We’re all busy, juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities, and it can be easy to pass up a workout when we feel we don’t have enough time for a decent one. Lucky for us on those crazy days, it IS possible to get an effective workout in in a short amount of time. The Pilot and I are still in the fog of the early weeks with a baby, and fitting in a workout can be a liiiiittle tricky. Below I’ve planned out some 20-minute workouts, so there’s no excuse the next time we’re pressed for time!
Side note: It was such a blast having the fam here this weekend and they’re headed back to Arkansas today. We got to take them to some of our favorite San Diego spots, enjoy the lovely weather, and watch the cousins play. So much fun. I’ll have some more weekend pics up soon.
Finding Time to Work Out
For me, I’m fortunate that I teach some active classes which are built-in time to sweat, and I’ve been testing the strength components in the PBB plan (which are perfect because they’re short and I can do them at home!). For the Pilot, it’s been a little more challenging to fit in gym time. Many nights, he won’t head to the gym until both kiddos are asleep. He’s dedicated and makes it happen, even though it’s at the tail end of a very long day with work and everything else he has going on.
A lack of time was something that used to hinder me from working out. I figured if I only had 20 minutes or so, it wasn’t enough to get in a “full workout,” so I would skip it. This was also during the days when I would waste a lot of time at the gym (and had time to waste, haha). I’ve learned that every little bit counts, and you really can get in an awesome workout in a short amount of time.
20-Minute Workouts for When You’re Short On Time
If you only have 20 minutes to spare, you can still get in a great workout! I’ve put together some options for you for when you run into one of these hard-to-find-the-time days.
For these workouts, I included warmups and cool downs during the 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll be able to spend 5 minutes warming up and 5 minutes to get the heart rate back down after your workout. I’ve found that I can warm up for my strength workouts during the strength portion (with slow, controlled, functional movements) and cool down by walking briskly out of the gym, and slowly to the car. If you’re going to do a 20-minute cardio workout, I’ve added some moderate cardio into the 20-minute block to warm up your body and safely elevate the heart rate before busting into intense interval training.
(As always, check with a doc before making any fitness or nutrition changes. Honor your body and modify as needed.)
Pick Your Workout
20-Minute Cardio Workouts:
HIIT: warm up for 5 minutes at a moderate pace and incline. Alternate between 1 minute easy, and one minute hard for 10 minutes. Alternate between 30 seconds easy and 30 seconds hard for 5 minutes. Cool down and stretch.
Steady: warm up for 5 minutes at a moderate pace. Since you only have 15 minutes for the “meat” of your workout, bring your pace up to slightly faster than your normal steady “base” pace. Hold here for 15 minutes before cooling down and stretching.
HIIT & Steady: warm up for 5 minutes at a moderate pace and incline. Next, do 30 seconds HARD, and 30 seconds easy for 7 minutes. Next, complete 8 minutes of EASY steady state cardio. Cool down and stretch.
20-Minute Strength Workouts:
Strength Workout 1: 5 minute warmup (Slow and controlled: 10 bodyweight squats, 10 lunges each side, 10 weighted rows, 10 pushups, 1 minute plank.), 15 minutes of supersets. Superset 1: alternate between 10 biceps curls and 10 triceps dips for 3 rounds. Superset 2: alternate between 10 bent-over row and 10 pushups for 3 rounds. Superset 3: alternate between lunges (10 each side) and 10 hamstring curls (machine or stability ball) for 3 rounds. If you have time after your supersets, add in some core work with planks (I like 30 seconds regular plank, 30 seconds side plank, 30 seconds regular plank, 30 seconds on the other side). Stretch.
Strength Workout 2: 5 minute warmup (Slow and controlled: 10 bodyweight squats, 10 lunges each side, 10 weighted rows, 10 pushups, 1 minute plank.), 15 minutes of circuit training. Complete the following moves in a circuit, moving quickly from one exercise to the next: 15 squats to biceps curls, 15 pushups, pull-ups (or assisted pull-ups. If you’re not at the gym, try dumbbell rows instead), 10 walking lungs. Cool down and stretch.
20-Minute Strength and Cardio Workouts:
Strength & Cardio 1: 10 minutes of strength, 10 minutes HIIT intervals. (Need extra 5 minutes for warm up and cool down.) Warm up with 5 minutes of moderate cardio with moderate incline. Complete a 10-minute circuit. For 10 minutes, try the following exercises: sprint .25 miles, 15 push-ups, 15 squats, 10 biceps curls, 10 triceps dips. Complete as many rounds as you can in the 10-minute block. Next, try 10 minutes of HIIT: alternate 1 minute fast and 1 minute slow for 10 minutes total. Cool down and stretch.
Strength with Cardio Blasts: add in some of you favorite cardio moves during your workout! Try 10 squats, 10 lunges with biceps curls, 10 lunges (the opposite side) with shoulder raises, 10 triceps dips, and 10 push-ups. After each round, do 45 seconds of your favorite heart-pumping cardio moves or plyo, like jump squats, mountain climbers, lateral jumps, jumping jacks, box jumps, etc.
20-Minute Core and Flexibility Workout:
This is one of my favorite hotel room combos:
10 minutes sun salutations
5 minutes stretching/foam rolling. For tips on foam rolling, check out this post.
How do you gauge a “successful workout?” If I have sweat around my eyeballs, I’ll call it a win. 😉
See ya later today on the Family page!
Don’t forget to check in with today’s winter shape up workout (steady state)!
Congratulations to the winners of the Kit’s Organic giveaway:
Kate, who said “Dark Chocolate and Peanut butter is always a great combo!”
Kristin, who said “Dark chocolate peanut sounds delish! I can’t wait to try these!”
Sarah, who said, “anything with dark chocolate and the lemon vanilla chia sounds interesting too!”
(Send me an email, lucky winners! Fitnessista at gmail dot com and we’ll get your prize on the way to you)