Finding the time for an extended workout can be difficult, especially if you're away from home. But if you have a few minutes to spare, you can use this equipment-free workout to build full-body muscle without weights in just 20 minutes.
You'd need a set of the best adjustable dumbbells for many resistance training routines, but this short session gets muscle-building results using your body weight alone. Though, if you can, it's still worth rolling out one of the best yoga mats for support.
This session comes from YouTube trainers Juice & Toya and is designed to be "efficient for building strength, stability, muscle mass, and it can even be used as a recovery day workout to do between resistance training days."
The duo use a workout bench in some moves, but it's okay if you don't have one to hand; you can use anything that'll give you some elevation, like a step, box, stool, or couch. Generally, a higher elevation will make the exercises more challenging.
If you're just starting out or could use a refresher, Juice and Toya demonstrate all the exercises, so you can follow along, practice the technique, and perfect your form to get the most from your training and avoid injury.
Watch Juice & Toya's 20-minute workout
You'll do each of the 11 moves for 40 seconds, take a 20-second rest, then start on the next activity. You'll repeat the routine at the end of the round but with a few variations on the moves instead.
This exercise style is known as high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), where the aim is to work intensely in short bursts with minimal rest. This helps pack a muscle-building workout into a short time but has other benefits.
Like during a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, exercising intensely raises your heart rate, which helps burn more energy than during an equivalent steady-paced routine. This continues even after you finish your workout, too.
Sustaining a high heart rate also boosts your metabolism, the amount of energy you burn at rest, for all-day fat-burning. This is why many people also use a HIIT workout for fat loss if they want to drop pounds.
If you prefer exercising with weights, you can get similar fat-burning, muscle-building effects by picking up one of the best kettlebells and learning how to do kettlebell swings. This single move works your whole body, strengthens your core, and burns fat.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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