All You Need Is 20 Minutes For This At-Home Bodyweight Workout

Certified Personal Trainer By Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT
Certified Personal Trainer
Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT is the author of The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Bodyweight and a leading expert on HIIT and bodyweight fitness. She lives in Venice, California, and is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
All You Need Is 20 Minutes & A Backpack For This Full-Body Workout

Social distancing and working from home have likely left many people sitting down way more than usual. And with gyms closed everywhere, it's time for at-home bodyweight exercises to have a moment in the spotlight.

The good news: You can get an incredible workout without using equipment. In fact, bodyweight workouts have been my go-to style of training for years, and they can be just as effective (if not more) than a standard gym routine when it comes to building strength and fitness.

The following home bodyweight workout should take you no more than 20 minutes to complete, and it'll work your entire body with a special focus on legs, glutes, and core. You can do it entirely equipment-free, or get creative and craft your own sandbags by filling up a backpack full of books and other heavy objects (dumbbells or other weights work, too).

For each move, complete three rounds with a minute of rest between each round:

  1. 20 squat jump in & outs
  2. 10 single leg deadlifts & row per leg
  3. 20 jump lunges
  4. 15 squats
  5. 20 side lunges
  6. 10 hip thrusts
  7. 10 plank get-ups

Note: If you live in an apartment and are doing this workout indoors, I've provided jump-free options for the relevant exercises so your neighbors don't start getting mad at you! 

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1. Squat jump in & outs

Squat Jump In & Out

Image by Krysta Stryker

How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Sit your hips back, bend your knees, and lower down until your thighs are parallel with the floor (without allowing your knees to jut over your toes). Then jump up explosively, landing with your feet close together. Lower down into a narrow squat, then jump up and land with feet hip-width apart, in a regular squat. That's one rep. Complete 20, alternating between narrow and regular squats.

Jump-free modification: Remove the jump by stepping into each squat instead. 

Optional: Hold a set of dumbbells or use your homemade sandbag as a weight, for an added challenge. 

2. Single leg deadlifts & row

Single Leg Deadlift & Row

Image by Krysta Stryker

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart. Shift your weight to the right leg, which should be straight with a soft bend in the knee. Drive your right foot back behind you, keeping your leg straight or slightly bent as you hinge from the hip, tipping forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Be sure to keep your hips squared-off the entire time. Bend your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades back as you bring your hands up toward your chest. Lower your arms, then pull your left leg forward and lift your torso back to standing. That's one rep. Complete all 10 reps on one side before switching sides.

Optional: Hold weights in your hands.

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3. Jump lunges

Jump Lunges

Image by Krysta Stryker

How to: Start from a standing position, with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward, bend your knees, and lower down until both knees are bent at 90-degree angles, and your back knee is a few inches from the floor. Jump up explosively and switch legs so your rear leg is in the front, and front leg is in the rear. Repeat in the opposite direction. That's one rep. Complete 20.

Jump-free option: Try forward-to-backward lunges. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward, bend your knees, and lower down until both knees form 90-degree angles. Then, immediately lift your front foot and lunge backward on the same leg. Complete all reps on one leg before switching to the other leg. 

4. Squats

Squats

Image by Krysta Stryker

How to: Start by standing with feet hip-distance apart, with toes turned slightly outward. Sit your hips back, bend knees, and lower down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Press through your heels to return to start. Be sure to keep your core tight, torso upright, and squeeze your glutes on the way up. That's one rep. Complete 15.

Optional: Hold a set of dumbbells or use your homemade sandbag as a weight for an added challenge. 

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5. Side lunges

Side Lunges

Image by Krysta Stryker

How to: Stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart, so you're in a standing straddle position. The longer your legs, the wider you'll need to stand. Lean toward your right leg, bending down as far as possible while keeping your core engaged and chest up. Press through your right heel and glute to return to start. Repeat on the opposite side. That's one rep. Complete 10.

Optional: Hold a set of dumbbells or use your homemade sandbag as a weight for an added challenge.

6. Hip thrusts

Hip Thrusts

Image by Krysta Stryker

How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet about hip-width apart. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your hips up, until your torso forms a straight line with your thighs. Pause briefly, then lower back down. That's one rep. Complete 10.

Optional: Rest a backpack or weight on your hips.

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7. Plank get-ups

Plank Get-Ups

Image by Krysta Stryker

How to: Get into a high plank position with your shoulders directly over your hands. Lower down to your forearm on one side, then follow with the other side. Straighten one arm and then the other until you're back in the starting plank position. That's one rep. Complete 10, switching starting arms when you repeat.

This is a great workout routine to do any time you have 20 minutes to spare to get your body moving. And while it can be done virtually anywhere, there's no better time to try a bodyweight workout than when you're in the comfort of your own home.

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