A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about this little at home workout routine that he tried and he suggested I give it a try as well. I never got around to trying it until this morning, and now I want to give you the same challenge. This is a great at home workout because it doesn’t take very long and it will give you a full body workout. You will be working out your arms, back, chest, and legs all with only three moves and in 20 minutes or less.
There is nothing fancy about this workout. There are no complicated moves and you will only be using your own body weight. If you are a beginner and still unable to do body weight exercises, don’t worry because I will tell you how you can modify these exercises to make them easier (by the way, I learned these modifications from P90X).
In addition to your body weight, there are a few things you will need. Actually, only one of them is required and the rest are completely optional. Here is the list along with my recommendations.
- A Pull-Up Bar (required): I own the Iron Gym and it has always worked great for me. It is also one of the least expensive ones out there. If you want something a little more fancy and expensive, check out this one from Maximum Fitness Gear.
- Push-Up Bars/Grips (optional): If you’ve never used these before, they make push-ups less stressful on your wrists. The most popular ones out there are probably the Perfect Pushups. I have a few other’s in the Home Exercise Equipment section of my Amazon.com store. You can also use dumbbells as push-up bars (another P90X trick) if you have some laying around.
- A Timer (optional): There are a couple of variations of this workout and one of them is timed. If you need a good exercise timer, check out this one.
At Home Workout
Now that you have all of your equipment, let’s get to it. As I mentioned before, you will be doing three exercises: pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. There are two variations of the routine.
Do the routine as many times as you can in 20 minutes (or until you die, whichever comes first).
Do the routine once per minute for 20 minutes. You start at the beginning of the minute and after you finish the exercises you get to rest until the beginning of the next minute. For example, if it takes you 30 seconds to do the routine, you get 30 seconds to rest. If it takes you 40 seconds, you get 20 seconds of rest.
I know taking a rest sounds appealing, but I recommend you go with variation 1 the first time you do this. After the first round or two, I think you will find that it takes you longer than a minute to get through the routine anyway.
Okay, enough delay. It’s time to talk about the actual routine.
That’s all there is to it. Do all three exercises, for a total of 30 reps combined, and that counts as one time through the routine. If you are doing variation 1, once you finish the routine you just do it all again and keep going until time runs out or you can’t go anymore. For variation 2, remember you have to go once per minute so you’re going to have to be pretty good at it to pull that off.
I promised you I would give you some tips on how to modify the exercises, so here they are. We are using body weight here, so the idea behind each modification is to decrease the amount of your body involved in the exercise.
- Pull-ups: Put a chair under your pull-up bar. Depending on how much assistance you need, put either one or two feet on the chair as you perform your pull-ups. Use your legs to assist you in doing the pull-ups. Two feet will make it easier than one foot and the closer the chair is to being directly under the pull-up bar, the easier the pull-ups will be. Please be very careful with this modification because chairs can tip over and you could fall.
- Push-ups: The easiest modification for push-ups is to put your knees down. In a normal push-up, you hands and toes are the only things touching the floor. With the modification, your hands, knees, and feet will all be touching the floor. Another modification is to decrease your range of motion. This means that you don’t lower your chest as far down as you would in a normal push-up.
- Squats: As with push-ups, decreasing your range of motion is an easy way to modify a squat. However, if you can avoid it, I would recommend that you do not use this method. The reason I say this is because decreasing the range of motion also decreases the benefit of the exercise because you are not engaging all of the same muscles as you would otherwise. A better modification is to place your hand on a steady object (one that is about waist high) while you perform the squats. You can use your arms to take some of the burden off of your legs.
I’d love to hear what what you think of this at home workout. Leave a comment and let everyone know about your experience. See how many rounds your can do in 20 minutes and post your record here. A little friendly competition always helps when it comes to exercising.
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Filed under: Ab Exercises