30 Workouts You Can Do in 20 Minutes or Less
We all know we need to exercise. But we don't all have the time. A typical exercise plan — cardio, strength training and flexibility — can take an hour or longer each day. For people with busy lives, that's often not possible.
Luckily, research has shown that short bursts of exercise can be just as effective as longer workouts. The key is making the most of your time. Here are 30 workouts you can do in minutes a day to boost fitness and increase strength.
Commercial Break Workouts
When you've had a long day at the office, the last thing you want to do at night is exercise. The more appealing option, of course, is to grab a snack and turn on Netflix. We don't want to take away your TV time — but you can catch up on your shows and fit in fitness all at once.
Body Sculpting in Just Minutes a Day
A full-body workout — upper body, lower body, abs — can take quite a bit of time. If you're looking to burn fat, though, it's the way to go. It's simple: work more muscles, burn more fat. But is it possible to get that fat-burning goodness in just a few minutes a day? Absolutely.
An Easy Nighttime Strength Circuit
Sometimes the only time you have to work out is right before bed, as much as you might dislike it. On the upside, all of that exercise will have you sleeping like a baby (plus, you'll get a bangin' bod). Fitness Magazine suggests a simple 20-minute circuit, but feel free to make it shorter or longer to suit your needs.
A 10-Minute Plyometric Workout for Power and Strength
Fitness experts love plyometrics for their ability to stimulate several different muscle groups at the same time. Though they're typically used to improve athletic performance, they can also improve fat loss, strength and endurance. And they can do all of that quickly.
Social Media Fitness Breaks
The typical American spends about 135 minutes a day, or almost two and a half hours, viewing social media. That's bananas! Instead of just mindlessly scrolling, why not do something useful with that time? You don't have to give up your social media fix to go to the gym — just try this simple trick.
Boost Your Cardio in Just 10 Minutes
Let's face it: Cardio workouts can be pretty boring, and a lot of people just don't like them. Who has 60 minutes to spend running on a treadmill or slogging away on the elliptical? Fortunately, it's possible to boost your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular fitness without those super-long workouts.
Blast Your Belly With Some Quick Dance Moves
Besides time spent, one of the biggest complaints about working out is that it's "boring." But what many people don't realize is that you don't have to do traditional exercises to get in some fitness. You can bust a move to your favorite song, no matter where you are, and get all the benefits of a hardcore workout sesh.
Boost That Butt in Just 10 Minutes
Looking to tone up? If you're like most people, you'll want to concentrate on your legs and bum. But is it possible to do that without hitting the gym and spending an hour on the leg press? Yes. In fact, there are dozens of bodyweight moves you can do right in your own home.
A Heavy-hitter Routine in Less Than 15 Minutes a Day
For those that have access to a gym but don't have a ton of time, this short routine is ideal for building strength and enhancing performance. It focuses on heavy lifting but alternates between upper-body and lower-body movements — so half of your body gets to rest while the other half is working!
10-Minute Beginner Bodyweight Workout
Just starting out on your fitness journey? It can be hard to drag yourself off the couch when you're not used to moving your body. And even when you have the motivation, facing an hour-long aerobics session or 90 minutes in the gym can be intimidating.
A Quick 10-Minute Upper-body Workout
A strong upper body is important — not just for opening stubborn jars. Working your upper half helps improve posture and reduces the risk of neck or back injury. And it's good for your heart. A lot of people think that "upper-body workout" means gym time, though — and they just don't have the time for that.
The Sitcom Butt Workout
We've already discussed Netflix and made it clear that you don't have to give up your TV habit. But you also don't have to do 10 squats or 15 push-ups at each commercial break either. Instead, why not turn your favorite sitcom or drama into a fun workout game?
Do Bathroom Squats
This little fitness hack has been floating around out there for a long time, and for good reason. Everyone uses the bathroom throughout the day — it's something you can't avoid. So when you tie a fitness challenge to your time in the loo, you're bound to hit your daily goal (as long as you remember to do it).
Get a Jacked Upper Body in Minutes a Day
This is another one for the gym lovers. Perhaps you have a gym at the office but limited time on your lunch break. Or you can swing by your regular spot on the way home from work, but you have to be home to meet the kids in 30 minutes. Whatever your deal is, this workout is quick and effective.
