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2 Minute Recipe for A Full Body Workout Calisthenics

Updated on October 4, 2015

Create Your Own Quick Exercise Circuit

Time is money. Taking 2 Minutes 4 You™ is the single most important investment you can make for your health. We brush our teeth, wash our hair all before leaving our homes for the day. We wouldn't dream of stepping outside without performing even the basics of hygiene, yet we neglect the 640 muscles in our human body! The most precious asset we own, we often go throughout the entire day with no attention. In our vanity we wouldn't treat our hair or teeth in that manner. And our body responds.

Our body responds crying for attention with added weight and lack of energy.

Invest in Yourself First

Exercise is the best investment you can make with your time and money - photo of clock and green backs
Exercise is the best investment you can make with your time and money - photo of clock and green backs

Create Your Own Quick Exercise Circuit

Don't Have 30 Minutes - Start with Simply 2 Minutes

2 Minutes does not replace the recommendation for 30 minutes - it is a starting point only!

Help is here - a quick two minute workout. Target tone, prevent injuries, increase your endurance and simply feel better. 2 Minutes 4 You™ is a simple workout - using only your own body weight. The options are endless and yet the recipe is simple. Take 2 minutes and invest in your body's muscles.

Consult your physician prior to any exercise program.

Weigh the Many Benefits of Execise

Silver scale of money verses time with time being symbolized by a sand timer
Silver scale of money verses time with time being symbolized by a sand timer
Stop Watch
Stop Watch

Time is Money - Weigh the Benefits

Time is money - weight the benefits. We spend time and money purchasing life and health insurance - what if we devoted a small amount of time to our health each and every day?

Colgate recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time! 120 seconds. What IF you did 2 minutes of exercise per day? Would you see results? Most certainly. Will you change your physique to the look of an elite athlete - definitely not - but you will increase your muscle tone and help with your overall health. Weight the benefits of 2 Minutes 4 You™!

Blue poster with the words Small Lifestyle Change = BIG Health Benefits
Blue poster with the words Small Lifestyle Change = BIG Health Benefits

Target Toning Results

Before Target Toning thighs and buttocks
Before Target Toning thighs and buttocks

Calisthenics - Your Own Body's Barbell

Exercise is not complicated and Mother Nature has provided everything you need to get started. Your own body weight can be your barbell. Resistance toning using your own weight is a wonderful way to get started.

Muscles Are Your Body's Armor

If your body lack muscle tone, you are actually hurting your joints and your heart muscle. The 640 muscles in our body are the armor that protects our joints. Think about the legs of a marble table. If your legs are made of thin cardboard, the weight of the marble will easily break the table. If the legs of your table are strong oak, the marble is easily carried. So too, with your body. You need muscle for your knee joints. You need muscle for your heart muscle. Your body loves exercise and so does the human eye - check out the photos to the right. Choose the body and the health that you want. The option is yours.

Fitness is Beautiful Inside and Out

Beautiful brunette in red bikini looking fit and healthy
Beautiful brunette in red bikini looking fit and healthy
Six pack abs on male in blue jeans
Six pack abs on male in blue jeans

Benefits and Limitations of Calisthenics

Calisthenics or body weight exercise will give you a beautiful and tone body such as the young lady at the right. What calisthenics will not give you is bulk. The handsome body to the right demands progressive strength training not available with simple calisthenics.

Calisthenics does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment.  It simply requires your time.

Process for 2 Minutes 4 You™ is Simple

The process couldn't be simpler - warm-up and exercise. And the variety of exercises are are varied as the finest culinary delights. 

Choosing Your Exercises - Similar to Epicurean Delights

The hard part will be choosing your exercises.  Much like epicurean delights, the choices are endless - we provide 10 options to get you started.

A Warm-up Is A Must!

Different people have different exercise goals, however, one item is universal, a warm-up routine is a must!

Why Warm Up?

An effective warm up also has the effect of increasing both your heart rate and your respiratory rate. This increases blood flow, which in turn increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. All this helps to prepare the muscles, tendons and joints for more strenuous activity.

Keeping in mind the aims or goals of an effective warm up, we can then go on to look at how the warm up should be structured.

