Quick 20 Minute Mini Workout to Break Up the Day

FEATURED QUICK WORKOUT

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our fitness clients experienced a shift in how they live and work (as did we). We all, at some point, entered the land of Zoom (or other teleconference platform). As a result, sedentary behavior, and episodes of prolonged sitting increased. Now that we are returning to a “new normal”, we are hopeful this trend is temporary and ready to reverse course. If you have fitness clients who are still struggling with breaking up their day with mindful movement, introduce them to the idea of a mid-day 20-minute burst of activity. Below is one example of a mini workout circuit you could adapt to fit your clients’ needs and goals. Each exercise can be scaled up or down depending on the skills, abilities, and general fitness level of your clients. This is a no-equipment-required approach.

Warm-up (3 Minute)

  1. Jumping Jacks or Step Outs (30 seconds)
  2. High Knee Marches (30 seconds)
  3. Side Lunge to the Right (30 seconds)
  4. Side Lunge to the Left (30 seconds)
  5. Rear Lunge (alternating legs) (30 seconds)
  6. Calf Raise (30 seconds)

Conditioning Bout (~15.5 minutes without rest in between each section)

 Part I: 20 seconds on/20 seconds off (equal work to rest ratio) ~ 6.6 minutes

Perform each of these movements as a continuous circuit. Perform each exercise for 20 seconds followed by 20 seconds rest, then move on to the next exercise. Repeat this circuit a second time.

  1. Air squats
  2. Skater jumps
  3. Jump squats (or air squat to calf raise)
  4. High Knees (or marches)
  5. Jump lunge (or reverse lunges)

Plyometric Training course

Part II: 20 seconds on/15 seconds off (greater work to rest ratio) ~ 8.75 minutes

Perform each of these movements as a continuous circuit. Perform each movement for 20 seconds followed by 15 seconds rest, then move on to the next exercise. Repeat this circuit a total of three times.

  1. Air squats
  2. Skater jumps
  3. Jump squats (or air squat to calf raise)
  4. High Knees (or marches)
  5. Jump lunge (or reverse lunges)

Cooldown

Hold each stretch for 15 seconds (minimum). Encourage clients to perform flexibility exercises routinely as part of a self-care routine.

  1. Deep breath in, feet shoulder-width apart (three times)
  2. Staggered stance calf stretch (right foot back)
  3. Staggered stance calf stretch (left foot back)
  4. Quad stretch (right)
  5. Quad stretch (left)
  6. Figure four (right)
  7. Figure four (left)
  8. Conclude with a single deep breath

While this is a relatively simple circuit, it’s easy to use this (or a similar) format as a take-with-you workout for clients. This type of higher intensity/Tabata format is not for every client, so it’s important to align with your clients’ goals and preferences. Try this workout yourself! You’ll break a decent sweat and expend some energy!

Stretching Principles

About

Dr. Erin Nitschke, NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, and Pn1 is a health and human performance college professor, fitness blogger, mother, and passionate fitness professional. She has over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry and college instruction. Erin believes in the power of a holistic approach to healthy living. She loves encouraging her clients and students to develop body harmony by teaching focused skill development and lifestyle balance. Erin is also the Director of Educational Partnerships & Programs for the NFPT. Erin is an editorial author for ACE, IDEA, The Sheridan Press, and the Casper Star Tribune. Visit her personal blog at belivestaywell.com