20-minute head to toe workout

(all you need is a pair of dumbbells)

Hi! Hope you’re enjoying the day so far. It was a perfect cloudy morning and afternoon: a trip to the library, soup in the slow cooker, and cleaning up around the house. I feel like I’m currently surrounded by a mountain of laundry, but at the same time, I kind of love sorting and folding tiny dresses and jammies. (Can’t really say the same about allthetowels. Blah. Haha)

Some bummer news: our goldfish friend, Goldie, has swam to greener lakes. We noticed she was acting lethargic last week and had a fuzzy spot on the side of her body, so the Pilot went to PetSmart to talk with the fish expert about it. We got medicine for her, but within a couple of days, she was gone. I think I took it harder than anyone. Liv was just like, “Oh, she died?” and I’m feeling emotional about a fish that surprisingly lived for a few months. I still have no idea how my elementary school goldfish lived for something like 8 years. 

A workout to share today: 20 minute total body workout! This is one I did this weekend, and I loved that it worked every muscle group quickly. These moves are meant to be completed circuit-style, from one exercise to the next. Depending on how much time you have, you can do the entire set up to three times. As always, talk with a doc before making any fitness changes and honor your body. Modify if you need to! Here’s the workout:

Twenty minute workout

And a gif I’m posting as a test to see if it works!

Lunge and curl


Please let me know if you give this workout a try!!

Also, I’ll be teaching at an event in a couple of weeks and we get to choose what format to teach. I was thinking of doing Zumba and barre, but could do anything like a HIIT/bodyweight combo, DJ dance, or bootcamp. Would love to hear any ideas or suggestions!!

Hope you have a wonderful night!



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  1. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on October 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks for the workout! I always love that you include a reminder to honor your body and limitations/strengths. So important! Great leggings – which brand are they?

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:53 am

      thank you! they’re fabletics

  2. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on October 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Looks like a great workout! Thanks for sharing! Sorry about Goldie! I wasn’t even aware there was medicine you could give to goldfish!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:52 am

      i didn’t either! (apparently it didn’t work very well, or we were too late giving it to her)

  3. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on October 7, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Zumba and BodyPump! 2 things I love but are the hardest to do on your own at home.

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:52 am

      i would love to do bodypump, but i don’t think they’d be able to get all of the equipment at the beach :/

  4. Yaara Leve on October 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I’m so sorry about Goldie! That’s really too bad! It sounds like you took great care of her though. Gold fish are really hard to keep alive!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:52 am

      yeah they are! tom wants another one, but i don’t because it makes me sad if they don’t live for very long

  5. Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy on October 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    The GIF is unfortunately not working for me. 🙁

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:50 am


  6. Brynn on October 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Love your workouts!! And loving that this is a full body knocked out in 20 min – perfect for this new mom!!

  7. Jackie B. on October 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    love the mesh leggings you’re wearing in the photos! I tried on the ‘Seek the Heat’ floral lulu crops the other day, but didn’t end up buying them. Definitely a cool fall trend though. I’ll be interested to see where yours are from!

  8. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on October 7, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Lots of great compound movements in this one. Good job!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:50 am

      thank you! love compound moves 🙂

  9. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on October 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I love your leggings, and I’m about to do this workout right now!!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:50 am

      how’d it go??

  10. Laura @SheEatsWell on October 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Gina – my schedule has been a bit nuts the past week or so but you’ve been motivating me to still sweat! Yesterday I did one of your old Winter Shape Up workouts from last year in my living room (my buns burned…) and today I did a tabata of yours + this head-to-toe workout (the plank rows hurt so good). I am drenched and so glad I did these! Thanks for the workouts, keep them coming!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:50 am

      that is so awesome!! happy you got in some great workouts despite the crazy schedule. xoxo

  11. Kate on October 7, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Hahahah I laughed out loud reading about the role reversal in who is typically more upset about the death of a fish and imagining Liv just being like “eh whatever”

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:50 am

      hahah she was just like “oh, bummer” and i was about to cry

  12. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on October 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks for this workout!! I love how short and quick it is!

  13. Julia on October 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    What about “Adult Recess?” For example, freeze tag and to get unfrozen, do 15 burpees or whatever.

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:49 am

      oh i love that idea!

  14. Molly on October 8, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Zumba and Barre sounds like my perfect day!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 1:49 am

      me too!!

  15. Tina@GottaRunNow on October 8, 2014 at 7:01 am

    A trip to the library and a crock-pot meal sounds perfect for a cloudy day. Pinned the workout!

  16. jodie on October 8, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Zumba and barre sounds fun. Love the leggings.

  17. Alex on October 8, 2014 at 8:29 am

    The gif isn’t working for me, but that may be because I am viewing this on my smartphone. I will try again this evening on my laptop! This workout looks like a good one. So quick and efficient. Love that it works upper and lower body!

