The 25-Minute Bodyweight Workout You Can Do On Your Lunch Break
One of the greatest fitness debates of all time is whether it’s better to work out in the morning or evening, and with all of the contradictory information out there, we felt it was time for us to weigh in.
Picture this: you set your alarm for 5am to make sure you have enough time to fit in a workout before work, but when your alarm goes off, you continuously hit the snooze button and tell yourself that you’ll do it at the end of the day. You pack your gym bag and throw it in the car, only to bring it right back home because you’ve now convinced yourself that you’ll just get up and workout tomorrow morning instead. Sound familiar?
Hey, we get it. Life gets busy! That’s why the answer to the AM vs. PM debate is: it depends—and that’s the truth. You know your lifestyle best, so if it works for you to knock out your workout first thing in the morning or right before bed, then that’s great! But if you can’t seem to make either option happen, and you feel like you’re stuck on the merry-go-round of “wanting to work out but never getting around to it,” then we may have a solution for you: lunchtime workouts.
Benefits of Lunchtime Workouts
We already know what’s going through your head, but just hear us out for a second. While there is a lot of information regarding morning and evening workouts, there’s a lot to be said about working out over lunch, too. Here’s a few benefits to lunchtime workouts:
It’s true! If you use your lunch break to crank out a workout-sesh, that means you don’t need to use up any time in the morning or evenings to exercise—win! With this extra time, you’re more likely to make yourself healthy meals that you might skip out on if you were running out the door in the morning or making dinner later than usual because of a workout.
With limited time to exercise, you’ll have a more effective workout with little to no dilly-dallying (such as taking the perfect workout selfie). So not only will you complete your workout in less time, chances are you’ll actually accomplish more. Why? High-intensity workouts, such as circuits and other interval training methods, are a great way to burn more calories and work your cardiovascular system, while still building muscle; bodyweight training even raises your metabolic rate—more commonly known as your metabolism—for hours after you’re done exercising. Plus, bodyweight exercises, such as bodyweight squats, require no equipment, which means no waiting around!
Most people have lunch breaks, but not everyone uses them—whether because they have too much work to do, or decide that the minute and thirty seconds it takes to reheat last night’s leftovers is a long enough break. By working out over lunch, you’re forcing yourself to completely step away from your work and let your brain think about something else, even if only for a short period of time. This allows you to come back refreshed and focused, without needing to chug that afternoon coffee to get through the rest of your day. Also, you’ll notice that midday workouts make your day go quicker, but shhh… don’t tell your boss we said that.
Keeps Your Diet On Track
Remember how we mentioned you’d have extra time to cook healthy meals in the morning and at night when you workout over lunch? Well, we really meant it, but one thing we didn’t mention is that you’ll eat healthier lunches, too! If you know you’ll be working out during the day, you won’t be as tempted to snack on those donuts sitting in the breakroom or order out for lunch (but if you do, that’s OK 😊). You’ll feel and perform your best when you eat healthy foods before and after your workout instead.
Tips for Working Out Over Lunch
That all sounds great, right? But this is the point where your brain is probably spinning trying to figure out the logistics: “’Will I have enough time?’ ‘How will I shower?’ ‘Does this mean I have to skip eating lunch?’” The good news is, we’ve got you covered! With a bit of planning and forward-thinking, you can turn your lunch break into the new power-hour—workout power-hour, that is. 😉
- Workout near your workplace. No matter if you work remotely and can do home workouts, or you work from an office, the key to maximizing your workout time is to find a space to exercise close by to minimize travel time. This can be a gym, an open space at work, your living room, or even the outdoors. All you need is an area to warm-up and move!
- Plan out your workout before starting. Ideally, before you start each workout, you should know exactly what muscle group you are targeting (lower body, upper body or entire body), which training method you’ll be using (circuit, HIIT, bodyweight training, strength training with equipment, etc.) and how long your workout will be. If you’re not sure where to start, you’re in luck, because below you’ll find one of the best bodyweight workouts there is—just hang tight!
- Meal prep. Let us be perfectly clear: just because we’re telling you to workout over your lunch break, doesn’t mean to skip lunch! Prepare a meal that can be eaten in two parts: one about an hour before your workout and the rest when you get back to work. Not only does this give your body the right fuel to perform and recover, it also will feel like you’re eating twice as much—and who doesn’t want that?
- Plan your work attire accordingly. Wear clothes to work that will make it easy to change out of and won’t get wrinkled sitting in a gym bag waiting for you to put them back on. If you think you’ll get extra sweaty and a cold shower won’t do the trick (or isn’t available), plan an outfit with breathable fabric and darker colors to disguise any dampness. Don’t forget to pack layers!
