No time to get to the gym? Not able to get to your gym because it’s closed? Not wanting to work out with a mask on? I feel ya on all those things. While I’m always going to preach the importance of MAKING time for yourself, and the things that are important to you – I’m also a mom. So trust me – I get it. My life is dictated by the schedule of an eight year old little boy and a global pandemic. There are some days I’m lucky if I have enough time to brush my hair, mmkay?
But just because you might not be able to get into your car, drive to the gym, complete a stellar workout, and drive back home doesn’t mean that you should skip exercise all together. Getting a little sweat session in – even if it’s a short one, is great for your mental + physical health.
Complete this 20 minute workout that you can do in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace – during your free time. You don’t even need any equipment except that confident body of yours! It’s an AMRAP – which stands for as many rounds/reps as possible. Complete each movement before going on to the next, and once you’ve cycled through all of them, repeat until your 20 minutes are up. It’s a great little burner to get your muscles activated and heart rate up.
20 Minute At Home AMRAP
10 push ups
15 air squats
15 tricep dips
20 butterfly sit ups
20 alternating lunges
30 mountain climbers
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands neutral by your sides. Bend your knees and reach your arms forward to place your hands on the floor, and then kick your legs straight out behind you. Lower your entire body down until your chest touches the ground (bending at the elbows). Then – push down to straighten your arms, kick your feet back toward your hands, stand, jump – and clap your hands overhead. That’s one.
Modifications: If you have difficulty lowering your entire body to the ground, you can exclude that part until you’re further along in your fitness journey. Instead, when your hands are on the group, keep your arms straight and locked in. Kick your feet back so you’re in an upright plank position. Then, kick your feet back toward your hands, stand, jump and clap. This is also sometimes referred to as an “up-down. Another modification is to remove the jump + clap from the end. If this is still too much, you can perform an “up-down” using a sturdy piece of furniture, or bench.
To set yourself up for pushup success, you should start in that upright plank position with your hands placed under your shoulders. When you lower your body down, you should squeeze your abs to engage your core, and keep your back flat. Lower your chest to the ground, and then push up. Make sure your elbows go straight back instead of straight out – so you don’t end up injuring your shoulders in the process.
Modifications: If you can’t quite do a pushup yet, that’s okay! Lower down to your knees if needed – just make sure to keep your back flat and your body in one straight line. If that’s still too much, you can push up off a solid chair or wall.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, with your toes pointing straight or out slightly. Slowly lower your butt to below parallel if you’re able to, pushing your knees out as you lower yourself. Return to a standing position.
Modifications: If you’re new to squatting or you haven’t quite mastered squats yet, never fear. You can either change the depth of your squat (don’t go down quite so far), or switch to ball squats. In order to do a ball squat, you would need a stability ball. What you’ll do is place the stability ball between your back and a wall. Leaning against the ball, slowly lower your body down into a squat position, and slowly return to standing. This will help with stability and balance.
Okay, you will need equipment for this one! A sturdy chair or coffee table will do the trick. What you’ll do is sit on the edge of your chair or table, with your hands secure on the flat surface directly by your sides. Push your body away from the edge of your chair or table, and bending your elbows – lower your body down toward the floor. Push back up until your arms are straight and your body is raised. That’s one.
Modifications: To make this move more challenging, straighten your legs. If that’s too intense, bend at your knees to give yourself a little more support during the dip.
Sitting on the ground, bring the bottom of your feet together until they’re touching (this makes your legs look like butterfly wings). Lay back and bring your arms overhead, touching your fingers to the ground. Sit up, and reach to touch your feet. That’s one.
Modifications: If the position for this is too difficult, you can try straight leg sit ups, or find someone or something to hold your feet. You can also opt for crunches, instead.
To get into a proper lunge stance, keep your upper body straight with your shoulders back and chin neutral – stare straight ahead and don’t look down. Draw your abs in and engage your core, and then step forward with one leg. Lower your hips until both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle, making sure that your knee that’s forward doesn’t go ahead of your toes. Your back knee should touch down and tap the ground gently. Return to standing. You can complete these all while standing and alternating sides, or do walking lunges.
Modifications: If lunges are too much for you, or they hurt your knees, you can sub out this move for step ups instead. Do ten each leg, for a total of 20 step ups per round.
Get into an upright plank position (on your hands) or pushup position. Your legs should be extended out straight behind you, and your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet or ankles. Lift your right food off the floor and bring your knee in toward your chest (or right side elbow). Return your right foot to the starting position, and do the same with your left side now.
Modifications: Once you’ve gotten comfortable with the form and movement, you can pick up speed to make them more challenging, or slow them down and try the following: Starting in that same position, pick up your right foot and bring it in toward your left elbow. Return to start, and then bring your left foot in toward your right elbow. These are called cross body mountain climbers, and they engage and fire up those abs slightly more than a regular mountain climber.
If those movements are too difficult, you can also modify by doing a standing mountain climber. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and your hands together out in front, fists touching and elbows raised. Slowly raise your right knee up as high as you can, and return your right foot to the ground. Repeat on the left. Once you graduate from this, try moving to a wall, or even furniture to assist.
Natasha Funderburk is a wife, #boymom, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Consultant, and ACE-Behavior Change Specialist. When not watching her son play baseball, she can be found on various writing platforms, coaching her clients to live their best lives, drinking all the coffee, and conducting living-room dance parties.