Got 20 Minutes? Tone Your Arms, Legs, Belly, and Butt!

If you’re looking for a way to keep your indoor workouts interesting, consider circuit training, in which you perform a series of exercises that target several different muscles. Our circuit training workout can be done at home in just 20 minutes. Using easy to come-by equipment like a beach towel, stability ball, and exercise mat, it works your upper body (arms, shoulders, and upper back), core (abdomen, back pelvis, and hips), and lower body (legs, thighs, and lower back). This circuit also includes a short aerobic workout in between the core exercises so you get a great balance of cardio and strength training in one session. Depending on your level of conditioning, try to repeat the circuit (Exercises 1-4 with all the sets and reps for each) three times for the most effective workout.

The Circuit
 
Exercise 1: Beach Lunge (Legs, Butt, and Thighs)
 
 
 
Step 1: Stand tall with your feet and knees pointed directly forward. Keep your hips straight and place your hands on your hips as a guide during the exercise. Try to keep your hips facing forward throughout the entire movement. Work to maintain good posture, pulling your abdominals in throughout. You can hold onto a chair or place one hand on a wall for balance if needed, but your goal is to use only your muscles for support.
 

Step 2: Step one leg back to come into a lunge position, with your front leg bent as deeply as you can and your back leg straight. Your feet should be perfectly parallel and pointing forward. Press the heel of your front foot and the ball of your back foot into the floor. Keep your torso perfectly upright, with your chest lifted and your spine nice and straight. Try to bend your front knee more deeply and hold the position. Switch legs. Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions on each side.

 
Cardio Burst: Run in place, do jumping jacks, jump rope, or run up and down a flight of stairs for 30 seconds before moving onto the next exercise in the circuit. Catch your breath first.
 
 
Exercise 2: Screw Twist (Abdomen and Hips)
 
 
 
Step 1: Sit tall on the center of a stability ball with your feet comfortably apart on the floor, hip-width apart. Press your feet firmly into the floor and place your hands on your thighs. Pull your belly button toward your spine and hold it there during the exercise. Align your torso directly over your pelvis. Contract the muscles in your thighs, as if you’re squeezing an imaginary beach ball between your knees, continuing to keep your feet hip-width apart. This will create lower-body stability; your muscles should stay contracted throughout the exercise.
 
Step 2: Twist your body to one side, turning your neck in the direction of the twist, looking over your shoulder. Then twist in the opposite direction. Feel your abdominals as they rotate around your spine. If you feel securely balanced, try lifting your arms to shoulder height out front while you twist; otherwise keep them on your thighs. Do three sets of 8 repetitions to each side.
 

Cardio Burst: Run in place, do jumping jacks, jump rope, or run up and down a flight of stairs for 30 seconds before moving onto the next exercise in the circuit. Catch your breath first.

 
Exercise 3: Standing Stocking Slide (Back and Legs)
 
 
 
 
Step 1: Stand on an exercise mat with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointed directly forward. Bend your knees slowly, pressing the palms of your hands into the tops of your thighs. Engage your abdominals by contracting the muscles. Maintain the abdominal contraction and slowly slide your hands down the front of your thighs to your knees, as if you were rolling down thigh-high stockings. Hold for 5 seconds.
 
Step 2: Straighten your legs and hold for 5 seconds while continuing to deepen the abdominal contraction. Gently slide your hands back up your thighs, rolling your spine up to a standing position. Do three sets.
 

Cardio burst: Run in place, do jumping jacks, jump rope, or run up and down a flight of stairs for 30 seconds before moving onto the next exercise in the circuit. Catch your breath first.

 
 
Exercise 4: Biceps Curl (Arms and Upper Body)
 
 
 
Step 1: Stand on an exercise mat with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointed directly forward. Keep your spine straight, with your chest lifted and neck elongated. Gently contract your inner thighs to pull your legs together without moving your feet. Go up onto your toes and hold this position. Hold your elbows tightly at your side, palms facing up and gripping a hand towel at each end.
 

Step 2: Firmly pull the ends of the towel apart. Keeping tension on the towel, bend your elbows, bringing your hands toward your chest. Your elbows should stay still. The movement is just your hands moving up and down from thigh to chest. When you reach the top of the movement, your hands are at your chest. Lower your arms back to the starting position.

Step 3: Repeat this movement, keeping your elbows firmly in place at your side. Keep the movement smooth and consistent, pulling on the towel the whole time. Do three sets of 8 up and down repetitions.
 

Cardio burst: Run in place, do jumping jacks, jump rope, or run up and down a flight of stairs for 30 seconds. Catch your breath and start again with Exercise 1.

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