Every girlfriend that I have gets pressed for time every now and then (some more than others), and all too often when something’s got to give, it’s the gym. Let’s face it, you don’t want to skip work or a hot date, so, unfortunately, the gym’d the first thing on the hit list.
So. what should you do? The quick and the real solution – the below 20-minute workout you can do at home. No commute to the health club, no traffic, no packing the gym bag. The workout below focuses on the legs, chest and abs. It requires no equipment and, if done with purpose, is intense enough to give you a great pump. Give it a try next time you’re trapped at home or at the hotel and have the training itch.
How this workout works
- Perform the following exercises as a circuit, doing one set of each with minimal rest between exercises.
- If you’re unable to reach the prescribed number of reps in a given set, rest-pause until you reach the rep count. Rest-pause is where, when reaching failure during a given set, you rest anywhere from 10-30 seconds and continue repping out.
- After each circuit, rest 2 minutes. Repeat the circuit 3-4 times, or however many times you can in 20 minutes.
1. Bodyweight Squat
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You can place your hands behind your head or straight out in front of you. This will be your starting position.
- Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips.
- Continue down to full depth if you are able, and quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position. As you squat, keep your head and chest up and push your knees out.
2. Incline Pushup
- Stand facing bench, chair or any sturdy elevated platform. Place hands on edge of bench or platform, slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Position forefoot back from bench or platform with arms and body straight. Arms should be perpendicular to body. Keeping body straight, lower chest to edge of box or platform by bending arms.
- Push body up until arms are extended. Repeat.
3. Back Elevated Glute Bridge (Hip Thrust)
- Start with your shoulder blades against a bench, and your arms spread across it for stability. If your shoulders don’t reach the bench, you may need to start with your butt slightly off the floor. Bend your knees to about 90 degrees, and make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
- Take a big breath in, blow your air out fully, and brace your core.
- Squeeze your glutes, lift up your hips, and hold a second or two. It’s very important that you don’t hyperextend your lower back at the top.
4. Walking Lunge
- Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips.
- Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot.
- Drive through the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to raise yourself back up.
Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg.
5. Standard Push Up
- Get into plank position, with your hands under but slightly outside of your shoulders.
- Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. As you lower yourself, tuck your elbows, pulling them close to your body so that your upper arms form a 45-degree angle when your torso is in the bottom position of the move.
- Pause, then push back to the starting position as quickly as possible. Keep your core braced the entire time.
- If your hips sag at any point during the exercise, your form has been broken. When this happens, consider that your last repetition and end the set.
- Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. If you are resting your feet on a bench, place them three to four inches apart and point your toes inward so they touch.
- Now place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. Tip: Don’t lock your fingers behind your head.
- While pushing the small of your back down in the floor to better isolate your abdominal muscles, begin to roll your shoulders off the floor.
- Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back as you contract your abdominals and exhale. Your shoulders should come up off the floor only about four inches, and your lower back should remain on the floor. At the top of the movement, contract your abdominals hard and keep the contraction for a second. Tip: Focus on slow, controlled movement – don’t cheat yourself by using momentum.
- After the one second contraction, begin to come down slowly again to the starting position as you inhale.