Fast and Effective Workouts that Skip the Gym and Still Sweat it Out

effective workouts

You don’t have to make it to the gym to squeeze in some exercise. Studies find that even 20 minutes of physical activity can boost metabolism, get your heart rate going, and your endorphins flowing. When a busy day doesn’t lend time for a heavy-duty sweat sesh at the gym, you don’t have to skimp on some sweat altogether.

Here are three effective workouts that will get your blood flowing in under 30 minutes and can be performed pretty much anywhere. You can do them in your house, in your yard, or while you take the kids to the park. Do them in your kitchen while dinner is on the stove! Wherever and whenever you choose, these effective workouts are fast, effective, and, dare we say…fun! You be the judge.

1.Total body workout.

TBWs are ultra-effective workouts exercises because they combine strength and cardio. Make the most of your short workout time by working muscles in intervals while building body heat with interwoven cardio bursts. Plus, TBWs don’t just feel like they’re kicking your butt; they are.

The guiding fact-driven science behind this workout method is that muscles burn at rest. A high metabolic rate during a workout means calories are burning after a workout.

By putting in a solid 30 minutes with this workout circuit, your body still burns calories long after the 30 minutes is over. If you’re unfamiliar with one of these exercises, there are many visual demonstrations online.

Set 1:

This set will warm up your body and raise your heart rate.

1 minute of jumping jacks

30 seconds of pushups

Repeat 1 minute of jumping jacks

30 seconds of squats

Do this routine three times. It should take you 12 minutes.

Rest 1 minute.

Set 2:

This set will get your muscles firing in shorter spurts. With interval work, your heart rate will spike and then come to active recovery.

15 squat jumps

Rest for 20 seconds

15 squat jumps

Rest for 20 seconds

15 squat jumps

Rest for 20 seconds

Fifteen tricep dips—you can perform these on the ground, or for an added challenge, you can find something with height (a garden wall, a curb, a coffee table) to increase the distance you have to lower your body.

1-minute plank pose on forearms

15 tricep dips

1-minute plank pose on forearms

15 tricep dips

1-minute plank pose on forearms

One minute side plank on the left side—for an added challenge, raise and lower your hips while in plank pose—it targets the oblique muscles.

1-minute side plank of the right side

1-minute bicycle crunches

This set should take about 10 minutes.

Set 3:

This set will bring together arms and legs, and the cardio is a one-two punch, as it also targets the abs.

Ten lunges—for an added challenge, grab a heavy book or a pile of laundry. The balance and weight component ignite your core and upper body.

Ten burpees

30 seconds mountain climbers

Repeat this circuit 3 times.

After your last set of mountain climbers, hold a plank pose for heart rate to come down to active rest.

2. Playground Workout

This workout can be done using the typical gymnasium structures at a children’s playground. If you have kids, bring them along for a play date that benefits everyone. You can even make them your mini personal trainers, having them count your reps or cheer you on. Of course, you don’t need to have kids make the most of this playful approach to a workout.

1. Start with a few laps around the playground. You can choose the distance of your loop, but try to make this warm-up last about 5 minutes.

2. Pushups: 30 seconds of pushups. Use a swing to gain some height by hooking both feet into the swing.

3. Pull-ups: Try pull-ups on monkey bars for 30 seconds. If you can’t do pull-ups (yet!), try a lower hanging bar structure that allows your feet to touch the ground. Hop into a pull-up, and then slowly lower your body, returning your feet to the ground.

4. Step-ups: Find a bench or similar structure that provides a stepping platform. Step up with one foot onto the bench, then raise your other foot to meet it. Step down. Perform step-ups for 2 minutes.

5. Run up a staircase to a slide. Slide down. Repeat for 2 minutes.

Rest 1 minute.

Repeat from step 1, starting with running around your previous loop for roughly 5 minutes. Do this 5-step playground routine three times to complete 30 minutes of a kid-friendly workout challenge.

Also Read: Oblique V-Ups Exercise

Finally, don’t forget to devote a few worthwhile minutes to dynamic stretches (moving stretches) pre-workout and static stretches post-workout (stretching while staying still). Stretching not only helps you avoid injury but also helps to build longer, leaner muscles.