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A 20-Minute Total Body Workout You Can Do Anywhere


The following guest post comes from registered dietitian and certified strength conditioning specialist Alissa Rumsey.

While I love a good gym workout, the reality is many days I struggle to even find time to exercise. Sound familiar? Enter the at-home workout. There are dozens of exercises that you can do with little to no equipment in 20 minutes or less. The “it’s too cold to go to the gym” or “I don’t have time today” excuses don’t hold up anymore.

The workout below requires no equipment and takes just 20 minutes. You will work out your whole body and, if done purposefully, the workout is enough to hit all your muscles in a short amount of time. Keep moving the entire time to keep your heart rate up. By keeping the intensity high you’ll increase the after-burn, and your body will burn more calories for up to 24 hours after your workout.

Warm-up:

*1 minute of marching or jogging in place.

*1 minute of jumping jacks (if you have knee issues, continue marching/jogging in place)

Workout:

Perform the exercises as a circuit, doing one set of each with minimal to no rest between exercises. After you complete one circuit of all the exercises, rest for 1 minute. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times, or however many you can in 20 minutes. Have more time? You can do as many as 4 circuits.

 

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1. Wall sit – 60 seconds

Slowly slide your back down a wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground, and your knees are directly above the ankles. Keep your back straight. Hold for 60 seconds (or however long it takes until you legs start shaking!).

 

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2. Clock lunge – 20 reps (10 reps each leg)

Start with feet together. Step your right foot forward as far as you comfortably can. Bend your front knee down to 90 degrees, or as far as can comfortably go, keeping your torso upright and your weight in your front foot. Step right foot back, then take a big step to the right and lunge again. Finish off the clock with a backwards lunge, stepping right foot backwards and bending back knee to 90 degrees. Return to standing – this is one rep.

 

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3. Squat and press – 20 reps

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend hips and knees, sticking butt back and out like you were going to sit on a chair. Lower knees as close to 90 degrees as possible, making sure heels do not rise off the floor. Slowly press through heels to return to standing, and press arms straight over head.

 

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4. Pushups – 20 reps (or as many as you can complete with good form)

Place hands on floor, with feet shoulder width apart and hands directly under shoulders; contract your abs to tilt your hips downward so that your body is in a straight line. Starting with arms straight, lower until your chest almost touches the floor. Push back up to straight arm and repeat. Lower your knees to the floor if you need more support. If you are new to working out, start by putting your hands on a raised surface, such as a chair, table, or couch.

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5. X-jumps – 16 reps (8 each leg)

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed out. Bend at the waist and reach your right hand down to touch your left foot. As you return to standing jump feet off the ground, landing with knees slightly bent. Reach left hand down to touch right foot, then repeat the jump. Keep your heart rate up by completing jumps as quickly as you can.

 

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6. Plank Commandos – 24 reps (12 each arm)

Start in a forearm plank position, with forearms on the floor (elbows directly under your shoulders) and legs straight behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Keep abs tight and back straight. Release your left forearm and place your left hand on the ground slightly outside of your shoulder. Push up onto your right hand, so you are in a full plank position, weight on your hands. Lower left forearm to ground, repeat with right forearm. Complete 12 reps on the left side, before switching to the right for 12 more reps.

 

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7. Dead bug – 16 reps (8 each leg)

Lie on your back with arms extended in front of your shoulders. Bend your hips and knees to a 90-degree angle. Tighten your abs and press your lower back into the floor. Slowly drop your right toe towards the floor, keeping your abs tight and not letting your lower back arch. Slowly return your leg to the starting position, pulling up with your abs. Repeat with opposite leg. Continue alternating, completing 8 reps on each leg.

 

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8. Superman – 60 seconds

Lie facedown with arms and legs extended. Raise arms and legs at the same time, lifting upper and lower body off the ground. Return to start and repeat for 60 seconds.

Cool Down:

*March in place for 1 minute

*Stretch out your quads, hamstrings, calves, and upper arms for 30 seconds each.

Alissa Rumsey MS, RD, CDN, CSCS is a registered dietitian and certified strength and conditioning specialist with a practice in New York City. A current spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she believes diet should be defined by what you eat – not what you can’t. In her spare time, she can be found working out in Central Park, traveling to far-off countries, and exploring the New York City food and restaurant scene. For more about Alissa, visit her website

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books and is currently working on her first novel. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook.

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