If you’re looking for a tried and true 20-minute strength workout with basic, yet effective exercises, you’re in the right spot. While we love compound exercises and trying new things, sometimes you just want a full-body strength workout that you know is going to work.
Back-to-basics fitness and minimalist training is something we can get behind! Whether you haven’t worked out in a while or you exercise often and are always trying the latest craze, one thing is the same: getting back to basics is good for your body. What do we mean by that?
Reacquainting yourself with some of the “old standbys” of the fitness world—think bicep curls, push-ups, and lunges—can both help you ease back into exercising if you’ve taken time off and perfect your form if you haven’t tried them in a while, making your other workouts more effective.
And make sure to try our 20-minute strength workout below with 7 of the most effective exercises that fitness trainers come back to time and time again.
What is minimalist training? Minimalist training is simply a concept of doing less but achieving great results; it focuses on fitness basics.
Minimalist training is characterized by simplicity as it involves minimal equipment, time, space, and still helps you achieve results that make you look and feel your best.
The below full body strength workout would be considered to be minimalist training as we are stripping it out to some OG exercises in the fitness world: ones that have been around forever and will stand the test of time.
First, let’s get something straight: moves like curls, squats, and lunges are considered “basics” not because they’re boring, but because they’re super effective.
These so-called “simple” moves are some of the best strength training moves around to tone your muscles and sculpt a leaner, stronger figure. They’re also the building blocks of countless other exercises—think squat jumps, side planks, and more—so once you’ve mastered the basics, you’re able to perform dozens of other exercises with more efficiency.
When you’re working to get back in shape, getting back to the basics can help you ease back into a fitness routine. But even if you work out constantly, it’s nice to brush up on the basic movements you may not have practiced in a while. So while mixing up your fitness routine is definitely a good idea, it’s also important to brush up on what we know works by reacquainting yourself with these essential moves.
Related: The 3 Metabolic Body Types Explained
New to strength training? Make sure to check out our comprehensive guide before you jump into the workout below!
20-Minute Full-Body Strength Training Workout
This 20-minute full body strength workout contains some of these building blocks of fitness: squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, and more. It’s a quick, total-body workout that utilizes all the major muscle groups through basic movements needed to build strength. You’ll need a set of dumbbells (8 to 12 pounds, depending on your fitness level) and a mat or a soft surface. Here’s how it works:
Perform each exercise 12 times. For planks, hold 30 seconds each. try to move through the entire list without resting in-between.
Once you finish, get a quick drink of water and go through the list a second time.
Take a few moments to stretch, and you should have completed this strength workout in 20 minutes or less.
Ready to go? Let’s get back to basics in this 20-minute strength workout.
1. Basic Squat
A) Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart. Your hips, knees, and toes should all be facing forward.
B) Bend your knees and extend your buttocks backward as if you are going to sit back into a chair. Make sure that you keep your knees behind your toes and your weight in your heels. Rise back up and repeat.
Perform 12 reps
A) Start in plank position with your arms shoulder width apart. Engage your core and keep your abs tight. You can modify by doing a kneeling plank if the full is to challenging.
B) Lower your chest to a hover above the mat while hugging your elbows in towards your side body and keep elbows pointing straight back. Press up by straightening arms and return to plank position.
Perform 12 reps
3. Stationary Lunge
A) Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart. Take a large step backward with left foot and lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge
B) Return to standing. Repeat.
Perform 12 reps on each leg
4. Shoulder Overhead Press
A) Start with feet hip distance apart. Bring elbows out to the side creating a goal post position with arms, dumbbells are at the side of the head, and abdominals are engaged.
B) Press arms straight up working the shoulders and return to starting position with control.
Perform 12 reps
A) Begin lying on the floor with your hands flat on the floor, making sure that they are aligned directly under your shoulders.
B) Engage your core and raise your body up off the floor, keeping your hands on the floor and your body in a straight line from your head to your feet. Keep your abdominals engaged and try to not let your hips rise or drop.
Hold for 30 seconds
6. Bicep Curl
A) Stand with feet hip distance apart arms fully extended with a slight bend in elbow
B) Bring weights in towards shoulders to complete bicep curl, return to start.
Perform 12 Reps.
7. Tricep Overhead Extensions
A) Standing with feet hip distance apart. Arms are long with dumbbells directly overhead. Keep your spine long and abs tight.
B) Bend elbows lowering dumbbells to the base of the head. Keep your elbows hugging in towards your head and pointing forward. Then extend your arms long returning to your starting position working the triceps.
Perform 12 reps
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