Here Are Our 10 Most Popular Workout Routines From 2020

Assistant Managing Editor By Abby Moore
Assistant Managing Editor
Abby Moore is an assistant managing editor at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.
Woman Practicing Yoga In Her Home

Gym memberships tend to increase at the start of each new year and subsequently decrease as goals change and days become busier. That pattern was especially true this year but for very different reasons. Everyone, regardless of choice, was forced to stay at home and forgo gym visits. 

When weather permitted, fitness shifted to masked walks, jogs, or bike rides. For the majority of the year, though, people relied on at-home workouts to support their physical and mental health. We pulled together data to figure out our readers' favorite mbg workout routines from 2020, and these were the top 10: 

1. 10-minute core and more routine 

Helen Phelan - Hero

Image by mindbodygreen

As part of our new mbg moves series, this 10-minute core strength routine from Pilates instructor Helen Phelan combines four core- and spinal-supporting movements, all of which are aimed to make you "stand tall, confident, and pain-free," says Phelan. 


2. Six different types of pushups

Woman Doing Push Ups in a Gym

Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy

For those who already mastered the standard pushup (or were just seriously bored of it), these six pushup variations came in handy. Whether as an addition to another fitness routine or on their own, these pushups engage the arms and abs. 

3. Resistance band abs workout

Side Plank Crunches with Resistance Band

Image by Katie Dunlop

A lot of gym equipment can be expensive or hard to come by, but resistance bands are generally an affordable and easy-to-find tool. When people began stocking their home gyms, this resistance band abs workout became an at-home staple. The best part? It's possible to do all five moves without the band, too. 


4. Yoga poses for sciatica 

Abi Carver - Bridge Pose

Image by Abi Carver

Sitting all day can lead to tension and stiffness in the body, primarily in the hips. While that pain may not necessarily lead to sciatica, many people sought relief from back pain with these five yoga poses.

5. Quadruped leg extension  

Lia Bartha - Glute Workout B

Image by Hannah Schwob / mindbodygreen

This quadruped leg extension, demonstrated by Pilates instructor and founder of B The Method Lia Bartha, engages the whole body in just a few minutes. This micro-movement is a great option for busy days when you don't have time for a full routine.


6. Forearm plank

How To Do A Forearm Plank To Work Your Whole Body

Image by Hannah Schwob / mindbodygreen

A plank with proper form targets more than just the core. Moving from the palms of the hands to the forearms (aka a forearm plank), demonstrated by certified yoga instructor and mbg staffer Amanda Quadrini, is a surefire way to engage the whole body. Need a modification? This move is still effective with the knees dropped to the floor. Looking for a challenge? Squeeze a yoga block or Pilates ball between your thighs.

7. Core exercises for beginners 

toe tap

Image by Helen Phelan

The phrase "engage your core" can be confusing. What does it really mean, and how do you do it? These nine beginner core exercises are a great place to start bringing awareness to those stabilizing muscles. The exercises include both modifications and progressions for people at every stage of their fitness journey.


8. A 6-move cardio workout 

high knees

Image by Krista Stryker / Krista Stryker

Sheltering in place meant a lot less cardio for most people. To get that heart rate up without a treadmill or a running trail, mbg readers turned to this six-move at-home cardio routine. The only condition? Some of these more active moves, like burpees and mountain climbers, may disturb the downstairs neighbors. If that's the case, opt for this no-jumping HIIT routine instead. 

9. Shoulder-opening exercises and stretches

Lia Bartha - Shoulder Stretch B

Image by Hannah Schwob / mindbodygreen

Tension is all too often stored in the neck and shoulders, and hovering over a computer all day certainly doesn't help. These five shoulder-opening exercises and stretches not only release that tension, but many of them also double as full-body moves.

10. Bodyweight exercises to tone your back 

The 10 Most Popular Workout Routines We Ran This Year

Image by microgen / istock

Find yourself focusing on your abs but neglecting your back muscles? No worries. Just sneak in a few of these bodyweight exercises to strengthen and tone your back—no equipment needed.

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