A Dozen 20-Minute Workouts You Can Do At Home

Credit: Getty Images

Of all the reasons people skip a workout, the weakest is saying, "I couldn't make it to the gym," as if the only way your body will ever get faster or stronger is on a treadmill or in a squat rack. Next time you're going to punk out on your routine, use these dozen quick, efficient workouts. Each takes no more than 20 minutes, doesn’t require a lot of equipment, and is a total-body routine that ticks off all the fitness boxes: calorie-burning, muscle-building, core-strengthening. In other words? You’ve got no reason not to end this year strong.

Agility Ladder Burner

From: Alexander Nicholas, owner and founder of EPIC Hybrid Training

This workout uses a jump rope and an agility ladder. Don’t have a ladder? Use tape to mark one out on a sidewalk or floor, or just imagine it on the ground. Do each of the bullet-point movements for 45 seconds, then rest 15 seconds. Repeat the circuit four times total.

  • Jump rope.
  • Plank ladder shuffle: Get in a plank position with each hand in a square of the agility ladder. Side-step your feet and shuffle your hands down, moving your hands from square to square until you reach the end of the ladder. Keep going back and forth for the entire 45 seconds.
  • Reverse lunge with high knee: Perform a reverse lunge, then stand up and drive the knee of your back leg up in front of you as high as you can. Go back and forth between your right leg and left leg.
  • Push-up to side plank: Perform a push-up, then rotate to a side plank on the right side. Repeat, rotating to a side plank on your left side. Keep going back and forth for the 45 seconds.
  • Lateral-step ladder drill: Stand to the side of the end square of your agility ladder. Shuffle both feet into the square, then outside the ladder on the opposite side from where you started. Move back and forth as you work your way up the ladder and repeat until time is up.

Bodyweight Sprint Circuit

From: Liam Glennon, trainer with Burn 60

Do four rounds of the following five movements, moving as fast as you can with little or no rest between exercises. (Time yourself, and each time you do the routine, try to finish faster than your previous time.)

  • Quarter-mile sprint.
  • 25 push-ups.
  • 20 bounds: Start in a half squat position, shift weight to left leg, then push off and attempt to bound to your right as far as you can, landing softly. Alternate sides, focusing on distance, not height.
  • 25 mountain climbers.
  • 30-second bear crawl: Get on all fours and crawl forward without letting knees touch ground.

The Combo Platter

From: Liu Gross, athletic director for REACH Athletics and Yoga at REACT Physical Therapy

Do each exercise for a full minute, and immediately move to the next exercise without rest. Perform the circuit four times total. You’ll need one heavy dumbbell or kettlebell.

  • Long lever bicycles: Lie on floor with legs and arms extended. Perform a regular bicycle movement, but keep your arms and legs straight. Tap your right toe with left hand, then left toe with right hand, repeat.
  • Chest-press reverse lunges: Hold the dumbbell or kettlebell at your chest with both hands. Lunge backward while simultaneously extending arms straight in front of you (keep weight at chest level). Return to start and repeat with other leg.
  • Plank push-up to knee tuck: Start in a plank, then lower yourself down to left elbow, then right, then back up to your hands. From there, bring left knee into left elbow. Repeat on other side.
  • Prisoner get-ups: Perform a squat with hands behind head. Keeping hands behind head, place right knee down on floor, then left knee, and then sit down and lie back flat, legs extended. Reverse the movement to get back up and stand. Continue, alternating which knee you put down on the floor first.
  • Lateral skater jumps: Stand on left foot, right foot slightly off floor, both knees soft. Jump forward and to the right at a 45-degree angle, landing on ball of your right foot, then immediately jump off the right leg to the left foot at a 45-degree angle. Keep doing this, but every third jump, stick the landing for three seconds.

Core Focus

From: Rich Robinson, a trainer with Box + Flow

First, warm up by doing 30 seconds of the following movements:

  • High knees.
  • Butt kicks.
  • Jumping jacks.
  • Highland jacks: Every time you land, cross your feet and cross your arms in front of your body.
  • Drop squats with a touch: Start in a standing position, then quickly drop your body down into a squat, touch the ground, and return to standing.
  • Inch worms with push-ups: Start in a standing position. Bend down until hands touch the floor, then walk your hands forward as far as you can. Perform a push-up, then walk feet forward to meet your hands. Repeat.

Then move to this core-building workout: Do one minute of each move, notching as many reps as possible, and rest one minute in between exercises. Do the entire circuit three times total.

