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Build Muscle and Burn More Fat 20-Minute Workout | NICK RANA

It would be great if we could all spend a full hour in the gym each day. Then again, it would be great if our bosses would stop with the last-minute assignments, if there was no rush-hour traffic, and if you didn't just waste 15 minutes of your potential gym time watching YouTube fitness fail videos.
The American Heart Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services both recommend Americans get at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. But the truth is that just 20 minutes can be just as good — especially if you really turn up the intensity.
"If you're going to gain any recognizable training benefit, short workouts have to be hard workouts, and really short workouts have to be really hard," says Chad Timmerman, a USA Cycling Level 1 certified coach with more than 25 years of racing experience.
Get ready to hurt. These seven 20-minute workouts will burn calories, build muscle, and eliminate any excuses about being too busy to get in shape.

The NFL Strength Workout

Former New York Jets player Marc Megna says that if you want to maximize your workout time, one of the best things you can do is constantly switch between muscle groups so you're always working and never resting between sets. This also keeps your heart rate high, meaning you burn more calories from start to finish.
Do this workout in its assigned order. "The movements flow from higher speed and complexity to lower, since as fatigue sets in we cannot move as quickly or maintain technique," Megna says. It's also a great workout for gauging your overall fitness — note how many rounds you can do of each circuit and try and beat it next time.
  • Foam Roll: Spend just a couple minutes loosening up your muscles on a foam roller. Focus on your glutes, back, quads, hamstrings and adductors.
  • Spiderman With Rotation: Start in a push-up position. Bring your right foot up beside the right hand. Straighten your legs, then drop the left knee onto the ground and rotate your right hand and palm up towards the ceiling. (Here's a quick video.) Do five on each side.
  • Supine Body Row: Set a barbell in a squat rack at about hip height. Set a bench a few feet away from the bar. Put your feet on the bench and face the bar — you should be looking up at the ceiling with your hands shoulder width apart on the bar. Keeping your core engaged, pull your chest up to the bar. Repeat five times.
  • Hands Under Feet Squat: Bend over and place your fingers under toes and your arms inside your knees. Start in a squat, then push your chest out and your hips up to stretch the hamstrings (but keep your fingers under your toes). Repeat four more times.
  • Lateral Lunge: Start with your feet together. Take a big step out to one side, lunging as you stretch into it. Make sure to sit back on your heels and keep your back flat and your chest as tall as possible. Repeat five times on each side.
  • Push-Ups: Do five reps, focusing on keeping your body in a straight line as you press up from the floor.
1. Medicine Ball Circuit
Perform as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes.
  • Wall Chest Pass: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, throw the ball at the wall at the chest level. Catch it, and immediately throw it again. Do five throws.
  • Lunge to Wall Side Pass: Stand with your right side facing the wall. Holding the ball on your left, lunge back with your right foot. Throw the ball across your body and against the wall. Catch it and repeat. Do five then switch sides.
  • Overhead Slams: Start up on your toes. Hinge at the waist, pushing your hips back, and slam the ball into the ground as hard as you can. Engage your abs to really drive the ball with force. Repeat for five reps.
  • Facing Wall Side Pass: Stand facing a wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Start with the ball on your left side and throw it across your body and against the wall. Catch it and repeat. Do five on one side then switch.
  • Squat Jump: Start in a squat position holding the medicine ball at chest level. Jump up five times, landing back in the squat position after each jump.
2. Strength Circuit
Perform as many rounds as possible in 6 minutes.
  • Russian Kettlebell Swing: Do 10, driving with your hips to swing the kettlebell to shoulder height.
  • Dumbbell Reverse Lunge: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step back and drop your back knee towards the ground; your front shin should be vertical at the bottom position. Do six on each leg.
  • Chin-Up: Start in a full hang (elbows extended) then pull until your sternum is touching the bar. If you can't do these unaided, use a resistance band under your feet and looped around the bar. Do six.
  • Barbell Roll-Out: Kneel in front of a barbell loaded with two 45-pound plates. Place your hands on the bar and slowly roll it away from you, squeezing the glutes to ensure your back is protected. Roll back to the starting position and repeat five more times.
  • Split Stance Single-Arm Overhead Press: Stand with your right leg slightly behind your left. Hold a kettlebell at shoulder height in your right hand. Push the kettle bell up, then return it to the starting position. Do six on each arm, also switching your leg position.
3. Grind Circuit
Perform as many rounds as possible in six minutes.
  • Bodyweight Squat: Push your hips back and lower, getting your butt as close to the floor as possible. Do 20 reps.
  • Supine Body Row: 15 reps.
  • Bodyweight Hip Press: Lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, push your hips up to towards the ceiling. Make sure to squeeze the glutes and push through the heels. Do 20 reps.
  • Push-Ups: Do 15 reps.
  • Mountain Climbers: In a push-up position, keep your back flat and pump your legs as if running in place. Do 20 reps.

