Strengthen and Stretch Your Entire Body in Less Than 20 Minutes

Fara Rosenzweig
by Fara Rosenzweig
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Strengthen and Stretch Your Entire Body in Less Than 20 Minutes

If you have less than 20 minutes to work out, you don’t have to pick just one or two areas to strengthen. This all-in-one, total body, low-impact workout builds muscle and burns calories by focusing on dynamic movements (think one move that works both major and secondary muscle groups at the same time).

Whether you’re new to working out or looking to break free from the same old routine, barre workouts can challenge your muscles in ways you’ve never ever experienced before. This type of exercise fuses ballet and Pilates into one quick routine that elongates and strengthens muscles at the same time.

Physique 57, a video on-demand workout platform and boutique studio, shares how you can sculpt long, lean muscles in the comfort of your home.

To complete the workout below, you’ll need a sturdy piece of furniture (such as the back of a chair), a thick cushion or towel and a playground ball (optional).

WARM-UP  (3 minutes)

Leg Lifts: Stand tall, feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in your knees, and roll your shoulders back. Begin by lifting your knees up, one by one, and letting your arms swing down by your sides. Complete movement for 1 minute.

Bring your arms up to the ceiling and pull your elbows down to the hips. Now twist, trying to touch your opposite elbow to opposite thigh. Complete movement for 2 minutes. This will start to get your heart rate up and your body warm to prepare you for the rest of your workout.

Push-ups and Planks (2 minutes): Get into a modified push-up position (bend your knees), placing your arms slightly wider than your shoulders. Do 8 push-ups.

Now come into a full plank by starting in a push-up position (not resting on your knees) with your legs slightly apart. Soften your elbows slightly and pull in your abdominal muscles to keep your hips in line with the rest of your body. Lift your right leg off the floor. While keeping the right leg straight and your toes pointed, pulse it towards the ceiling in a small, controlled movement. Continue pulsing for 30 seconds, then switch sides and pulse for another 30 seconds.    

THIGHS (4 minutes)

Upright V-position: Stand about a forearm’s distance away from the barre (or sturdy piece of furniture). Place a playground ball between your thighs and make a small “V” with your feet by bringing your heels together. Your big toes should be 2-3 inches apart. Keeping your heels together, raise them a couple of inches off the floor. Keep your spine straight and make sure you can feel all 10 toes evenly pressing into the floor. Keep your torso upright and allow your knees to track forward over your toes throughout the exercise. Repeat movement for 2 minutes, or for as long as you can with good form.

Incline Chair: Still a forearm’s distance away from your barre (or furniture), put your feet in a parallel position, about hip-width apart. Incline your chest towards your barre and stick your seat out. Make sure your elbows are wide, shoulders down, chest up and chin lifted. Repeat movement for 2 minutes, or for as long as you can with good form.

SEAT (4 minutes)

Clamshell: Lie down on your left side with your right leg on top of your left. Bend your knees about 90 degrees. Begin opening and closing the right knee. Your hips should be stacked evenly. Repeat movement for 1 minute, or for as long as you can with good form.

Hairpin: Extend your right arm under your head. Swing your legs straight in front of you to make an “L.” Keep your toes pointed. Keeping your hips stacked, press your left palm into the floor in front of your navel. Separate your inner thighs, lift the top left leg, and extend it so it’s in line with your hip. Pulse small lifts towards the ceiling. Repeat movement for 1 minute, or for as long as you can with good form.

Complete both exercises on the other side.

ABS (3 minutes)

Curl: Sit against the edge of a cushion or rolled up towel with knees bent at a 90-degree angle in front of you and your feet flat on the floor. Place a playground ball between your inner thighs (optional). Bring both hands to your right outer thigh and hold on gently, twisting your upper body to the side but keeping your hips and knees centered. Roll your torso towards the ground until your right shoulder blade hovers just off the cushion. You should pull your navel in towards your spine at all times. Keep your right shoulder blade off the ground as you release one or both hands to the side diagonally in front of you towards the right. Lift your torso up an inch, and then bring it back down. Repeat on other side. Continue switching back and forth on both sides for 3 minutes, or for as long as you can with good form.

STRETCH (1 minute)

Check out the full 30-minute version of this workout.

About the Author

Fara Rosenzweig
Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig is a certified fitness instructor who loves yoga and running. When she’s not at the gym or outside logging miles, she’s planning fitness adventures to do with friends, and playing with her pup.


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