20 Minutes to Fit

If you can find 20 minutes, you have enough time to perform a weight training exercise routine that will help you get — and stay — in shape.


Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells at your sides, chest up and shoulders back. Bend your knees, keeping your abs tucked in and your back straight, and squat toward the ground until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground. Return to your original position. Reps: 8–10.
ADVANCED: Combine overhead presses and squats.

Hip Hinges
Keeping your neck and spine aligned, abdominals contracted, holding dumbbells at your sides, hinge slowly forward at the hips, letting your hands fall toward the floor. Return to the original position by using the muscles of your hamstrings and buttocks to pull you back up. Reps: 4–8.

Bending Rear Flyes
Keeping your spine stable and your abs tucked in and dumbbells at your sides, hinge forward and lift the dumbbells up and out to the sides. Hold briefly, then slowly lower them. Reps: 6–8.
ADVANCED: Combine hip hinges and bending rear flyes.

Lie face down, hands at shoulder height with your weight on your knees (for an easier push-up) or weight on your toes (for a more challenging one). Press up, then lower yourself to a few inches off the ground. Reps: 8–10.

Hip Extensions
Hold your body in full push-up position, with your weight on your hands and toes. Keeping your abs engaged to maintain spine alignment, lift one leg off the ground toward the ceiling and hold briefly before returning it to the ground. Repeat with the other leg. Reps: 6 per leg.
ADVANCED: Combine push-ups and hip extensions.

Lateral Raises
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides, dumbbells in your hands. Lift your arms straight out to your sides to shoulder height, hold briefly, then lower. Reps: 8–12.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right leg, and lower your left knee slowly toward the floor, keeping the knee of your right leg over your right heel. Pause briefly with your left knee a few inches from the ground, and use the muscles in the back of your right leg to slowly push back up. Reps: 8–12.
ADVANCED: Combine lateral raises and lunges.

Bicep Curls
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides, dumbbells in your hands. Bend your arms and slowly curl weights three-fourths of the way to your shoulders and lower back to the original position. Reps: 8-12.
ADVANCED: Combine bicep curls and lunges.

Chest Squeezes
Lie face up on a platform or weight bench, dumbbells in your hands, hands at chest level. Bring your knees up toward your chest and keep them there. Keeping your elbow soft, slowly lower your arms out to your sides; then squeeze your chest muscles and return your arms to their original position. Reps: 8–10.

Toe Taps
Lie face up on a platform or weight bench. Bring your knees up toward your chest. Then, contract your abs, keep your core stable, and lower one leg toward the floor. Touch your toe lightly to the ground, return to the original position and repeat on the other side. Reps: 6–8.

Hip Lifts
Lie face up on a platform, with feet on the floor, or on a weight bench, with your knees bent, feet on the bench. Contract your abs and press your hips toward the ceiling, tightening your glutes, then lower. Reps: 8–10.

Tricep Extensions
Lie face up on a platform, feet on the floor, or on a weight bench with your feet on the bench. Holding dumbbells in your hands, arms extended up from your shoulders, bend your elbows and slowly lower dumbbells toward either side of your head, keeping your upper arms stationary. Reps: 8–10.
ADVANCED: Combine hip lifts with tricep extensions.


Information provided is for general background purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by a trained professional. You should always consult your physician about any healthcare questions you may have, especially before trying a new medication, diet, fitness program, or approach to healthcare issues.

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