Ironman Speed and Strength

Training for an Ironman often requires hours-long workouts. But coach and nine-time Ironman finisher Jen Rulon says that doesn't have to be the case. This workout will leave you feeling like you just ran long — but without eating half your day. Plus, it's a great way to gauge your fitness: "You can test your 800-, 400-, and 200-meter run during this workout," she says. "Your legs may feel a bit fatigued after the box jumps and kettle bell swings, but runners need to learn how to go fast on tired legs."
  • 400-Meter Run
  • High Knees: Run in place bringing your knees up high. Keep your upper body tight and your posture straight. Do 20 reps.
  • Butt Kickers: Starting on your toes, run in place while focusing on bringing each foot as close to your butt as possible. Keep the movement quick; as soon as one foot lands, the other should be moving. Do 20 reps.
  • Straight Leg Kicks: Hold your arms out in front of you at shoulder level. Step back with your right leg, then shift your weight to your left leg as you kick forward with your right. You should try and hit your hands while keeping your kicking leg straight. Do 10 on each leg.
  • Jumping Squats: Starting in a squat, jump as high as you can. Land back in your original squat position. Do five reps.
  • Inch Worm Push-Ups: Bend down and put your hands in front of your feet. Slowly walk your hands away from your feet. When you reach the push-up position, do a single push-up then walk your hands back in. Repeat four more times.
  • 800-Meter Run
  • 10 Box Jumps: Jump onto and off of a box at least 12 inches high.
  • 10 Kettle Bell Swings: Driving with your hips, swing a kettlebell (at least 35 pounds) overhead.
  • 400-Meter Run
  • 20 Box Jumps
  • 20 Kettle Bell Swings
  • 200-Meter Run
  • 30 Box Jumps
  • 30 Kettle Bell Swings
Bonus: Add a set of sit-ups (10, 20, or 30) to the mix after the kettle bell swings but before the run. 

Fast In No Time Running Workout

Triathlon coach and Ironman athlete Marni Sumbal says that short workouts can be great for maximizing effort if you minimize rest. "Due to limited recovery time, this anaerobic set will help raise the lactate threshold," she says. Translation: You'll be able to run faster for longer.
Run these intervals by feel, not pace. The first few efforts will likely be very fast, and you'll slow in the final reps — but they'll still be hard. As you slow, focus on form, and hang on. This is not a beginner's workout. However, if you can comfortably run a 5K or longer, you're safe to take this on
Warm-Up: Do 5-10 minutes of jogging, then give yourself a minute or two of walking to recover before plunging into the intervals.
Workout: Run 15 x 1 minute strong efforts with 20 seconds of rest between them. The minute efforts should be really hard. On a scale of 1-10, you should be at an eight or nine. Feel free to jog or walk the recovery.
Cool Down: If possible, take 5-10 minutes of easy jogging to ensure you're properly cooled down. 

20 and Done Full Body Workout

When you only have 20 minutes it can be tempting to just gun it from the start. But if you strategically plan your workout to add in small bits of rest, you can actually work harder during the "on" session — and you'll keep your form. That's why personal trainer and Jiu-Jitsu black belt Jimmy Minardi likes this workout so much. Plus, he says that because you're working so hard during the session, you'll actually end up burning more calories afterwards, thanks to the effects of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
Do three sets of this warm-up with 10 reps for the first round, 15 reps for the second, and 20 reps in the third round. Take minimal (no more than 15 seconds) rest between rounds.
  • Pistol Grip or Parallel Grip Pull-ups: Use whichever bar set up you have handy and if you need assistance, feel free to use a resistance band.
  • Abdominal Leg Throw Downs: You'll need a partner for this one. Lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air. Have your partner push your legs down. When your legs are almost to the ground, raise them back up again.
  • Incline Chest Press: Using a dumbbell in each hand, sit on an inclined bench and press up from your chest.
Core Set
If set calls for medicine ball passes with a partner, but if you're working out solo, throw against a wall. Do three circuits with 10 reps in the first round, 15 reps in the second round, and 20 reps in the third round. Take minimal (no more than 15 seconds) rest between rounds.
  • Medicine Ball Overhead Throw: If you can, do this on an incline slant board (feet above your head). Have a partner throw you the ball, curling down onto the board once you've caught it. Curl back up and throw the ball back to your partner.
  • Medicine Ball Chest Pass: Pass the ball to your partner throwing it forcefully from your chest.
  • Standing Medicine Ball Scoop Throw: Throw a medicine ball between you and a partner starting low and tossing the ball up. When your partner tosses the ball back you should try and catch it low to the ground.
Upper Body Strength Set
Do three circuits with 10 reps for the first round, 15 reps in the second round, and 20 reps in the third round. Take minimal (no more than 15 seconds) rest between rounds.
  • Triceps Dips: Keep your elbows close to your sides, so your triceps are doing the work.
  • Knees to Knuckles: In a captain's chair, keep your back straight as you lift your legs up to meet your arms. Ideally you should do this with straight legs, but if you need to bend your knees to start that's okay.
  • Straight Bar Bicep Curl: Make sure to find a weight that you can do three high-rep rounds with.
  • Flat Bench Press: This is a bench press done with the bench set all the way flat.
Leg Set
Do three circuits.
  • Box Jumps Holding a Medicine Ball: Leap onto a box in a single bound; focus on landing softly. Perform for 45 seconds, then rest for 15.
  • Lateral Side Lunges on Low Box: Stand on top of the box with your feet together. Lunge laterally off the step onto the floor on your left foot and bend slightly forward from the hips, which should send you into a deep squat. Push off the floor hard enough to return to your starting position. Perform for 45 seconds, then rest for 15.
  • Jumping Jacks: Perform for 45 seconds, then rest for 15.
  • Smith Machine Squat: Position a barbell on the back of your shoulders. It should be further back than it would be for a normal weighted squat. Squat down by bending your hips back while allowing your knees to bend forward. Keep your back straight and knees pointed the same direction as your feet. Descend until your thighs are just below parallel to floor. Return to the top and repeat. Do 10 reps the first time around, then 15 and 20 the second and third times through.
  • Mountain Climbers: Do 20 seconds fast, 20 seconds easy.

