You only need 20 minutes and your body weight to get an effective workout. Squeeze in a total-body cardio routine to give yourself a boost of energy before your workday, in between meetings, or while dinner is cooking. Best of all, no equipment is necessary. Personal trainer Ian Cervone shares his go-to, circuit-style workout that hits every major muscle group and gets your heart pumping.
Here’s how it works:
Set a timer for 20 minutes. Do 12 reps of each exercise to complete one set. Allow 30 seconds to one minute of rest in between each set. Challenge yourself to see how many rounds you can get through. You can even up the ante by creating a friendly competition among friends. Who can complete the most sets in the allotted time?
Muscles targeted: quads, hamstrings, glutes
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms out in front of you.
- Keeping your chest up, back straight and eyes forward, place your weight in your heels and bend your knees. Your knees should never go past your feet.
- Stand, returning to starting position.
Easier: Squat to a chair.
Harder: Place your hands on your head and add a jump to the end of the movement.
Muscles targeted: core, chest, shoulders, triceps
- Align your body from head to toe, arms fully extended, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, head and neck gazing forward in neutral position.
- Lower your body toward the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body (20 to 45 degrees away).
- Push yourself back up to starting position.
Easier: Start on your knees or elevate your hands by placing them on sturdy structure
Harder: Make it a clap pushup. Press yourself up quickly enough that your hands leave the floor.
Muscles targeted: core
- Lie on your back with arms and legs extended, and your hands at the sides of your hips or under your bottom.
- Keeping your legs straight, raise your legs so your body forms an L shape.
- Maintaining control, lower your legs back to the floor. Make sure your back stays flat on your mat for the entire movement.
Easier: Bend your knees.
Harder: Do not touch your feet to the ground in between each repetition.
Muscles targeted: triceps
- With your arms extended, place your hands behind you on a sturdy structure about 18 inches high. A couch works well for this move. Extend your legs with a slight bend in the knee, placing your heels on the floor in front of you.
- Bending your arms, lower your body until your shoulders are a few inches higher than your elbows.
- Press back up to starting position.
Easier: Start with your hands higher and do not lower your body as far.
Harder: Elevate one foot at a time while you perform the dip. NOTE: if you feel any discomfort in the shoulder or have a history of shoulder pain this might not be the best exercise for you.
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