You may aspire to hit the gym or squeeze in a run several times a week but somehow even with the best intentions, life always manages to trip you up. From business trips, to vacation, to dinner plans, or hangovers, there’s always some excuse. Once you’re off the workout wagon it can be hard to get back on. There is always something else that needs to be done or some reason why you tell yourself you can skip your workout “just one more day.”
Even when you don’t have time for a full workout, you don’t have to abandon your routine and get off track. You just need 20 minutes and enough floor space for the length of your body. No tools, accessories, or machines are needed allowing you to perform this no excuse workout in a hotel room, at the park, at home, or in your office.
Also called a body weight squat, this exercise uses your body weight to workout your gluteus, thigh muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart with your toes pointed slightly out, heels in. Engage your abs and open your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades toward each other. Hands can be clasped in front of you or sitting on your hips.
Slowly bend your knees pushing your hips and butt out and down like you are sitting down on a low chair. Check to ensure your shoulders are aligned over your knees and your knees are aligned over your angles. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground and check to make sure your knees don’t fall inward. Start with three sets of 50 reps and increase as needed.
The plank is one of the most effective bodyweight exercises you can do. It works out your chest, gluteus, lower back, and abdominals and requires little floor space. Start in traditional plank with your wrists in line with your shoulders. Engage your core so your body is in one line and hold. Then move your weight into one hand, bring your other hand to your hip, and stack your feet coming into a side plank. Do the same on the other side before moving into elbow plank where your forearms will be on the floor with your body in traditional plank form. From here bring one forearm perpendicular to your body and shift your weight to that forearm. Bring the other hand to your waist, stack your feet, and hold. Do this on both sides. Work to hold each plank variation as long as you are able, increasing over time.
Push-ups are great for increasing strength while engaging the core and lower body. Starting from the traditional plank learned in the exercise above, you will tighten your core and begin to lower your body to the ground until your chest grazes the floor. Focus on keeping your body completely straight from head to toe without dipping your hips down or lifting them too high. Pull your shoulder blades back and down making sure your elbows are close to your body as you lower down. Repeat this 10 to 20 times, working toward three sets.
There are tons of abdominal exercises that give great results and only require your bodyweight and enough floor space to lie down. Here are three options that workout your full abdomen. First, lay flat on the floor with your arms overhead and feet together. Inhale and engage your abs to pull yourself up to sitting. Then exhale folding over reaching toward your toes. With the inhale, pull yourself back up to sitting and then exhale to lower your body to the floor. Repeat 10 or more times.
Remain on the floor with your hands by your sides. Bring your feet together and lift your feet a few inches off the floor and hold. Then lift them 45 degrees off the floor and hold before bringing them over your hips to 90 degrees. Then move them back to 45 degrees and finally a few inches off the floor before releasing them to the ground. Repeat 10 or more times. Finally, lying on your back spread your feet apart and bring your hands behind your head. Lift one arm up toward the celling and with the inhale pull yourself up and twist to touch your lifted hand to the opposite foot. Release back down and start on the other side. Do both sides five to 10 times each.