy dumbbells)

Again, pick ONE of these and do three supersets resting only 60 sec between each.  Six more minutes.  Last superset coming up.

Hip hinge + Single leg exercise  (examples below or come up with your own!)

Dumbbell or Kettlebell Deadlift x 8 followed immediately by alternating forward lunge x 8 (with dumbbells) or 12 if bodyweight only

Single leg bodyweight deadlift x 6 each side followed immediately by alternating backward lunges x 6 each side  (with dumbbells) or 12 each if bodyweight only

Kettlebell swings (my favorite) x 20 followed immediately by walking lunges x 8 each side

Same thing here:  no rest between paired exercises, but 60 seconds of rest between the supersets…three times.  Grand total…about 18 minutes. Use the 2 minutes for a brief warm up before you start…body squats, push ups, plank, or just run around the house for 2 minutes and have the dog chase you.

Of course, you can mix and match exercises or come up with your own.  The key is to move quickly between each exercise, and only rest between each superset.  Sixty seconds passes by very quickly.  I use my iphone to time the rest periods, just to keep me honest.

Try it and let me know what you think.

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Comments

3 Responses to “Can You Squeeze In a 20 Minute Workout Today?”
  1. Jenn Whinnem says:

    I finally looked at my RSS feed and then groaned because I was just thinking how I didn’t have time for a workout today. Darn you! j/k

    I wanted to ask you – am I weird because I can’t seem to do squats the “right” way? I’m thinking perhaps my legs aren’t strong enough to support me. I usually have to put a stability ball behind my back (against the wall) in order to do them. Is that okay?

  2. Julie Desch says:

    That is definitely OK. The squat problem is probably not strength, but a mobility or balance problem. Try practicing them without weight…just holding onto a table or the back of a sturdy chair.

  3. Lawow says:

    If you want an effective 20 minutes workout, you definitely have to take a look at either 30 days shred or ripped in 30. The first has 20 minutes workouts and the second 30 minutes workouts.

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