Blast Fat in Just 10 Minutes a Day
If you want to burn up those weekend calories faster than you can say "Boston cream pie," this crazy-effective cardio routine will have you working up a sweat in no time flat. In fact, according to Keli Roberts, creator of 10-Minute Cardio KickBox, you'll burn around 150 calories in just 10 minutes.
The Cardi B. Circuit
This one is simple: Just pick a song you love and create your own circuit around it. No, it doesn't have to be Cardi B. It could be Wu-Tang Clan or the Bee Gees or Michael Jackson — whatever floats your boat. And you can use any combination of exercises you want, too.
Do These Simple Moves While You Sit at Your Desk
Sometimes, you actually don't get a break during the day. At all. You're stuck at your desk for eight hours straight and there's nothing you can do about it. Well, not only is that bad for your mental health, but it can also cause physical pain as well (hello, sore neck!).
Dance to Your Favorite Song
There's a lot of dancing on this list. And there's a reason for that: Dance has the potential to burn a ton of calories in very little time, and it'll seriously tone you up in the process. On top of that, there are dozens of different dances, hundreds of different artists and countless ways to mix things up.
Burn a Ton of Calories on Your Morning Walk
Do you take a walk every day — and it’s not quite doing the trick? You might feel good when you're done, but you wish it gave you a bit more of a workout. Without adding any time onto your daily routine, you can take a totally pumped-up walk and melt away those calories.
A 20-Minute Boogie Fest
Much like the Cardi B. circuit, this one focuses on choosing songs and moves you love — only it lasts much longer. Rather than just one song, in this routine, you'll choose 20 minutes’ worth of songs you love (or a couple really long songs, like Daft Punk's aptly named Too Long).
Squeeze in This 10-Minute Anti-aging Workout
Almost everyone has the same "trouble" zones, like upper arms, abs and legs. As we age, these three areas more than anywhere else are likely to become, well, flabby. And, let's be honest: No one wants grandma arms. Not even grandmas.
Get in Mini-walks Throughout the Day
To really burn fat and slim down, many people may tell you that you need at least 45 minutes of cardio five days a week — but that's just not very workable. In fact, for most people, it's just downright impossible. Luckily, research has shown that several shorter workouts can be just as beneficial.
Start Your Morning on the Right Foot With This 10-Minute Workout
Many people prefer working out in the morning. For some, it's the only time of day when they can get a few minutes to themselves. For others, it's when they're feeling their most energetic. Whatever your reason, this is a quick 10-minute workout you can squeeze in on even the most hectic of weekdays.
10-Minute Cardio Fat Blaster
If you want a quick workout that’ll help you lose weight, boost your metabolism, improve heart and lung health, and enhance endurance, then this is the workout for you. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts like this have been proven to burn more calories in the following 24 hours than traditional cardio routines.
Increase Your Explosiveness With This Short Workout
If you want to increase your explosiveness (your power output), this workout can give you the results you want in just a few minutes a day. It's designed to increase the speed and quickness with which you complete any movement, so it's great no matter what sport you do. And, you can do this whole workout at home.
Target Your Butt, Abs & Arms in Just 5 Minutes
If you have five minutes during your day, no matter where you are, you can get in this quick full-body workout. And if you can't find five free minutes somewhere during your day, then perhaps it's time to reassess your schedule!
A Simple 10-Minute Core Workout
Want to strengthen your core and improve your posture and balance? Have a sore back and know that exercise would help? Unfortunately, many people are in this same boat, but they don't have time to go to the gym or see a trainer. This simple 10-minute core workout could ease what ails you.
Get in a Quick Workout on Your Lunch Break
Getting in a midday workout may seem like the most unappealing thing ever. After all, who wants to hit the gym on lunch and come back to the office all sweaty? But getting your heart rate up in the middle of the day can help you get over that dreaded 2 p.m. slump.
Don't Forget to Stretch
It seems like people are always worried about burning calories and losing weight, but keeping your body limber and flexible is just as important for your overall health. If starting a workout routine feels overwhelming for you right now, you can still do your body some good by completing a few easy stretching exercises.
Don't Want to Work Out? Don't Worry About It
Sometimes you just need a day off. If you truly don't want to do anything but sit on your couch, binge watch your favorite show and eat a pint of ice cream, don't worry about it. We've all been there, and there's no shame in that game.