  • Froggers: This move is like doing high knees, but instead of pulling your knees up to your chest, you rotate your leg out, driving your knee out to the side.
  • Plank with knee-to-elbow rotations: Start in a plank position, then reach right elbow and left knee together under your trunk. Return to plank, then reach left elbow and right knee together. Repeat.
  • Mountain climbers.

Dead man release push-ups: From a push-up position, lower all the way down to the ground and release hands at the bottom. Place palms back down on floor, and push-up back. Repeat.

Cardio Finisher:

  • Up-Down Planks: Start in a plank position, then lower to one elbow, then the other, then return to hands. Alternate directions. Continue for a full minute.

Kettlebell Power-Up

From: Alexander Nicholas, owner and founder of EPIC Hybrid Training

You need two heavy kettlebells or dumbbells (30 pounds is a good place to start, but scale up or down accordingly). Do 40 seconds of each movement followed by 20 seconds of rest. Do the circuit four times total.

  • Kettlebell/dumbbell swing (only swing the weight to eye level).
  • Kettlebell/dumbbell floor press: Lie on your back with a weight in each hand, legs extended. Press the weights above your chest, then lower back down until your elbows touch the ground. Repeat.
  • Kettlebell/dumbbell high pull: Place one weight on floor in front of you. Hinge forward at the waist with soft knees to grab the weight, and drive your hips forward to explosively lift the weight up to chest height, raising elbows toward ceiling. Carefully lower the weight back down, pushing hips backward to place it on the floor. Repeat.
  • Kettlebell/dumbbell thruster: Hold a weight in each hand at shoulders. Squat down, pushing hips backward and keeping back flat, then rise up, pushing through heels and thrusting weight up overheard; end with arms straight and elbows locked.

Get Them Glutes

From: Liam Glennon, trainer with Burn 60

Do three rounds of this circuit, moving as quickly as you can. (Time yourself, and each time you do the routine, try to finish faster than your previous time.)

  • Half-mile run.
  • 24 jump lunges: Perform a lunge, then jump up and scissor your legs in mid-air to land with your opposite foot forward.
  • 20 push pikes: Perform a push-up, but on your way up, shoot your hips into the air as if you were doing a downward dog. Bring body forward again and go into another push-up, repeat.
  • 40 walking lunges.
  • 30-second crab walk: Sit with palms flat on floor on outside of your hips. Raise your hips up and walk hands and feet forward without letting butt touch the ground.

Crank the Intensity

From: Alexander Nicholas, owner and founder of EPIC Hybrid Training

Do 30 seconds of each movement followed by 10 seconds of rest. Do the circuit five times total.

  • Russian speed twists: Sit on floor with knees bent and hands together in front of chest. Raise feet up and lean back, keeping back flat and abs engaged. Twist torso to touch hands to the floor on your right side, then twist in the opposite direction and touch floor at left side. Repeat.
  • Burpees.
  • Up/down planks: Start out in a plank on your hands. Lower to one elbow, then the other, then push back up to your hands. Alternate directions.
  • Atomic sit-ups: Start in a standing position, then, moving quickly, bend your knees and sit down to rock backward so your feet end up over your head. Rock forward and get up to your feet so that you’re standing again. Repeat.
  • Wide-step mountain climbers: Perform mountain climbers with your feet landing outside of your hands.
  • Prisoner jump squat: Perform a squat with hands linked behind your head. At bottom of squat, explosively jump up, keeping your hands in place.

Bodyweight Mash-Up

From: Liu Gross, athletic director for REACH Athletics and Yoga at REACT Physical Therapy

Do each movement for one minute, with little to no rest, completing four total rounds.

  • Alternating lateral lunge: Lunge out to one side, then step feet back together, and then lunge to the other side.
  • Push-ups.
  • Alternating reverse lunge and reach: Lunge back with left leg while simultaneously reaching up with your left arm. Repeat on right side, and go back and forth.
  • Alternating superman: Lie facedown on floor with arms and legs outstretched. Lift right arm and left leg into air, then lower and lift left arm and right leg into air.
  • High knees: Quickly staccato your steps, holding your knee up high for three seconds on every third step.

Shadowbox It Out

From: Rich Robinson, a trainer with Box + Flow

First, warm-up by doing each of the following moves for one minute:

  • Plank on your forearms.
  • Knee-to-elbow mountain climbers.
  • Plank on your forearms while tapping your hips to the floor on one side, then the other.

