This post is by OYS writer Melissa. See more of her posts here.
We all know by now that we have to exercise if we want to be healthy, maintain a reasonable weight, and feel good. I believe that exercise is always possible in some way, but sometimes obstacles get in the way and make it harder to do. I teach five fitness classes a week on four different days. In the summer, I like to run and swim outside for exercise also. In the winter, I sometimes head down to the treadmill in my basement. But somehow, even with all of these opportunities, exercise doesn’t happen. That’s when I decided to come up with a super easy, super fast cardio workout that I could do on the spot whenever an exercise window opens up. When people say they don’t have time to exercise, I do think it’s very hard for them to find time, but I don’t think it’s impossible. A lot of times people think, well if I can’t get to the gym or spend an hour on the treadmill, then I can’t exercise. To that I say nonsense! Twenty minutes jumping around your living room is always, always going to be better than not doing any exercise at all. Get ready for all of your exercise excuses to be blasted, and get ready to move!
3 Reasons I Love This Routine
- Anyone can do it anytime, anywhere. You don’t need any equipment or a gym membership. All you need is some space to move and some music to motivate you. There are some days I just NEED to work out. I might be feeling sluggish or be having a stressful day, and I know I’ll feel better when I move my body. But with a full-time job, a toddler, and a household to keep in order, it’s not always easy. I have to strike when an opportunity appears. For example, my daughter still takes a nap, so I know I have about two hours to myself…but I have to do laundry, clean the bathroom, and make dinner. I will push those chores aside and do my 20-minute workout first, then get to other things. And if the bathroom doesn’t get cleaned that day, so be it, but I got my workout in! I love that I don’t have to worry about anyone else looking at me like I’m crazy (besides my husband who sees me jumping around like a nut as he walks by the living room). I just do it.
- It is not boring and it goes by so fast. When I’m running on the treadmill and I look at my watch and see that only three minutes have passed, it is so unmotivating. Sometimes a good, long run is nice, but other days I need my workout to be fast-paced and interesting throughout. This workout is great because it’s only 20 minutes long, and you are changing what you are doing every single minute. So you kind of find yourself thinking, “Okay, I only have to do this for a minute, then I get to do something else.” This is exactly what I need on days that I just don’t have the patience for the treadmill.
- This workout is hard core, but can be modified for any fitness level. The moves here are explosive, plyometric cardio moves that are going to get your heart rate up high pretty quickly. Since it’s only 20 minutes, we need to work hard! However, if you need more of a low-impact routine, every single move here is given a modification option, which means anyone can do it. The more you exercise, the more you should challenge yourself to doing the high-impact moves, even if you do 30 seconds at first instead of the full minute. You can do it!
This short routine has a very quick warm up and cool down, so if you feel you need more time for either, please feel free to add. I also strongly encourage stretching when you are done.
0-1:00 Warmup – March in place pumping your arms
1:00-2:00 Jumping jacks (Modify: half jack)
2:00-3:00 High knees (Modify: knee lifts – pull your arms down as you lift your knee, alternating knees)
3:00-400 Mountain climbers (Modify: same move, but go slow)
4:00-5:00 Jumping jacks (Modify: half jack)
5:00-6:00 Side kicks (Modify: same move, but kick lower)
6:00-7:00 Burpees (Modify: same move, but go slow and/or take out the jumping)
7:00-8:00 Jump rope (Modify: march with arms making jump rope motion)
8:00-9:00 Jumping jacks (Modify: half jack)
9:00-10:00 Squat jumps (Modify: squat then reach up without jumping)
10:00-11:00 Football runs (Modify: march in place)
11:00-12:00 Front kicks (Modify: same move, but kick lower)
12:00-13:00 Jumping jacks (Modify: half jack)
13:00-14:00 Mountain climbers (Modify: same move, but go slow)
14:00-15:00 Butt kickers (Modify: hamstring curls)
15:00-16:00 Lunge jumps (Modify: lunge switch without jumping)
16:00-17:00 Jumping jacks (Modify: half jack)
17:00-18:00 Jump rope (Modify: march with arms making jump rope motion)
18:00-19:00 Back kicks (Modify: same move, but kick lower)
19:00-20:00 Cool down – Step touch
For another quick and effective home exercise try the paper plate work out.
What are your ideas for a quick home workout?
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