Your body is a wonderful miracle but it does need care. Your muscles mandate a warm-up. One of the best explanations I ever heard was to envision your muscles similar in nature to a rubber band. If you place your rubber band in the freezer and then try to expand the rubber band, it almost always immediately breaks! So too, are your muscles. Take care of your muscles and they will take care of you.

What can you do for a warm-up? In the morning madness, I like to recommend simple pick-up an clean up for 2-4 minutes. A fast paced jaunt through your home with a dust cloth or simply placing items in their rightful spot is one of my favorites.

Myriad of Choices for Your Warm-up

  • Jog
  • Walk
  • March
  • Skip
  • Calf Raises - wonderful for increasing your balance. Target toning for the calf muscles.
  • Heal Kick Ups - my personal favorite for my weak knees. Instead of marching by raising the knees, kick up your heals.
  • Lunge walk – great warm-up for loosening up the hips. Simply assume a lunge position and step forwards into another lunge.
  • High knee lift – great for your hip flexors - those tiny muscles that move your thigh up and down. Keep knees high, pretend you are the perfect soldier.
  • 52 Pickup - yes, run around the house and straighten up - it counts if you move fast!

Pick a different warm-up each day until you find your favorite. After 2 months, start again, review the options and change it up a bit. Variety is the key.

Benefits of Warming Up:

  • Increased Muscle Temperature - As in the rubber band example, the probability of tearing or overstretching a muscle and causing injury is far less if your muscles are warm.
  • Increased Body Temperature - Helping the heart be fully prepared and also reducing the risk harming your muscles.
  • Blood Circulation - This reduces helps get blood to the heart and to your muscles.
  • Improved Range of Motion - The range of motion around a joint is increased as the muscles are warm and ready for action.
  • Mental Preparation - Warming up is a time to clear the mind and visualize the body you want and the health benefits you need.

Once your muscles are awake and you have moved briskly, take 2 minutes to add some body weight exercises to target tone. Here's are five of my personal favorites:

Blue Poster - Recipe for Fitness 3 Parts Fitness 1 Part Nutrition 1 Part Consistency Exercise: Cardiovascular Stretching and Target Toning
Blue Poster - Recipe for Fitness 3 Parts Fitness 1 Part Nutrition 1 Part Consistency Exercise: Cardiovascular Stretching and Target Toning

Full Body Circuit of Exercises - Maximize Your Time

Leg Exercises & Workouts

Your Choice of Ingredients aka Exercise Circuits

The recipe for fitness is simple - 2 Minutes 4 You™.

Best yet - there are only 5 ingredients: 3 parts exercise (cardiovascular, resistance training, and stretching), 1 part proper nutrition and 1 part consistency (aka motivation and visualization and of course follow-through!).

The process for the 2 minutes is even simpler, a quick warm-up and then your choice of 5 simple calisthenics or exercise circuits. Choose 5 exercises and perform one complete set of 8-12 repetitions. If you are injured, elderly or impaired in any way, simply scale back the repetitions to 3-5.

Your recipe for the exercises must be movements that are pain free and that you enjoy.

No idea of where to begin? Checkout some suggestions below accompanied by great demonstration videos. Take notes, pick your top 5 exercise to include in your daily 2 minute routine.

12 Sample Circuit Exercises for Full Body Routine

Pick from the 10 exercises described and demonstrated and create your own 2 minute quick exercise routine.

Video Full Body Circuit with 7 Options

These options in this video are the most advanced and most intense. All 7 options require great agility and strength.

1 - Bupee

The burpee is a full body exercise used in strength training and as aerobic exercise. It is performed in four steps:

  • Begin in a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you
  • Kick your feet back, while simultaneously lowering yourself into a pushup
  • Immediately return your feet to the squat position, while simultaneously pushing up with your arms
  • Leap up as high as possible from the squat position

2- Bicycle Crunch

The bicycle crunch is a great calisthenic exercise for your abdominals. Wonderful for all ages and abilities.

  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground
  • Put your hands beside your head
  • Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion
  • Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee
  • Breath evenly throughout the exercise

3 - Giant Lunge

The lunge is the single best calisthenic exercise to strengthen your largest muscle - the quadriceps muscles. Additionally, the lunge will target tone your gluteal muscles and the muscles comprising the hamstrings or the muscles behind your knees..

