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Fitness with Finesse: Living Room Workouts


You’ve got 20 minutes of free time.

If you’re like me, you consider trying to race through the new episode of New Girl, taking a nap and maybe, just maybe, working out. If you’re like me, you also begrudgingly know that you should pick working out. But what is there to do in a somewhat cramped living room? There definitely isn’t a treadmill or any decent sized weight in sight. And that’s ok!

If you’re in a time crunch but still want to burn a few extra calories, here are efficient workouts tested by yours truly for timeliness and skill level that you can do anywhere on any day at any time.

Cardio Connection

  • Jumping Jacks – 2 minutes – classic and effective, you know the drill!
  • Burpees – 1 minute – squat, jump back to plank, jump back to squat, jump up, repeat!
  • Squats – 1 minute – make sure your back stays straight and your upper legs are parallel with the floor at the peak
  • High Knees – 1 minute – exaggerated run in place; aim for the upper leg becoming perpendicular to the rest of the body
  • Butt Kicks – 1 minute – self-explanatory; exaggerated run in opposite direction!
  • Squat Jumps – 30 seconds – jump up after completing squat; immediately sink back down
  • Alternating Lunge Jumps – 30 seconds – lunge with one leg; jump into lunge on other side and repeat
  • Jumping Jacks – 1.5 minutes – keep going and finish strong! 

    Definitely not an easy workout, but keep in mind that by increasing the intensity you spend less time working out!

ABSolutely Not Easy

  • Mountain Climbers – 1 minute – form a straight line with your body in plank and run in place
  • Donkey Kick – 30 seconds each side – form elbow plank, bend knee up and pulse heel towards ceiling
  • Plank Jumping Jacks – 1 minute – form plank, jump feet apart and back together
  • Bicycles – 1 minute – lie on back and crunch elbow to opposite knee while quickly “bicycling” legs
  • Russian Twists – 1 minute – sit with legs off the ground and crossed; clasp hands together and twist to each side
  • Scissors – 1 minute – lie on back, legs straight up; “scissor” legs in and out as lower down to almost touch the ground; use core to scissor back to start
  • Reverse Crunches – 30 seconds – lie on back, legs straight up; use core to lift lower half off the floor towards the ceiling
  • Plank – 1.5 minutes – form straight line with body without bending arms; hold twice

Remember to keep your body straight in all plank positions, and hold planks as long as possible!

Arms Anyone?

  • Pushups – 30 seconds – it doesn’t matter if you do them the girly way, just make sure your chest and arms do all the heavy lifting!
  • Alternating Arm Raise – 2 minutes – stand up straight with hand weights (or textbooks!) in each hand; lift one arm out in front and one to the side; switch!
  • Arm Circles – 2 minutes – simple but effective! Spend one minute fully rotating arms clockwise, then switch direction to work all the muscle groups
  • Upfront Row – 2 minutes – stand up straight with arms down and hold your weights or textbooks together; lift arms straight up so that elbows go out to the side; return to start
  • Extensions – 1 minute – with weight in hand, hold arms out to the side; bend at the elbow to bring hands towards the body, then lift out o the side again
  • Overhead Press – 1 minute – hold weights out to the side, elbows bent up; reach arms up to straighten out, lower back down

This quick circuit can even be repeated for an extra intense workout! Don’t forget to drink lots of water and refuel after working out (just not too much!).

I hope this post inspires you to use those 20 minutes wisely to make a difference in your healthy lifestyle instead of caving to a quick nap or catching up on shows!

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