The Best 20-Minute, At-Home, Calorie-Torching Workouts

| Fitness

Just because you don't belong to a gym does not mean that you still can't get a great workout. In fact, some of the hardest workouts are those that use only bodyweight and nothing else, and they can take place in your living room at home. And if you take these exercises and create your own circuit program, you will be sweating as much (or more) as if you were at the gym. These at-home workouts are perfect for the stay-at-home mom! Here are some great bodyweight circuits (some inspired by CrossFit) that you can do anywhere at any time, even on vacation.

woman stretching outside with shadow


1. Burpee Central: This one is simple, fast and effective.

2. Cardio Central: For seven rounds, complete seven reps of the following seven exercises:

3. Cardio + Strength: Do five rounds of the following exercises:



4. Fat Burner Ladder: 

  • Start out by doing one pushup, two burpees and three squats.
  • On the next round, increase each set by one rep so you would do two pushups, three burpees and four squats.
  • Keep going until you reach 10 pushups, 20 burpees and 30 squats.
  • If you have time (or want more), go back down the ladder until you are back to one pushup, two burpees and three squats. Check out this longer Ladder 10 Workout.

5. Burpee Ladder: 

  • Begin by doing one pushup,one burpee and one Pilates sit-up.
  • Now go up to two reps per exercise.
  • Continue until you hit 10 reps, and then go back down until you are back to one rep.


6. 20-Minute Circuit: For 20 continuous minutes, do the following circuit (resting only when you need to and keeping it to a minimum):

7. 15-Minute Circuit: For 15 continuous minutes, complete the following circuit (again, resting only when you need to and keeping it brief):



8. Running Stairs: 

  • Run (do not walk) up and down a long flight of stairs for one minute straight.
  • Stop for 30 seconds and then go again.
  • Continue for a total of 10 rounds of stair running. This will take all of 15 minutes, but you can add more rounds if you have the motivation and the energy.

9. Cardio Circuit: Do each of the following exercises for one minute with a 15 second break in between each exercise:

spiderwoman pushup


These workouts assume you do not have much equipment, but if you do, you can always swap out some of the exercises for weighted ones, like doing squats with shoulder presses instead of squats, box jumps instead of power squats, or kettlebell swings instead of sit-ups. You can also add more exercises to this workout, or even more time or more rounds. (The possibilities are endless!) To customize these different styles to your liking and level, check out Skinny Mom's fitness index for hundreds of results-driven exercise moves and routines!

kettlebell swing

If you like to run, you can always add some running to these workouts. For example, begin one of the round-based workouts with a quarter-mile or half-mile run and then add it at the end of each completed round. Or you can include it as part of the rounds, doing it either at the beginning of the round or at the end.

Here's the bottom line: You can still get a great workout without a gym or equipment. Even better is the fact that these workouts do not take up much time so you get it done quickly and effectively. Feel free to get as creative as you want with any of these workouts. Create your own program designed around your goals, but make sure you are challenging yourself and not slacking. Just because there is no one watching or telling you what to do does not mean you should skimp on intensity. After all, it is only twenty minutes (or less) of your day. You can certainly handle that. You're a mom after all; you can do just about anything!