Let’s say that you only had 20 minutes in your day to workout. What would you do? Sadly this is a common occurrence for people sometimes. But a great workout can still be had! It just takes a little thought and then you have to strip workouts down to the bare bones.
What are the essentials? It needs to be simple and basic involving free weights and compound exercises. As great as machines are, if someone is hogging the one you need then you are out of luck with such a short time window.
This workout split is based on working the upper body and lower body on different days. Depending on your availability you can either rest on the in between days or do cardio. This is just a sample as well. As long as you take at least one off day between doing both upper and lower body you can structure the routine over any sequence of days you like.
- Monday – Upper Body
- Tuesday – Lower Body
- Wednesday – Cardio or Off
- Thursday – Upper Body
- Friday – Lower Body
- Saturday – Cardio or Off
- Sunday – Cardio or Off
If you are doing cardio and only have 20 minutes the best options are either running on the treadmill or doing interval training on an Elliptical machine. Try and just do a two minute warm up and cool down to get the maximum amount of fat burning time from what is available.
The basic idea is supersets and compound exercises. Ideally you don’t rest between the two exercises you are supersetting. Try and only rest 30 seconds to a minute between sets. Aim for steady, controlled movements and don’t rush.
- Dumbbell Incline Bench Presses with Dumbbell Bent Rows – 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps
- Dumbbell Shoulder Presses with Dumbbell Front Rows – 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps
- Dips with Close Grip Underhand Chins – 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps
- Dumbbell Squats with Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deadlifts – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Dumbbell Lunges with Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Jackknife Crunches with Planks – 3 sets of 30+ reps (and 30 second hold on the planks)
Between these two workouts you are touching on all the muscle groups in the body. By combining compound movements with dumbbell work you will be hitting stabilizing muscles as well for added difficulty. While having a little more time might be helpful, this routine will do a good job of getting you in shape or keeping you in shape depending on what your goal is.
Since you have limited workout time you need to make sure and stretch at other times. Try and stretch at least twice daily on days when you workout to keep loose and help with the recovery process.