Jillian Michael's 20-Minute BODYSHRED

Kendal Hogan is a master trainer for Jillian Michael's BODYSHRED program, which combines strength, cardio, and rest in a specific ratio to deliver quick results. Normally sessions are 30 minutes, but Hogan says that this 20-minute session will deliver a big payoff too.
  • Jog in place: 30 seconds
  • Double arm circles: 30 seconds
  • Jumping jacks: 30 seconds
  • Cat cow stretch: On your knees and hands, switch between an arched back and a rounded back position) for 30 seconds.
1. Resistance Circuit
Alternating Crow Push-Ups: Start in a plank with your hands on the floor. Keeping your torso in a straight line from head to heels, bring your left knee forward and out to the side to touch your left elbow. Do a push-up while holding this position. Repeat, alternating sides for 30 seconds.
Floor Tricep Dip With Single Leg Raise: Sit on the floor with one leg bent and the other extended out in front of you. Place your hands close to your hips with your palms facing forward and your arms straight. Lift your hips and the straight leg off the floor. At the top of the movement, bend elbows back, keeping your arms close to your sides as you lower back down to the floor. Switch legs and repeat as many times as possible in 30 seconds.
Dancing Crab: Facing the ceiling, use your legs and arms to support your body — like a crab. Reach up with your right leg and left arm, they should meet at the top of the movement. Lower those two limbs then switch. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds.
2. Cardio
Perform two rounds.
  • Rock Star Jumps: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands clasped in front of your chest. Jump while bringing both legs back behind you — as if you were trying to kick yourself in the butt. Keep your landing soft and repeat immediately, doing as many jumps as possible in 30 seconds.
  • Side Plank Burpees: Squat down, place your hands on floor, and push your legs out to the right and into a side plank. You should leave your legs slightly split, not stacking them. Then, jump your legs back together, bring yourself to your feet and jump. As you land, squat down and begin the next rep to the opposite side. Do as many as possible in 30 seconds.
3. Active Recovery
  • Shoulder Stand Toe Tap: Lie on your back with your arms and legs extended. Raise your legs into the air and, using your abs, lift your hips until all your weight is on your shoulders. Slowly lower your hips down to the floor. Sit up and reach for your toes with your upper body, then roll back down to the floor. Repeat as many times as possible for 30 seconds.
  • Bicycle in Boat: In boat pose — balancing on your tailbone with your knees bent — bring your hands behind you ears and slowly bend and straighten one leg at a time. Bring your opposite elbow in to meet your bent knee. Repeat for 30 seconds.
4. Resistance Circuit
Perform two rounds.
  • Traveling Push-Ups: Start in plank with your legs in a wide stance. Move one hand out to the side, then do a push-up. At the top, bring your arms back together, then repeat on the other side. Do as many as possible in 30 seconds.
  • Superman: Lie face down on the floor with your arms and legs extended. Tighten your core and lift both arms and legs up and off the floor. Hold for a second then lower. Repeat for 30 seconds.
5. Cardio
Perform two rounds.
  • Windmill Skaters: Start in a speed skater's crouch, with one leg slightly behind the other and the opposite arm reaching towards the ground. Leap, while switching the position so your opposite leg and arm are engaged. Switch back and forth as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
  • Long Jump Run Around: Jump over a towel, mat, or imaginary line. As soon as you land, sprint back to your starting spot. Repeat, but alternate which ride you turn to before running back. Continue for 30 seconds.
6. Active Recovery
  • Sumo Touchdowns: In a deep squat, with your legs wide, your toes turned out and your knees bent, shift from side to side, touching your fingertips down to the ground as you shift. Do this for 30 seconds.
  • Sprawls: Lie face-up and bring your legs and shoulders off the ground. Using your core, move into boat pose, then return to the starting position. Switch between the two positions for 30 seconds.
7. Resistance Circuit
Perform two rounds.
Dead Lift to Row: Holding dumbbells, stand with your palms facing your thighs. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips. Your back should be almost parallel to the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the dumbbells up to your rib cage. Lower your hands back down and return to the starting position. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds.
Wide and High Row in Crescent: Stand with your feet in a lunge stance. Your front knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your back leg should be straight. Hinge forward until your chest is just above your quad. Extend your arms down with your palms facing backwards. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your elbows up to 90 degrees. Return your arms to neutral and repeat. Stay on your right leg and do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds. On the second time through this circuit, use your left leg.
Push Away Balance: Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and hinge forward at the hips until your hands can reach the floor. Bend your elbows as you bring your forehead close to the floor. Press back up to stand without letting your opposite foot touch the ground. Stay on your right leg and repeat for 30 seconds. On the second time through this circuit, use your left leg.
8. Cardio
Perform two rounds.
  • Plank Butt Kicks: These are like mountain climbers, except you're trying to kick your butt with your foot, not bring your knee underneath you. Do as many as possible in 30 seconds.
  • Crab Kicks: Start in a lifted bridge position, on your feet and hands with your torso facing the ceiling. Lift one foot off the floor and kick, continue to alternate legs for 30 seconds, making sure your hips stay lifted.
9. Active Recovery
  • Russian Twist: In boat pose, hold a dumbbell and rotate it from side to side using your core to stabilize. Continue for 30 seconds.
  • Forearm Plank: This is a traditional plank done on your forearms. Make sure to keep your entire body straight and your core strong. Hold for 30 seconds.

