Give your body a full workout in minimal time with this 20 minute calorie burn bodyweight workout, from personal trainer, Nicki Pettit…
Photography: Eddie Macdonald | Model and PT: Nicki Pettit
Short on time again? What you need is a quick 20 minute calorie burn workout that you can speed through in your lounge or garden, in between dropping the kids off at school and taking the dog for a walk. Or perhaps you want something you can whizz through at the gym during your lunch hour. With this workout and zero kit, you can work your entire body from head to toe using just your bodyweight as resistance. No need to wait around for the 7lb dumbbells to become free!
But can a bodyweight session really be as effective at burning calories as a weighted workout? Sure, because tiny tweaks can make a big difference to how taxing a weight-free move is for your muscles. Speeding up the moves, adding a small jump or pulse to an exercise, performing the exercise on one side and then the other, doing more repetitions or taking less rest – these are all really simple ways to ensure your muscles still feel the burn when you’re going kit-free. Fortunately, we’ve done the thinking for you and all you need to do is follow our guide…
Here’s how to do it: perform each of the following exercises in order for 40 seconds each, twice through, and take 20 seconds of rest between the moves. Then, repeat the entire sequence two more times, catch your breath and carry on with your day. It’s a win-win.
20-minute calorie burn workout
Works glutes, hamstrings, quads and cardio system.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and hinge at your hips so that you’re in a ‘ski’ position, with your arms behind your body.
- Drive your arms forward and jump up travelling sideways to land with bent knees.
- ‘Ski jump’ left to right for the duration.
Works glutes, calves, hamstrings and quads, and gets your heart rate up.
- Start by performing a squat with one arm out to the side, then touch the floor with your other hand.
- Drive up through your heels to stretch up, standing on your tip toes.
- Repeat, aiming to perform the sequence at speed.
- Continue for the 40-second set, then do the same on the other side for set 2.
Works glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and increases ankle flexibility.
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend at your hips and knees, keeping your back straight and looking forward to perform a squat.
- As your rise out of the squat, kick your left leg up and forward with a flexed foot.
- Squat backdown and repeat for the entire 40-second set, then do the same on the other leg for set 2.
SIDE LUNGE KNEE DRIVE
Works quads, glutes and hamstrings.
- Stand tall with your feet facing forward. Brace your core and step out with your left leg to lunge sideways. Maintain a flat back and push your bottom backwards.
- Keeping your weight in your heels, push off from your foot to drive your left knee up to waist-height.
- Continue this movement for the entire 40-second set, then do the same on the other leg for set 2.
REVERSE PLANK KNEE LIFTS
A great exercise to work your core muscles, plus your triceps and shoulders.
- Start in a reverse plank position, with hands placed directly under shoulders and fingers facing forwards.
- Drive your hips up to the ceiling to create a straight line with your body. Brace your core and squeeze your glutes.
- Resting on your heels, march alternate knees to a 90° angle (B), squeezing your glutes throughout.