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LiVe Well

The 20-minute workout you can do while you're social distancing

By Rebecca Bennion

Mar 20, 2020

20 minute workout

You’re used to exercising but the gyms are closed, the kids are home, you’re avoiding other people, and the weather isn’t cooperating. What can you do? While it’s still a good idea to go outside and get sunshine and fresh air when you can, here’s a simple home workout that doesn’t require weights, bands, or anything extra – just you and a little motivation. The kids can have fun joining in on this too!

Drop 10 home workout

Using a combination of strength training and cardio, the Drop 10 workout gives you a simple but effective workout and the energy boost you’ll need to get through each day while you’re social distancing. The workout gets its name because with each new exercise you’ll drop 10 repetitions.

  • 100 crunches
  • 90 jumping jacks
  • 80 high knee steps (40 each side) walking or jogging
  • 70 second plank hold (knees or feet)
  • 60 lunges (30 each side)
  • 50 second jog in place
  • 40 squats
  • 30 standing calf raises
  • 20 side lunges (10 each side)
  • 10 push ups
  • Bonus 5 burpees

Remember to start where you’re comfortable. If you can’t do 100 crunches or 60 lunges right away, do as many of the repetitions as you can and build up to the full set.

If you want a longer or varied workout, try going through the set twice or mixing up the exercises. Remember, the purpose is to keep your mind and body active while everyone’s social distancing. Do what works best for you.

Crunches. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears. Don’t lace your fingers together since this can cause you to pull on your neck and head. Hold your elbows out to the sides but rounded slightly in. Gently pull your abdominals inward. Lift up and forward so your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor toward the ceiling, then slowly lower back down.

Jumping jacks. Begin by standing with your legs straight and your arms to your sides. Jump up and spread your feet beyond hip-width apart while bringing your arms above your head, nearly touching. Jump again, lowering your arms and bringing your legs together. Return to your starting position.

High knee steps. Start standing straight and tall. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift up your left knee to your chest. Switch to lift your right knee to your chest. Continue the movement, alternating legs and moving at a walking or jogging pace.

Plank. Lie on the floor face down. Get into plank position with your elbows on the ground right underneath your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Lift your body off the floor, making sure your back is flat and your head and neck are in a neutral position (look at the floor). Rather than just hovering over the ground, press your elbows and feet into the floor, squeeze your chest muscles, quads, glutes, and core. To modify, try this plank with your knees on the ground instead of your toes.

Lunges. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your hands can stay by the side of your body or on your hips. Take a wide step forward with your right leg, putting most of your body weight into your heel. Lower your body toward the floor by bending both knees at the same time. Protect your knees by making sure your knee stays over the foot, not in front of it, then repeat on the other side.

Squats. Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out. Place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers. Keeping your weight on your heels, sit back and down like you're sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward. If your range of motion permits, lower yourself down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Keep your body tight as you push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.

Calf raises. Stand on a flat surface with your toes pointed straight ahead. Lift your heels off the floor to flex your calf muscle. Pause for moment, then slowly return to the floor.

Side lunges. Start with your feet wider than shoulder width and your toes pointed forward. Shift your body weight to the heel of one leg, bending the knee until it reaches a 90-degree angle and the other leg is straight. Make sure your bent knee stays over your foot, which means you’ll have to stick out your butt. Return to the center and switch sides.

Push-ups. Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Straighten your arms and legs. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself back up. Repeat. Push-ups can also be performed from your knees to decrease stress on your joints. Still nervous to try a push-up? Start against the wall. You’ve got this!

Burpee. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of and just inside your feet. Shift your weight onto your hands. Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core. Jump your feet back so they land just outside of your hands. Reach your arms over your head and explosively jump up into the air. Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep. These can be modified by placing your hands on a bench or chair rather than the floor and/or by stepping with your feet rather than jumping.