7 Unbelievably Effective Exercises You Can Do at Home in 20 Minutes

Almost everyone wants to lose weight, but not a lot of people truly enjoy the weight loss journey. Restricted diets, limited food choices, and the constant ache of tired muscles that might have been overworked at the gym - how else are you supposed to get rid of the spare tire?

Aside from all of that, there’s the issue of time. With full schedules and limited opportunities to really sweat it out, most people struggle to squeeze a work out into their daily routine. Fortunately, these quick and easy 20-minute work outs can help you achieve that full body transformation without having to dedicate too much of your time to exercise.

Circuit #1 - Cardio

Equipment - None

The Routine (2 sets)

  • Fast Feet (2 minutes)
  • Jumping Jacks (2 minutes)
  • Mountain Climbers (2 minutes)
  • Bear Crawl (2 minutes)
  • Lateral Bounds (2 minutes)

Why It Works - Cardio exercises are effective against weight gain and may help you lose weight because they encourage the body to use up fat storage. The struggle with cardio is that most exercises - like running and cycling - require some start-up before they can generate the desired results.

This high-intensity work out however gets your heart pumping right off the bat to give you the weight loss results you want without having to spend too much time working up a sweat.

Circuit #2 - Abs

Equipment 

  • Medicine ball

The Routine (2 sets)

  • Leg raises (1 minute)
  • Seated Russian Twists (1 minute with medicine ball)
  • Flutter kicks (1 minute)
  • Elbow plank (1 minute)
  • Side plank (1 minute)
  • High knees (2 minutes)
  • Alternating side to side standing leg raise (2 minute)
  • Rest (1 minute)

Why It Works - Almost everyone has trouble with tummy fat. Because many of the activities we do daily don’t really require the heavy involvement of the abdominal muscles, it’s easy to develop a layer of fat over the area of the abs. Performing this quick and easy exercise routine daily can help target those muscles and work away those rolls.

Circuit #3 - Full Body Toning

Equipment

  • Dumbbell, 2 x 15kg each

The Routine (4 sets)

  • High knees (30 seconds)
  • Squats (1 minute)
  • Lying hip raise (1 minute)
  • Weighted lunges (1 minute with 2 x 15kg dumbbells)
  • Elbow plank (1 minute)
  • Dumbbell hammer curl (30 seconds)

Why It Works - This combination of exercises targets some of the most common problem areas that people have - from the abs, to the arms, and general body fat. By working up your heart rate and starting each set off with 30 seconds of intense cardio, you can lose weight and target areas to build and tone muscle mass.

Circuit #4 - Endurance Training

Equipment - None

The Routine (4 sets)

  • Push-up jack burpee (1 minute)
  • Rest (25 seconds)
  • Mountain climber burpee (1 minute)
  • Rest (25 seconds)
  • Side plank burpee (1 minute)
  • Rest (25 seconds)
  • Tuck jump burpee (1 minute)
  • Rest (25 seconds)

Why It Works - Burpees are explosive exercises that have a handful of variations. Aside from working up your heart rate, they also engage several muscles throughout the legs, arms, and abs to involve as many muscle groups as possible. There’s going to be a little pain (just like any other endurance exercise) and it’s going to be tough, but it will help strengthen you against fatigue.

Circuit #5 - Legs

Equipment

  • Step stool

The Routine (4 sets)

  • Pistol squats (1 minute)
  • Box jumps (1 minute)
  • One leg glute bridges (1 minute)
  • Calf raise (1 minute)
  • Alternating kneeling jump (1 minute)

Why It Works - Never skip leg day! This simple, quick, and fairly easy workout requires nothing more than a step stool, and helps engage most of the muscles in your legs to build bulk and keep you from developing a disproportionately large upper body relative to your legs. Plus, this routine works great to simply reinforce your leg strength - ideal for those with day jobs that require a lot of standing and moving around.

Circuit #6 - Arms

Equipment

  • Dumbbell x 2 (weight as tolerated)

The Routine (4 sets)

  • Dumbbell hammer curl (1 minute)
  • Lateral raise (1 minute)
  • Shoulder press (1 minute)
  • Overhead tricep extension (1 minute)
  • Rest (1 minute)

Why It Works - It’s not uncommon for people to develop flabby, weak arms that struggle to perform a variety of activities like lifting. Exercising the different muscles of the arms and shoulders can help ease the load of daily activities and give you that sculpted look.

Circuit #7 - A Change of Habit

Equipment - None

The Routine (1 set)

  • Get up and walk around for 20 minutes after an hour or an hour and a half of sedentary work. That’s it!

 Why It Works - Most of us are accustomed to the sedentary lifestyle, and that can have a significant impact on our metabolism. According to studies, simply standing up, stretching, and walking around for 20 minutes between every few hours of sedentary activity can break the trend and help you establish a healthier physique.