20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

This 20-minute beginner interval workout is perfect if you’re new to exercising or have taken a long time off and want to get back into a routine. Minimal equipment is required (just a set of weights), so it’s perfect to do at home.

I don’t post a ton of workouts geared specifically towards beginners (check out my last one here), because in ALL my videos I do give modifications so that every workout can be scaled down as needed. That being said, my beginner tabata workout has over 17,000 views on YouTube, so I think that’s a sign today’s routine is way overdue! If you guys like these beginner-friendly workouts, be sure to let me know in the comments on the blog or YouTube and I’ll keep ’em coming more frequently.

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

Video is sponsored by MegaFood and one of my favorite products of theirs: Blood Builder. All opinions—as always!—are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible. 🙂

EQUIPMENT I USED:

  • Set of 10-lb dumbbells (use a weight that works for you; 5 lbs is a great place to start!)
  • Exercise mat
  • Chair or bench for modifying (optional but recommended if mobility issues prevent you from getting down to the floor and back up again repeatedly)

For this workout, we’ll be doing 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. You have six exercises that you’ll go through three times (18 minutes total). We’ll then rest for 60 seconds and finish up the workout with a minute of modified burpees.

As with all workouts, make sure to properly warm up beforehand. I have a 5-minute warm up on my YouTube channel you can do, or just do one on your own. Always listen to your body, modifying or stopping as needed. In the video, I explain how to modify every exercise as we go through the workout.

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

EXERCISE BREAKDOWN

Side-to-Side Lunges | From a standing position, step your right foot out wide to the side, bending your right knee and sliding the hips back as you lunge down and reach your opposite left hand across your body to the floor by your right foot. Push off your right side to return to standing. repeat over to the left.

TO MODIFY: Instead of reaching your hand all the way to the floor, stretch it across your body at chest height.

Jumping Jacks | As you jump your feet out wide, swing your arms overhead. Continue jumping your feet in and out and your hands swish up and down.

TO MODIFY: Step instead of jump. From a standing position, step your right leg out to the side as you bring your right arm overhead. Return to center and repeat on the left. Continue alternating.

Reverse Lunge, Curl to Press | Hold a weight in each hand down at your sides. Step your left foot back behind you, bending the right knee into a lunge. At the bottom of your lunge, do a bicep curl and then a shoulder press. Reverse the movement and stand.

TO MODIFY: Use a chair for balance. Your right hand will hold on to the chair as you lunge back, and do the curl and press with just the left arm.

Reverse Lunge, Curl to Press on other side

Russian Twists | Holding a weight with both hands, sit on your bum, leaning back and hovering your feet of the floor. Twist side to side, bringing the weight to the outside of each hip.

TO MODIFY: If on the floor, place your heels lightly on the ground. If mobility issues prevent you from getting to the ground, sit in a chair and twist from there.

Bird Dog | Who named this exercise? Why is it called Bird Dog? Is it even called Bird Dog or did I make that up years ago and now just foolishly believe it to be true?! Anyway … start in a tabletop position on the floor. From here, reach your opposite leg and arm out long. Pause and then return to starting tabletop. Repeat on the other side.

TO MODIFY: If mobility issues prevent you from getting to the ground, place hands on a bench or chair so that you’re in an incline plank position. From here, lift up one leg at a time.

20-Minute Beginner Interval Workout

WEARING | DYI leggings / Puma tank (old) / adidas sneakers

Before I end this post, a little PSA: You should totally subscribe to my YouTube channel. 😉 While I get that it’s not completely necessary because I do always embed the videos on the blog as well, there are some definite perks to being a subscriber. My videos usually go live there hours (or even days) before they’re up on the blog and you’ll get an email notification when they do.

Beginner Tabata Workout – Full Body, No Equipment Needed

This tabata workout is perfect for beginners. No equipment needed, although a chair is helpful if you're a true beginner or working with mobility issues.

I have a few beginner workouts on the blog (you can find all beginner resources here), but haven’t yet made one in video form. This post is long overdue! And let me know in the comments if you want more beginner workouts. The hard ones tend to get a lot of positive feedback so I sorta get stuck on this track of trying to make each workout more challenging than the next, but I want this site to be a fitness resource for everyone. What sense does it make to cater fitness to only those who are already relatively fit?!