Grab light, three-pound weights, and hold one in each hand. Do the following circuit three times total with one minute of rest between sets:

  • 30-seconds jab (go back and forth jabbing with your right and left hand)/30 seconds cross (go back and forth punching at a 45-degree angle with your right and left hand).
  • One-minute jab/cross: Jab with right hand, then left hand, then cross with right hand, then cross with left hand.
  • 30 second hooks (punch across your body with your right hand, then left hand)/30 second upper cuts (go really fast with these).
  • One-minute squat jumps/hammer curls: Squat down, and at bottom, perform a hammer curl (palms at your side, facing your body, and curl the weights up to chest level). Jump explode up out of the squat and repeat.

Core-blasting finisher:

  • Up/Down Walking Planks: Start in a plank position, then lower to one elbow, then the other, then return to hands. Walk your hands and feet over to the right. Repeat, then walk your hands and feet over to the left. Continue for one minute.

Running Down the Clock

From: Liam Glennon, trainer with Burn 60

You only need to do this list one time through — but you want to run as fast as you can. (Time yourself, and each time you do the routine, try to finish faster than your previous time.)

  • One-mile run.
  • Two-minute plank.
  • Half-mile run.
  • Two-minute plank.

The Functional Five

From: Liu Gross, athletic director for REACH Athletics and Yoga at REACT Physical Therapy

Perform each move for one minute, little to no rest in between, and complete four rounds total.

  • Single-leg inchworm: Stand on right foot. Bend down until hands touch floor, then walk hands forward as far as you can while keeping left foot in the air. Put left foot down and walk feet forward to meet your hands. Repeat while keeping right foot in air and continue, alternating sides.
  • Hip taps on right: Get in a right side plank. Raise and lower your hips to the ground for 30 seconds. Then, stay in a right side plank and raise and lower your top leg for 30 seconds.
  • Bear crawl: Do four crawls forward, then four back, continuing the entire minute.
  • Hip taps on left: Get in a left side plank. Raise and lower your hips to the ground for 30 seconds. Then, stay in a left side plank and raise and lower your top leg for 30 seconds.
  • Pogo jumps: Hop in the shape of a square for 30 seconds, then hop in the other direction for 30 seconds. Engage your abs with every jump.

The Powerhouse Bout

From: Olivia Young, founder of Box + Flow

First, warm-up with this four-minute series of movements:

  • Air squats for 30 seconds.
  • No-chest burpees for 30 seconds.
  • Forearm plank for one minute.
  • Up/Down Planks for 30 seconds: Move from your forearms to your hands and back.
  • Forearm plank jacks for 30 seconds: Jump your feet in and out while in a plank.
  • High knees for 30 seconds.
  • Froggers for 30 seconds: This move is like doing high knees, but instead of pulling your knees up to your chest, you rotate your leg out and pull them up to each side.

Then grab very light weights (your arms will be smoked with three-pounders) and do this entire routine twice. Assume that you go back and forth between right and left hands, unless it says otherwise.

Series A

  • 30 seconds of jab punches.
  • 30 seconds of cross punches.
  • 30 seconds of jab/cross (perform both punches with one hand, then the other).
  • 30 seconds of jab/cross while simultaneously doing high knees.

Series B

  • 30 seconds of hook punches.
  • 30 seconds of uppercut punches.
  • 30 seconds of jab + jab + cross (jab with right hand, jab with left hand, cross with right hand, then start over with the left jab going first).
  • 30 seconds of jab + jab + cross + hook + cross (jab with right hand, jab with left hand, cross with right hand, hook with left hand, cross with right hand, then start over with the left jab going first).

Series C

  • 30 seconds left side isolation: left jab, left uppercut.
  • 30 seconds right side isolation: right cross, right uppercut.
  • One-minute left jab + left uppercut + right cross + right uppercut.

Series D

  • 30 seconds slips: Bend left and right, touching your elbow to your thigh on every slip.
  • 30 seconds weaves: Duck down into a low squat and move your torso from the back to the front to the back, etc.
  • 30 seconds jab + cross + slip + cross (jab with left hand, cross with right, slip to the right, cross with right, then start over with a right jab going first).
  • 30 seconds jab + cross + weave + cross + double jab (jab with left hand, cross with right, weave to the right, cross with right, double jab with left, then repeat starting with a right jab).