  • Start feet shoulder width apart
  • Step forward, land with your heel first
  • Your Knee should be a small bend and above your toes. An extreme bend of the knees puts too much pressure on your knee joint
  • Return to the standing position

4- Bent Knee Trunk Twist

  • Start by lying your back
  • Bend your knees. Knee together. Feet flat on floor.
  • Slowly move your knees from side to side
  • Keep the shoulders down, the movement should be from the trunk

5- Squat Press

  • Start feet shoulder width apart
  • Shoulders back, chin level, facing forward
  • Pull your shoulders back. It is critical for your shoulder to remain aligned. Do not allow your shoulders to round or roll forward
  • Contract your abdominals. Your core needs to remain contracted throughout the entire movement
  • Maintain the knees in a position directly over the feet
  • Move your hips backward and downward during the descent, as if sitting down
  • Descend until the mid-thigh reaches parallel--or slightly above parallel--to the floor

TIP: Avoid bouncing, your movement need to remain controlled

5- Inchworm

  • Begin with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Lean forward, bend in your knees and place both palms flat on the floor
  • Begin walking one hand out in front of the other
  • When you are at your maximum distance start walking your hands back to your starting point

1. Keep at one hand in contact with the floor - at all times!
2. Maintain a minimal bend in your knees
3. Always engage your core muscle
4. Do not hold your breath - breath deeply
5. Do not overextend yourself. You should always feel in control and that you are able to support your body.

6 - Man Maker Push-ups

This is the advanced push-up. Also be sure to check out the beginning wall push-ups. Still great for your body. Remember your only competition is yourself. The main item is to move and exercise. Tone your muscles.

7 - Calves

Another important exercise for balance and mobility.

Beginner Wall Push-Ups

Chair Squat

Standing Leg Lifts

Standing Abs Workout Option A

Standing Ab Routine Option B

8- Wall Push-ups

This is a modified version of the floor push-ups and is highly recommended for all 2 Minute 4 You™ Fitness programs. This exercise works the upper body and builds strength in the bicep.

9-Chair Squats

Great exercise for seniors.

10-Leg Lifts

Your longest and your largest muscles are in your legs. Your leg muscles are not only critical for your mobility but also are a big contributor to you metabolism. If you want to change your metabolism fast for dieting purposes - you must include an intense routine for your legs. My favorite exercises for my legs are leg lifts. Leg lifts are kind to my knees but yet very effective for target toning and keeping my metabolism high.


Just as the core is important for balance, so too, ankles are critical to preventing injuries. Ankle exercise - simply flexion even while you are watching t.v. is a great exercise and often overlooked.

For more information about the importance of ankles - check out an article simply entitled Ankles. This article provides great visuals of the complexities of the ankle and describes in details the important of this often overlooked muscle group.

12-Standing Abdominal Crunches

I first became aware of standing abdominal crunches when I was trying to learn about sit-ups in the water and understand why the results were so different. What I found was amazing - it is very easy not to engage your abdominal muscles. If you do not roll your shoulders, your body automatically engages your lower back muscles! Form is critical. Check out the two great videos on standing abdominal crunches.

Remember your core is critical for balance and preventing trips and falls. As we age, we naturally loose our sense of balance. Mother Nature has provided a miracle - studies have proven we can increase our balance as we age with exercise!

Great Calisthenic Exercise Options - Sample Exercise Programs

No equipment needed. To save on time, simply modify the number of exercises and the repetitions. Pick your favorite exercises given above or try one of these three sample circuits.

Full Body Workout Sample Circuits - 2 Minute 4 You™ Exercise Programs

Exercise Circuit Sample 1:

30 second warm-up, 30 seconds leg lifts, 20 seconds wall push ups, 20 seconds squats, 20 seconds standing ab crunch.

Exercise Circuit Sample 2:

30 second warm-up, 30 seconds lunge, 20 seconds bicycle, 20 seconds trunk twist, 20 seconds standing ab crunch.