This week’s workout uses pretty much the same structure as last week’s, but is toned down a notch.

Beginner Tabata Workout

No equipment is needed for this workout (just have an exercise mat or some padding for the knees handy). If, however, you’re a true beginner or are working with mobility issues that will make it difficult to get down and up again from the floor, I’d recommend using a chair or bench throughout the workout. I’ll show you how to modify the exercises throughout the video.

This workout is made up of three tabatas. A tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. I’ll give you two exercises for each tabata and you’ll alternate between the two during the 4 minutes. Rest 30 seconds after each completed tabata before moving onto the next.

This tabata workout is perfect for beginners. No equipment needed, although a chair is helpful if you're a true beginner or working with mobility issues.

Tabata 1

  • Squat with Pulse | Feet about hips-width apart, squat down, sending your hips and butt back and down (not the knees forward!). Keep your chest open, shoulders back—it’s natural to lean forward slightly as you lower down, but we don’t want to hunch forward. Bring your hands in front of you as you sink down to your lowest point, bodyweight staying in your heels. Pulse up an inch and down an inch. From there, powerfully stand back up, straightening your legs and thrusting your hips forward (squeeze your bum at the top!) and driving your arms behind you. Make sure you’re actively engaging the outer thighs to prevent the knees from caving inward (knock-knees) as you lower down into your squat. To modify, forget about the pulse and practice your squats using a chair (sit down on the seat and then stand back up).
  • Back Lunge with Pulse | Start standing with feet hip width apart. Step your left foot back behind you as you bend the right knee, sinking into a lunge. Get as low as you can, trying to bring the right knee as close to a 90-degree bend as mobility allows. From this low lunge position, pulse up an inch and down an inch. Stand as you bring the left foot forward in line with the right to your starting position. For balance assistance, you can place a hand on a chair. Alternate legs each round of work.

Tabata 2

  • Modified Push Ups | You can do these either on the floor from your knees or on your feet with your hands on a chair/bench/elevated surface (even a wall works!). Think “plank” with your core alignment as you bend and straighten your elbows. You want to maintain neutral spine and lower your torso as one unit, rather than just dipping your chest and sticking your butt up into the air.
  • Forearm Plank | Most of us are familiar with a plank, so just a couple form queues: think of stacking your joints, elbows directly below shoulders. Think of gently knitting the ribs together and pulling the low belly up and in. Squeeze the glutes and quads—notice how engaging these muscles helps straighten out your body even more. Fire up the entire abdomen by pulling the forearms and balls of feet in towards each other (you won’t actually move, you’ll just contract the muscles). If this is too much, modify by dropping to your knees or by brining your hands to a chair/bench/elevated surface.

Tabata 3

  • Twisting High Knees | Start standing with arms overhead. From here, march your right knee up towards your chest as you twist your torso to the right and bring your elbows to the outside of the knee. Return to starting position and repeat to the left. Make these as quick as you can. For assistance with balance, keep a hand on a chair as you do this. Just make sure to switch hands each 20-second round.
  • Modified Burpees | From a standing position, squat down and bring your hands to the floor (or a chair to modify). Step one foot back at a time to a plank position. Step one foot at a time back up to the outsides of your hands and stand back upright to standing position.

This tabata workout is perfect for beginners. No equipment needed, although a chair is helpful if you're a true beginner or working with mobility issues.

WEARING | tank c/o New Balance // Booty By Brabants leggings // adidas sneakers

10-Minute Gentle Workout for Holiday Travel + Other Tips for Staying (Mostly) Healthy

Sorry for the silence around here this week! I got hit with a nasty stomach bug and have spent the last couple days in the fetal position on my bathroom floor. Feeling much better today, but still don’t have much of an appetite and will probably need a nap soon. There’s a video to go along with this workout, but it’s taking forever to upload to YouTube so I’ll just add it in later. Subscribe to my channel to be notified when it’s live.

