Workouts don’t need to be long-winded affairs full of lengthy wait times where your body has long moments to reflect, or resist, on why it’s working so damn hard. The trick to maximizing your intensity is not to stop so you never provide the opportunity to wimp out and think about doing easier things. That’s what this workout does beautifully because it’s an all-out labour that you can do in the comfort of your own home – handy whether you’re self-isolating or not – then hopefully just chase it down with a run or simply fall into a sweaty mess at the end of it because either option works just fine. Once you get going, the trick is not to stop until you’re completely done. Even if you don’t have a kettlebell or specialist weights, you can still do these moves using normal dumbbells – that’s the sum total of gear you’ll need – one set of thrift shop dumbbells that nobody else could be bothered to use. So, seek them out, find a great price and then get busy making them earn their keep, because in just 20 minutes you can completely change your shape, mood and health.
What to do
Make sure you train for 40 seconds of flat-chat effort then take a 20 second rest thereafter. Completely a total of 3 rounds while maintaining a 30 second rest after each round. You don’t want to be fully recovered between rounds, just get enough energy back to tackle the next one with high intensity. With this in mind, it’s probably best to make sure you have all the equipment set up before you kick off so you minimize the set-up times between each exercise in the circuit.
Overhead Kettlebell Swing
A) Work the booty and shoulders while building up a sweat. Hold a kettlebell handle loosely in both hands, locking down shoulders and bracing your core.
B) Drive your hips back keeping knees soft, allowing the kettlebell to swing back between your legs while keeping it as close to your butt as possible. Drive the hips back forward just until you can get a good glute squeeze, allowing the kettlebell to swing upward and above your head, locking out your arms, shoulders down away from your ears at the top. Don’t arch your back or shrug your shoulders – it’s all in the hips.
Push-up with dumbbell pull-through
A) Tone your arms and abs using this high-intensity combination. With a dumbbell placed just outside one of your hands, get into a high plank position, hands directly below your shoulders, core braced, glutes activated, and on either your knees or toes.
B) Begin by lowering your chest into a push-up, dropping elbows back 45 degrees, keeping shoulders down away from your ears. Grip the floor and press back up driving through your palms. Once back in the high plank position, use the arm further from the dumbbell to drag it over to the same side and leave it just outside the hand. Repeat for the opposite side.
A) Move those hips and bump the heart rate using this high-octane power builder. Assume a high plank position, hands below shoulders, core and glutes braced, balancing on toes.
B) Keeping the core engaged, jump one foot towards the hand on the same side of your body, allowing your hips to dip slightly. Pause, then return to the starting position, this time jumping the other foot forward. Continue to alternate for reps. Don’t forget that little jump, that’s the plyometric move that spikes the burn.
Cross body plank
A) Now that you’re fully warmed up, it’s time to condition your core so it can fire maximally. Start in a high plank position, hands below shoulders, shoulders down away from your ears, glutes and core switched on.
B) Pick up one hand, and keeping back and legs straight, reach back, folding from hips, rotating from waist, attempting to tap the opposite foot. Return to high plank and the alternate move with your other arm and foot.
Inchworm with Tuck Jump
A) Blitz the backs of those thighs using this innovative combination that’ll see your muscles burn. With feet hip-width apart, keeping legs and back straight, bend from the hips and walk hands out into a high plank position.
B) Lock shoulders back and down, keeping legs and back straight, then walk your hands back as far as you can toward your feet before rolling back up into the standing position. Explode up vertically, pushing the floor away from you tucking knees up to chest as you leap. That’s one rep.
Sumo squat with dumbbell curl
A) You’ll finish off by earning some booty gains while firing your guns at the same time. Stand in a sumo stance, feet wider than hip-width apart, toes turned out, holding dumbbells between knees, palms facing out.
B) Squat down until thighs are parallel to floor. Push the floor away with your feet and as you come up curl the weights up, rotating palms up, elbows pinned by side until your biceps are at peak contraction and squeeze. Return and repeat those reps with great form.