Exercise Circuit Sample 3:

30 second warm-up, 30 seconds lunge, 20 seconds inch worm, 20 seconds ankle twist, 20 seconds standing ab crunch.

NOTE: Don't sacrifice posture and proper form for time. Shorten the number of repetitions or the number of exercises.

Consistency is Your Leavening Power in Fitness

Just as a great chef knows the importance of careful preparation and great ingredients, so too, the great chef knows just one simple ingredient left out will leave the recipe in complete disaster.

This is especially true in baking and the parallel I use with my personal training clients is you wouldn't bake without a leavening agent, so too, fitness demands consistency.

And while consistency is one 1/5 of our recipe for success for our full body workout, it is our leavening agent in fitness.

Remaining committed to your fitness on a daily basis with your 2 Minutes 4 You™ is critical to your health.

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3 Take Aways - 2 Minutes for You™ Fitness

1.) Your Most Precious Asset is Your Health

Time is money, preventing injury is time well invested. Muscle is your body's armor that protects your joints and gives you endurance and a better mental outlook.

2.) The 2 Minute Recipe is Simple

The 2 minute recipe is simple and includes only 5 ingredients: Cardiovascular, Resistance Training, Stretching, Proper Nutrition and Consistency.  More importantly, all of our can dedicate 2 minutes for these great benefits.

3.) Consistency = Your Leavening Power

Consistency in your daily routine and complete commitment no different than your personal hygiene is your leavening power in this recipe for fitness.

Photo Credits

muscle man courtesy of

female muscle tone

female tone in red

chef photo courtesy of

stopwatch courtesy of

pocket water courtesy of

time and money courtesy of

weight and measure

© 2010 Kelly A Burnett


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    • Easy Exercise profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly A Burnett 

      6 years ago from United States


      That is brilliant to exercise when on the phone! I love that idea! And I have been remiss in connecting with long-time friends so the two together would play very well for my lifestyle - thank you!

      Also, that reminds me - I used to start the day with leg lifts and no less than 50 sit-ups. I really need to make that part of my morning routine once again.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      This is a very thorough and comprehensive list of exercises. What's neat about it is that they're easy to follow and don't take much time.

      I always try to remember to do a few exercises while I'm actually talking on the phone rather than just sitting there without moving while I'm talking. I think it's one of the best times to get the muscles warmed up.

      I'm saving your hub to review as do different exercises from time to time, that you mentioned. There's lots to do here, and it's all worthwhile.

    • Easy Exercise profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly A Burnett 

      8 years ago from United States

      Hi mcgfnvvcpl,

      Thank you so stopping by. I love all things Florida so I will be sure to check it out. Exercising should always be incorporated in our daily lives even if all we have time for is 2 minutes. Interestingly after I developed my promotion for 2 minute exercise, the dental experts came out with a "timed" recommendation. Pure coincidence I am sure but none the less, the timing is everything - and if exercise becomes a routine, then we have really made some progress.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good work, I enjoyed – Gulvafslibning | Kurt Gulvmand. It was good. View my blog sometime, it all about Casselberry, FL Real Estate.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      @breakfastpop Yes, two minutes is quick yet we can all start with exercise sometime or with a just a little bit of time.

      @ethel smith You are right, we do need to start small and build up - the key is consistency. Understanding the critical nature of exercise is the foundation but what works is making a commitment to yourself.

      @hynodude Thank you so much for rating this up and stumbling it. I must look into stumbling more - great tip.

      @H P Roychoudhury Always, always enjoy seeing you out here on HP - they named HP after you didn't they? Thank you very much!

      @SimpleGiftsofLove Thank you for your kind words - you are remarkable. You have a great story to share - so proud you are out here on Hub Pages.

    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image


      9 years ago from Colorado

      Great hub! Thanks for being so thorough. I am going to mix it up for a few days with this. I'm impressed! up and following for more!

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      11 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Good and healthy hub.

    • hypnodude profile image


      11 years ago from Italy

      Interesting, very interesting and full of information, and great layout. Rated and stumbled.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yes I think I could manage 2 minutes lol. Seriously people need to start small and build up

    • breakfastpop profile image


      11 years ago

      Terrific and useful hub. Now 2 minutes is something I can handle.Thanks!


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