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10 Exercise Options in 30 Minutes or Less

Updated on October 18, 2011

You’re busy, and you always make this excuse when it’s time for the gym. If you keep on making excuses you will never reach your goals. Time is the best excuse for you to give up. Here are 10 exercise routines that you can do in less than 30 minutes:

  1. Circuit Training with Weights – This type of workout can be done in less than 30 minutes. It should be done in less than an hour to avoid muscle breakdown. It gives you the benefit of cardio and strength training in one. Short-burst training gives your metabolism a huge boost. This type of training is fine for both men and women. It tones muscles and burns calories in women without giving them that bulky, muscular look. Circuit training with weights is done in under an hour making this type of workout especially beneficial to men. The hormones that typically break down muscle protein are not released allowing lean muscle to be built instead.
  2. High Intensity Interval Training – Interval training is thought of as routines that are done in step or bodypump classes. But you can do this workout right from home with no equipment. Run the stairs or jump rope for 90 seconds followed by a 20 second rest. Squat for another 90 seconds, or try jump squats for extra intensity. Push-ups are great for upper body training. Work the shoulders with hands further apart and the triceps with hands pushed together. Do this for 20 to 30 minutes at least three times a week and you’ll see results!
  3. Yoga – This is a great, low-impact way to start the day. Try a yoga DVD at home or a class at the gym first thing in the morning to wake up your body. You’ll improve your flexibility, not to mention, reset your mind and be ready for anything the day brings.
  4. Hiking – If you have a trail close-by, stop after work with a buddy and go trail walking or running. The ups and downs of the trail will be more beneficial than road walking. You’ll burn more calories and the scenery will keep your mind off the sweating and tiredness.
  5. Swim – If you have sore, tired joints and muscles, try swimming. Swimming is great low-impact exercise that has cardio and resistance training benefits. Use a kickboard or the side of the pool and perform kicks in the same way you would interval-type training. Kick for 90 seconds followed by a brief period of rest and recovery before you start on arm strokes to build your upper body.
  6. Compound and Combination Weight Lifting – If you are healthy enough to lift weights, you can workout at home with free weights. Free weights are perfect for working out because they make your entire body do all the work as opposed to machines that do some of the work for you. Plus, they are less expensive and bulky than machines. Dumbbells can be used for most any weight lifting. They provide free range of motion, more than weight bars. Use them for clean and presses, upright rows, push-ups (for extra intensity), deadlifts, and much more. Perform repetitions until the muscles are tired out. Rest and recover, then start on the next set in a different muscle group.
  7. Interval Walking/Running – Get on the treadmill, if you must, and do interval walking and running. Walk at a normal pace for 2 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of running. Walk and recover for one minute, then run for 4 minutes. Do this for 20 to 30 minutes for better results than just walking alone.
  8. Play with Your Kids – If your excuse for not getting to the gym is you must spend time with your kids then make it a workout. Lie on your back and lift your baby over your head, or on top of your legs. Throw a ball, jump on the trampoline, play tag, hula hoop, go biking or make up a workout routine that is fun for everyone. It beats sitting on the couch in front of the tv.
  9. Planks – Planks are often done as part of yoga, and they build core strength and stability. Though spot reduction doesn’t work, they will build your abdominal muscles. You can do them on a day when you don’t have 30 minutes to give to a workout. Try them for 10 minutes a couple times a week. Get in the push up position and instead of moving up and down, just stay there as long as you can with your core tight. This exercise can be done any number of ways: on your knees, on your stomach in “superman” position, with one leg and one arm lifted, etc.
  10. Dance – Turn the tv off and turn on the music instead. Dance around your living room and even include your kids. Haven’t you watched the shrinking celebrities on Dancing with the Stars? Sure, they are dancing for hours a day, but 30 minutes a day should do as a start. If you are bored with all other workout routines, this is a great option to get you sweating and burning calories again.


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    • instantlyfamily profile image

      instantlyfamily 6 years ago

      These are all good suggestions. My favorite is #10.

    • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

      Admiral_Joraxx 6 years ago from Philippines

      Great listing. I'll call this the exercise menu. I guess it will be great for people to have something like this around. There are more than enough suggested exercises workouts everywhere and so choosing your exercise of the day can be troublesome. With this ,people got an overview of common or known exercises. 1 vote up! great writing!