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The holiday season can cause a bit of a disruption to your normal fitness routine, so it’s always nice to have quick, at-home workouts on hand that you can do if you’re unable to make it to your gym or go-to studio. Today I’m sharing a 10-minute workout that’s perfect if:

  • You need to be quiet. Sleeping relatives? Downstairs neighbors? There’s no loud thudding and jumping around with this one.
  • You need to go easy on your joints. No jumping! This workout is low-impact.
  • You’re short on space and/or time. Trying to squeeze in a workout in your grandparents’ spare bedroom on Christmas Eve? I gotchu.
  • You’re a beginner. As the title implies, If you’re looking for a heart-pumping, ass-kicking workout, this one might not be for you. Compared to the majority of workouts I post, this one is on the gentler side and definitely beginner-friendly.

10-Minute Gentle Workout (Beginner-Friendly!)


You’ll do each exercise for 30 seconds, performing them back-to-back without resting in between exercises. That’ll make for 3 minutes of continuous work. Once you’ve completed all six exercises, rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the circuit a total of three times (or more if you want a longer workout).

Air Squat with Pulse | Feet about hips-width apart, squat down, sending your hips and butt back and down (not the knees forward!). Keep your chest open, shoulders back—it’s natural to lean forward slightly as you lower down, but we don’t want to hunch forward. Bring your hands in front of you as you sink down to your lowest point, bodyweight staying in your heels. Hold at the bottom and do one pulse (up an inch and down an inch). From there, powerfully stand back up, straightening your legs and thrusting your hips forward (squeeze your bum at the top!) and driving your arms behind you. 

Single-Arm Plank to Lunge (RIGHT) | Start in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Place your right hand behind your back. Your left arm should reach up overhead. This is your starting position. From here, dive your torso forward in a bowing motion and plant the left hand on the ground next to your right foot. Keeping your other hand behind your back, step the right foot back into a single-arm plank. Reverse the movement by stepping your right foot forward back into a deep lunge and then sweeping your left arm and torso upright (stay low in the lunge).

Inchworm Push Ups | Start in a plank position. Do a push up. Next, walk your hands back towards your feet so that you’re in a forward-fold position. Walk the hands right back out to a plank and do your next push up.

Single-Arm Plank to Lunge (LEFT)

Stationary Side Lunge Slides | Start standing with feet wide apart, toes pointing forward. Your feet will stay where they are the whole time. From here, bend into your right knee, sliding your hips back and sinking low into a side lunge (left leg stays straight). Holding low, you’re going to slide across over to your left side, gradually straightening the right knee as you bend into the left. now you’re in a low left side lunge. Straighten the left knee to rise up to your starting position. Repeat, in the opposite direction (lunge to the left, slide to the right, stand up).

Bicycle Crunch Sit Ups | Start laying on your back with your hands lightly behind your head, elbows bent out to the sides and chest open. Engage your abs, pulling your bellybutton down to the floor as you lift your legs off the ground about six inches to a hover. This is your starting position. From here, bend your right knee in towards your chest as you crunch your left elbow across to meet it, lifting your shoulders off the floor like a twisting sit-up. Your left leg should remain outstretched in a hover as you do this. Slowly return back to the starting position and repeat to the opposite side. The goal is to keep the legs off the ground the whole time, but if you need to modify, your heel can quickly rest on the floor in between reps.

Gentle 10-Minute Bodyweight Workout (Beginner-Friendly)

WEARING | Pugs N’ Roses tank c/o Puppies Make Me Happy // Lululemon leggings (old – you can shop Lulu’s current selection of leggings or check out these ONZIE capris with a similar mesh cut-out look or these mesh stirrup leggings from alo yoga) // Free to Be Bra c/o Lululemon // grippy barre socks

If you want more of an advanced workout to take with you during holiday travel, I have a massive collection of bodyweight workouts in the archives. Browse them all HERE.

Tips for Staying (Mostly) Healthy during the Holidays

Treat Yourself the Same Way You’d Treat Your Loved Ones

This might sound corny, but any time I catch myself spiraling down with the negative self-talk, I just picture saying all those things to someone I love. That usually stops me dead in my tracks.

Why did I eat that second piece of pie?! I’m disgusting. Ugh I’m so fat. I look terrible in this dress now. I shouldn’t have eaten so much at that holiday party. I didn’t workout today so I don’t deserve to eat a Christmas cookie.

