Quick At-Home Workouts for the Busy Person

girl doing an at-home workout by jump roping

A poll taken in 2018 had 42 percent of respondents saying that the reason they didn’t work out was because they didn’t have time. Which, sure, is a valid reason, especially when work, family and favorite TV shows get in the way. But when it comes to trivial things like being healthy and happy, sometimes you have to make the best of what you have. And that means quick at-home workouts!

For brevity, I’m going to give you just four options—each with practical ways you can start doing them. Don’t worry—I tried out each of these suggestions at least twice. And you can do them in 30 minutes or less  So put on your sneakers, move your living room furniture to the side, and start sweating.

Workout #1: Skipping Rope

Equipment: Jump rope
Duration: 20–30 minutes
Where: Outside your house or—if you hate your neighbors—in your living room

This workout is one of my easiest go-to faves when I’ve lost track of time and missed my opportunity to go to the gym. Just grab your jump rope and jump lightly on your own two feet. One way you can do this exercise is to do 80 continuous jumps then rest for 30 seconds as one set, then repeat at least 10 times. With this routine, you can do at least 1,000 jumps—and depending on your speed (because you don’t need to go super-fast), you can be done with the routine in 20 to 30 minutes.

Workout #2: So You Think You Can Dance?

Equipment: Any smart device (like a laptop, tablet or smart TV)
Duration: 20–30 minutes
Where: In your living room

Open your laptop or your smart TV to YouTube and look for videos where you can follow a dance instructor’s simple moves. Dance through four to five dance videos, and you’ll easily fill your 30 minutes with awesome cardio-fun. Dancing is one of those exercises that doesn’t feel like a rigorous workout but actually is. This workout is great for those who love to dance and want to squeeze in a little cardio before work without feeling like you’re exercising.

Workout #3: All the Greatest HIITs


  • Option 1: No equipment—just use your bodyweight
  • Option 2: Any smart device (like your phone or laptop), a pair of dumbbells and/or a kettlebell, and a mat

Duration: 7–30 minutes
Where: Outside your house or in your living room

HIIT workouts are my favorite and my most recommended at-home workouts for busy people. HIIT means high-intensity interval training. It is not only a popular workout routine among millennials, but it has also proven itself as an effective way to help people stay fit and healthy. Follow free, ready-made HIIT routines available on Youtube—provided by fitness gurus like Amy Schemper from BodyFit by Amy or Johanna “Jo” Devries from growwithjo. You can opt for HIIT at-home workouts that let you use only your bodyweight or encourage you to incorporate simple equipment like a kettlebell or a pair of dumbbells. In as little as 7 minutes to 20 minutes a day, you can squeeze in a workout that can boost your metabolism, tone your muscles, and burn more fat.

Workout #4: Plank-and-Squat

Equipment: A mat—and just your bodyweight
Duration: 20–30 minutes
Where: Outside your house or in your living room

All you need is a mat and maybe a towel—not just for your sweat but also for your forearms and hands when you go to your plank position. With only these two types of exercise, which you can do low impact and high impact versions of, you can tone your muscles, burn fat, and strengthen your core. Try planking for one minute with three to five repetitions each day for one week, then gradually up your plank workout by adding 30 seconds to your ‘planking time’ each week. With this plank routine, do three sets of 30 regular squats with 30 seconds of rest in between. Then if you want to up your squat game, you can do other modified versions of squats (like plié squats, goblet squats, or one-legged squats) as you progress each week. (Note: I found it helpful when I followed squat routines shared by fitness gurus like Cassey Ho of Blogilates.) And I kid you not, by the end of even the first month of doing planks and squats each day, you’ll see significant results on your leg muscles and posture!

Spoiler: Workouts Are Only Effective When Actually Done

Before I end, let me just add a disclaimer here: I’m not an expert in ‘all-things exercise’. I am still learning and on my own journey toward a healthier me. So always check with your doctor which best at-home workouts are for you. But I am sharing these suggestions because I’ve found them practical, effective, and even cost-effective! They worked for me so they might work for you.

About the Author

Kira Gochuico is a creative writer and a hungry reader of short stories, novels and self-improvement books of all kinds. Plus, she's into fitness and the endless search for great coffee. As a copy editor with Project Bold Life and Bold Business, she loves to encourage and support other writers with much gusto to hone their craft. She also believes that while it's great that people are reading works from writers of this generation, it's always good discipline for everyone to read the classics or the works of the writers that came before us.
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