20 Minute Home Workout
Whether you are a regular gym attendee or are just looking to keep the lockdown weight gain under control, you can easily get your exercise fix at home. We asked personal trainer, radio personality, producer and new mom, Saskia V, to put together a quick and effective workout to do at home.
Having given birth to her second child four months ago, Saskia V has chosen six basic exercises that use body weight to help you work on your muscle tone, strength and fitness.
Workout Structure Option 1: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- 3 Sets
- 6 Exercises per set
- 10 Reps per exercise
Do each exercise in a row so that you feel out of breath after each set.
Rest for 1 minute between each set.
Workout Structure Option 2: Ladder
This is a tougher workout that uses four exercises (Saskia V suggests push-ups, squats, star jumps and lunges). You’ll end up doing 100 reps of each exercise.
- 19 sets
- 4 exercises per set
- 1 – 10 reps per exercise
Do 4 exercises in a row to make a set.
Start with 1 rep of each exercise and add a rep to each set until you get to 10 reps then subtract a rep until you are back down to 1 rep.
Set 1: 1 push up, 1 squat, 1 star jump, 1 lunge each side
Set 2: 2 push-ups, 2 squats, 2 star jumps, 2 lunges each side
Set 3: 3 push-ups, 3 squats, 3 star jumps, 3 lunges each side
Etc… up to 10
Set 11: 9 push-ups, 9 squats, 9 star jumps, 9 lunges each side
Set 12: 8 push-ups, 8 squats, 8 star jumps, 8 lunges each side
Set 13: 7 push-ups, 7 squats, 7 star jumps, 7 lunges each side
Etc… down to 1
Squats work your lower body and help build core strength. To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms out in front of you or at chest level to help you keep your balance. Keeping your back straight and head up, bend as if you are about to sit on a chair. Keep your core activated and squeeze glutes to return to the starting standing position to complete one squat.
Form Tip: Make sure your knees are behind your toes and are straight (not collapsing inwards). You need to be pushing up with your bum muscles (glutes). If you’re only feeling it in the front of your legs (quads), you’re doing it wrong.
To do a lunge engage your core and step forward with one leg and lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Keep your body straight and head up, making sure your front knee is behind your toes and your back knee is off the ground. With the weight in your heels, step back into the standing position.
Form Tip: Concentrate on the lifting of the leg, don’t drag your foot.
A great core exercise. Start at holding the position for 10 seconds and work your way up until you get to 2-3 minutes.
Start by lying on your stomach feet just wider than hip-width apart with your arms bent, elbows in line with your shoulders and forearms flat. Keeping your forearms on the floor, lift your body in a straight line from heels to the top of your head. Keep your head down, tighten your abs, quads and glutes and hold. For more of a challenge, bring your feet closer together.
Form Tip: Make sure you’re flat and don’t drop your lower back.
Step Jumps / Step Ups
Another fantastic way to up that heart rate. Do not perform any jumping exercises if you have knee problems.
Using a step or stable bench start with both feet on the ground, back straight and shoulders back. Put one foot on the bench with your knee and ankle in line. Push your body up so your bent leg is straightened and both feet are on the step or bench. Then lower yourself down to only one foot on the step or bench. Step up with each leg 10 times.
For a tougher challenge, you can jump up onto the step or bench each time.
Similar to planks, start with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forwards. Lower yourself down, bending your elbows and keeping your body in a straight line.
Form Tip: Begin by doing them with your hands on a table, shelf or step, then build up to proper push-ups. Again, make sure you stay straight and do not dip your lower back.
Star Jumps / Jumping Jacks
A great high intensity exercise to do in between sets to keep your heart rate up.
Stand with your feet together, hands at your side. Bend your knees slightly and jump up, straightening your legs and spreading them wider than shoulder-width. As you jump, raise your arms above your head (to make a star shape with your body). Bring your feet together and hands down as you land.