Replace the “I” with “you” and just imagine saying that to your best friend, your daughter, your nephew, your mother or anyone else you love. It’s sickening, isn’t it?! My eyes literally well with tears when I think of my little niece hearing those words from anyone. Never never NEVER.

Go easy on yourself during the holiday season. A few massive meals, a few too many cocktails, a few less workouts–IT’S OK. Yes, like a muscle, will power can be strengthened; but, also like a muscle, it becomes fatigued under constant, unrelenting stress. You’re not weak if you give in to the cookie tray at your fourth holiday office party of the week–you’re human. And you’re allowed to enjoy some damn cookies!

It may seem counterintuitive but I know for me personally, the less pressure I put on myself to maintain some perfect health and fitness routine, the easier it is for me to do just that. If I allow for the missteps, they become nothing more than a detour. If I stress about them and beat myself up, those missteps snowball into a complete derailing that has me stuck in my tracks or even moving backwards.

Ditch the All-or-Nothing Mentality

Throughout my college years, I struggled with moderation–everything was an extreme. If one little thing didn’t go as planned in my mission to eat rigidly “clean” and workout, I’d just completely throw in the towel on doing anything remotely healthy that day. It was perfection or complete gluttony and lethargy–there was no in between. Sometimes the holidays can bring out this mentality. I have my family’s holiday dinner tonight so today’s a wash. It’s absolutely fine to have days like that. ABSOLUTELY. But not so much if that’s your mentality for the entire month of December.

Instead of deeming each day an “all” or a “nothing,” I like to maintain some normalcy. Even if I know I’m going to drink several glasses of wine and help myself to seconds of dessert at a holiday party that night, I still treat the rest of the day like any other. I eat my typical breakfast, I go for a workout, I eat lunch as I normally would.

Supplement Your Holiday Diet to Fill in the Gaps

Going hand-in-hand with maintaining some normalcy in your daily schedule is maintaining some normalcy in your daily nutrition intake. Yes, I fill my holiday plate with roasted veggies and healthy side dishes, but let’s be real. I’m going HAM in the dairy, carbs and sugar departments as well. Larger-than-normal portion sizes, different foods than I normally eat, travel–it all can throw off my body a bit (bloating, irregularity and other such sexiness).

I take the following MegaFood supplements regularly, and find them especially important during the holidays.

  • Multi-Vitamin | MegaFood’s Multi for Women is my personal go-to, but they have a wide selection of formulations to choose from in the multi category (based on gender, age, preference for taking one or two tablets, etc.). Both MegaFood and I share the philosophy that food should always come first as your nutrient source. A multi-vitamin is there to the do the important job of then filling in the gaps. During the holidays, that gap might be a little larger than normal (Christmas salad? Never heard of it). 😉
  • Probiotics | I did a whole post on the benefits of probiotics but can summarize it with: gut health. In a normal week, I take MegaFlora two or three times, maybe every other day at most. However, during periods of abnormal eating (Thanksgiving feasts, back-to-back holiday parties, your grandma’s famous Christmas cookies as breakfast, etc.), I find that taking one daily helps ease any digestion issues and keeps me regular.* MegaFlora contains 20 billion active bacteria and has strains naturally found in the digestive system. I love it! If you’re traveling for the holidays, keep in mind that it needs to be refrigerated.
  • Turmeric Strength for Whole Body | I highlighted the Daily Turmeric Nutrient Booster Powder in a blog post this summer–it’s perfect for adding to smoothies or other beverages. During holiday travel though, I’m not likely to make myself a smoothie for breakfast and it’s much more convenient to pack my daily dose of turmeric in tablet form. Hello, Turmeric Strength for Whole Body! This tablet features a blend of FoodState (=made with whole foods) Kauai Organic Turmeric Root with a pure Turmeric Extract to deliver a full spectrum of curcuminoids, which support healthy inflammation regulation in the body.* It also includes berries and cherries to deliver antioxidants that support healthy aging.*

How do you stay healthy (ish) during the holidays? Any tips to add?

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* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by MegaFood. While I am a paid ambassador, all opinions–as always!–are my own. I truly believe in this company and stand behind their products 100%. I know you all will love them as much as I do!

Some links to outfit details are affiliate.