  18. Bharat on October 8, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I normally do running, walking and squats. It really help me to stay fit and active throughout the day. Though I’ll certainly try your suggested workouts as well.

  19. Craig Leonard on October 8, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Nice workout… I really enjoyed your blog post or step by step workout tips.

  20. Sara on October 8, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I’m going to do this tonight! Short and sweet 🙂 If I have time maybe a tabata round or two…

  21. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on October 8, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I love that there are no pushups in this workout! I hate pushups but they’re usually a staple in short workouts. I’m totally trying this one out!

  22. Janelle on October 8, 2014 at 10:07 am

    FYI, the gif isn’t moving for me. Great workout, thanks for sharing!!

  23. Heather @Fit N Cookies on October 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I incorporate all those moves into my workout classes! Love them all!

  24. Angela @ HonestlyAngela on October 8, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Sorry to hear about your little fish! I feel the same way about laundry as you. I love folding and putting all my baby girls clothes away, but anything else, especially towels, rags, my husband’s socks ?- not so fun!

  25. Brenna @ glutesandgluttony.com on October 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I’ll be incorporating some of these moves into the BodyBlast class I teach! Those curtsy lunges are a killer with squats. 😉

    How do you take photos of your workouts? Using a timer?

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      yep! self timer FTW haha

  26. Tracy on October 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Aww poor Goldie 🙁

    I needed to plan my workout for tomorrow… a couple rounds of this looks perfect!!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      let me know if you give it a try!

  27. Kristi Carlson on October 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Always love your workouts! It you’re ever in-need of workout ideas, what about workout ideas for when you have an injury? For example, I’m going crazy with an ankle injury. I’ve done some upper body lifting and pushups (on my knees), but I would love any other ideas of how I can maintain my fitness during this frustrating time. Working out keeps me sane, and I’m starting to lose my marbles.

    Oh injuries… they are always humble reminders that I’m not superwoman. 🙁

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      some ideas (if your doc gives it the ok):
      donkey kicks (on hands and knees)
      lying glute raises
      plank on your knees, bringing knee to elbow on each side
      side lying leg raises and leg circles
      resistance band loop work (side lying)
      upper body strength
      bosu double crunches
      back extensions on the bosu or stability ball

      hope you heal soon!! xoxo

  28. Masala Girl on October 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    two questions:
    uh.. what is a gif? haha
    and on the lunges (first time), so we do 10 lungers/leg, a total of 20 raises & curls?

  29. Molly Petsch on October 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Keep these kind of workouts coming please! Great for us moms who don’t have a lot of time but want a quick, effective workout! Maybe offer modifications, both easier and harder options? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on October 9, 2014 at 10:58 am

      sure, happy to include more modifications!

  30. Deanna on October 9, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Do you have any ideas for the 5-7 minute warm up? This is the type of workout I love for at home while my youngster naps…so I can’t really leave the house for a jog or run. I don’t have any cardio equipment. Thanks!

    • Rachel on October 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      I was about to ask the same thing! What about running in place, high knees, burpees, push ups, mountain climbers? Is that too high intensity, or is that okay?

    • Fitnessista on October 9, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      do you have a jump rope? that’s an awesome warmup tool. or you can jog in place, do some slow and controlled squats, pushups, and lunges.

      • Deanna on October 10, 2014 at 8:06 am


  31. Angelica on October 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    GREAT workout. Just went through it and absolutely loved the compound moves!

    • Fitnessista on October 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      yay! happy you liked it!!

  32. Alexandria @ Al2getherfit on October 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks for the great workout!

    • Fitnessista on October 9, 2014 at 7:02 pm


  33. Masala Girl on October 11, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    this was awesome! I did it this morning while my muffins were baking 🙂 http://www.masalagirltravels.com/2014/10/11/berry-zucchini-muffins-with-lemon-rosemary-healthified/

  34. sally mae on October 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I loved this workout! I coach Moms On The Run and we do a strength training workout following our interval runs and this was just perfect for my class! Thank you. 🙂

  35. Amy on October 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I had been putting off my workout all day, but finally got off my butt and completed this one! Thanks for posting 🙂

  36. Stacy on January 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Sorry about Goldie! My 3rd grade class had a fish too…. I thought that thing lasted years, but it turns out my teacher kept buying similar-looking ones when they passed… Kinda sad and clever at the same time. Normally kids notice the SMALLEST differences!

    Excited to try the workout tonight!

  37. Barb on January 24, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I just did the workout! Awesome at home, easy to do but I worked up a sweat! Thank you!

    I am taking those hip raises with leg lift with me to my regular workouts! Amazing burn!

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