A 20-minute Workout Routine for Busy Days to Keep You Fit

This 20-minute workout will keep you fit on busy days, even when others are falling off. Studies have shown that 20 minutes is the sweet spot in exercise. Why? Your focus won’t fade and your form won’t falter during this period.


Reasons for a 20-minute Workout for Fitness

Shorter than 20 minutes and you haven’t reached your peak. Longer than 20 minutes and your energy levels start dropping. But in 20 minutes, you have done enough sets and reps to keep you fit.

Plus, 20 minutes in a day is so easy to schedule. You can wake up earlier in the morning to fit in the 20 minutes. You may also perform the exercises during your lunch break. You also have the choice of exercising after office hours.


Keep in mind that every second of the 20-minute workout should be maximized. Instead of getting on a treadmill, you should engage in metabolic conditioning. This is a high intensity interval training full-body workout with several benefits:

  • Improved muscular stamina
  • Increased metabolic rate resulting in more effective weight loss

You may also find that a 20-minute workout is more enjoyable than a 30-minute treadmill run. The variety of exercises in the workout contributes to its enjoyable nature. You will then likely stick to the workout and, thus, get more benefits from it.

Exercises in the 20-minute Workout

In the following workout, you’re combining cardio and strength training exercises. You will then need a set of heavy dumbbells chosen according to your present capacity. Your choice in weights should:

  • Allow for completion of the needed reps – no more, no less
  • Allow for good form from start to finish

These exercises aren’t done to failure, too. Your main goal is to complete the needed number of reps for optimum fitness.

Here’s how it works. You have to do one set back-to-back of each exercise. After completing the last move, you have to rest for 2 minutes. You must then repeat one more time. For best results, you’re well-advised to:

  • Do these exercises for four non-consecutive days a week. For example, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are great days for the routine.
  • Do a foam rolling routine on the other days. Aside from a foam rolling routine, any flexibility workout will suffice.

Here’s the 20-minute workout routine using a set of dumbbells. You can also mix up the order of the exercises every 2-3 weeks. Your body will then not fall into a rut (i.e., hit a plateau). The overhead split squat knee pull has 10 reps per side.

  • Start with a split stance. Push your right leg forward while your left heel is lifted. Hold the dumbbells in front of your shoulders. Keep your elbows bent by your sides with your palms facing in.
  • Lower your body into a split squat. Be sure to bend your knees and push back your hips. Extend your arms overhead.
  • Slowly press back up. Bend you elbows and lift your knee toward your chest. Balance on your right leg for a count.
  • Return to the starting position.

Do 10 reps of the exercise. Repeat on the other side. The squat clap jump is also a high-intensity interval training exercise. Just do it for two reps.

  • Begin in a squat position. Extend your arms out to the sides of your shoulders. Keep your palms facing up.
  • Jump up and bring your arms and legs together. Clap your hands while in midair.
  • Land in the squat position.

Repeat it for 30 seconds in quick succession. Rest for 10 seconds between reps and repeat. The scissor switch is a high-intensity interval training exercise. Do this exercise for 2 reps.

  • Start in the lunge position. Put your right leg forward. Extend your left arm overhead and your right arm by your side.
  • Jump straight up. Switch your legs and arms in midair.
  • Land in a lunge position but the leg and arm positions are reversed. Left leg should be forward and right arm extended overhead.
  • Repeat as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.

In between the reps, you can rest for 10 seconds. The chest press bridge should also be done for 15 reps.

  • Lie face-up on the ground. Hold a pair of dumbbell and hold them above your chest. Keep your palms facing in with your arms extended up. Check that your heels are lifted and your feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend your elbows in by your sides. Press them down into the floor. Lift up your hips but keep your heels lifted.
  • Return to starting position.

The pushup to opposition reach can be challenging but it’s doable, even for beginners.

  • Start with a straight-arm plank. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your torso toward the floor while bending your elbows in. Keep your body in a straight line as your torso lowers.
  • Press back up. Extend your right arm straight in front of your shoulder. Lift leg up behind your hip and point your toes.
  • Hold it for one count.
  • Return to the starting position for one rep.

Alternate your arms and legs for each rep. Do 10 reps. The side plank press-up must be done for 15 reps on each side.

  • Lie on your right side. Place your left hand behind your head and your right forearm angled in front. Stack your hips with your right knee bent under your left knee.
  • Press down on your right palm and extend your left arm. Keeping your left arm extended, lift your hips off the floor. Extend your right leg and cross it behind your left leg.
  • Lift your left arm to the ceiling. Look up to your left arm. Hold the full side plank position for one count.
  • Lower your body to starting position for one rep.

Do 15 reps on one side. Change position for another 15 reps on the opposite side. The crawling climbers is also a high-intensity interval training exercise. Do this for 2 reps, too.

  • Start in a full plank position.
  • Run your knees into your chest. Crawl forward using your hands. Basically, you’re imitating the traditional mountain climber movements.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds at a fast pace.
  • Rest for 10 seconds. Do another rep.

Before doing these exercises, you should perform a 5-minute stretching session. Your muscles should be warmed up for best results.

Final Words

With just 20 minutes every other day, you can keep your fit body! You just have to find the time and willpower to complete the workout. When there’s a will, there will always be a way. Even with your busy schedule, you should find 20 minutes to exercise. You will enjoy the long-term benefits that come with such dedication.