- Remind yourself that it’s OK to take a break from work. We’ve all had those days where we’re either forced to meet a deadline, or we’re too busy to take a break, but it’s important to remind yourself that even in the craziness of it all, it’s OK to take a step back for a short amount of time to recoup. Remember: working out over lunch does not mean that you are any less committed to your job than someone who works out in the morning—it’s all preference.
25-Minute Lunch Break Bodyweight Workout
Looking for a new workout that you can squeeze into your lunch break? This 25-minute, low impact, circuit-style workout that uses only your bodyweight to build muscle and get your heart pumping in a short amount of time. This full-body workout will target all of your muscle groups, including your upper body, lower body, and core—all at the same time! Whether you’re looking for beginner workouts, or something more challenging, you can make this bodyweight training session more difficult by trying to complete more rounds of these bodyweight exercises within the timeframe.
Before you jump in, we want to remind you of something that a lot of people forget: good form still matters in bodyweight training, even though you’re not lifting heavy weights. While the purpose of this training method is to complete these moves as many times as possible, be sure you’re not compromising good form for more rounds. If you want a great workout, you should focus on the basics and work on your “mind-to-muscle” connection; this will help you as you continue to strength train to build muscle in future workouts.
Without further ado, meet our 25-Minute Lunch Bodyweight Workout:
Goal of the workout: Perform these moves with a moderate pace and limited rest. Repeat as many times as possible in 25 minutes, but remember to move at your own pace.
Target Muscles: chest, shoulders, arms, core.
- Get into a proper push-up starting position on the ground: your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders, your feet should be placed somewhere that feels comfortable, and your body should form a straight line without bend in your knees.
- With your arms fully extended, slowly lower yourself to the ground as you press against your hands, being sure to keep your core tight and engaged.
- Push back up and repeat.
Note: if push-ups are too difficult, drop one knee or both to the ground for a modified version of this move.
25 Single leg bridges (each leg)
Target Muscles: glutes, hamstrings, hips, core.
- Lay on your back with your hands and arms out straight by your sides. Your feet should be placed flat on the ground.
- Slowly raise your hips to the sky, creating a straight line from your knees to your belly button. Be sure to engage your core and glutes.
- Now lift your right leg, trying to raise your right foot as high as you can, while keeping your hips off the ground. It is OK if there is a slight bend in the right knee of the raised leg.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top and return to the starting position.
- Complete 25 reps each leg.
Note: if you feel too off-balance to complete this movement, try bringing your hands closer to your sides for support.
25 Plank with leg lift (each leg)
Target Muscles: core, glutes, calves, shoulders.
- Get into plank start position with your body weight on your forearms, while up on the toes of your feet. There should be no bend in your knees.
- Brace your core and lower body muscles, and raise your right foot, without letting your lower back sag. You should try to remove any bend from your knee. Squeeze your glutes and hold for 1-mississippi.
- Bring your right foot back down to the ground and then lift your left foot.
- Repeat by alternating sides. Try not to let your knees touch the ground!
25 Chair step-ups (each leg)
Target Muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes.
- Find a bench, or sturdy chair that you can use for your home workouts (as long as it is the correct height). When you place one of your feet on it, your knee should create a 90° angle.
- Place your right foot on the bench/chair so that there’s bend in your knee, and step up, bringing the left foot onto the bench/chair as well. Both feet should now be on the bench/chair.
- Step back down with your right foot first—the same foot you stepped up with—and then bring your left down so both feet are on the ground.
- Repeat by alternating which leg steps up and back first.
25 Plank with arm lift (each arm)
Target Muscles: core, legs, shoulders, and back muscles.
- Get into plank starting position, with your weight on your forearms (not your hands) and body lifted on the balls of your feet.
- Engage your core as you shift your weight to your right forearm, being sure not to drop your hips.
- Reach your left arm out in front of you, leading with your hand, and hold for a few seconds.
- With control, bring your left hand back in.
- Repeat by reaching your right hand out next. Try to complete without letting either knee touch the ground!
100 Jumping jacks
Target Muscles: every muscle group.
- Start with your hands at your sides and your feet together. There should be a slight bend in your knees.
- Jump as you spread your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping the bend in your knees. You should simultaneously stretch your arms out over your head, nearly touching your hands together.
- Jump back to the starting position.
At the end of the round, rest for one minute. Then repeat!