Boxer's Lighting Round

When two-time boxing World Champion Danny Musico is short on time, this is one of his go-to workouts. "It's scientifically proven that faster, more explosive interval training is the most effective way to train for any sport, and is the best workout for overall fat trimming and conditioning," he says. He recommends doing this workout with minimal rest between exercises — 30 seconds to one minute, max.
Hit the Stairs: You can do this either on stadium steps or on a Stairmaster. "It is you versus the hill," he says, adding, "Running stairs will get your heart rate and blood pumping quickly." Do 30 seconds all out then 30 seconds at a recovery pace for three minutes.
Hit the Bag: If you don't have a punching bag, Musico says punching the air works just fine too. Do three minutes of 30-second intervals, with 30 seconds of all out punching and kicking and 30 seconds of rest. "It's all about speed and the combinations," he says, adding that getting your legs involved will really increase your overall burn. "Engaging the whole body for thirty seconds will feel like a lifetime."
Jumping Jacks: "They seem so simple, but they are incredibly effective," say Musica. Do three minutes going as hard as you can. For extra credit, throw in a few squat jumping jacks (starting and landing in a squat) every 30 seconds.
Jump Rope: "The jump rope engages every muscle in the body when done correctly, with a big effect on your quads, core, arms, back, and shoulders." For extra credit, throw in a few double-unders.
Squats and Lunges: Start in a squat position, moving through the full range of motion since it's a bodyweight-only exercise. Do 30 seconds of squats, then switch to lunges. Continue switching between each exercise every 30 seconds for three full minutes.
Final Superset
Perform three times.
  • Push-ups for 30 seconds
  • Plank for 30 seconds
  • Mountain climbers with a twist: Bring knee to opposite elbow for 30 seconds
  • Burpees for 30 seconds.

Cycling's Worst 20 Minutes

Chad Timmerman, the mastermind behind most of the workouts for cycling app TrainerRoad, loves this one (called Whitney +2 in the app) for its sheer level of misery. His advice is to keep your gear mashing to a minimum in the first few sets, otherwise you'll chew up your legs too quickly and be left high and dry for the final intervals. This workout can be done outside but it's best to do inside on a trainer or a stationary bike, where you don't have stoplights to contend with.
  • Warm-up with five minutes of easy spinning.
  • Ramp up for 20 seconds of hard peddling. This should be an eight or nine on a scale of 1-10. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat five more times for a total of six intervals with 10 seconds rest between each.
  • Take two minutes of easy rest. Timmerman says you should be "noodling," meaning spinning in your easiest gear with no real resistance against your feet.
  • Do two more sets of six by 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, with two minutes of rest in between. Then cool down with a few easy minutes of light pedaling.

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