Starting a new exercise routine can be intimidating AF, especially if you’re new to fitness. But don’t worry! This 20-minute at-home workout for beginners is a great way to jump-start your #FitnessGoals. And the best part? You can do it all at home. Let’s kick it!

The best 20-minute at-home workout for beginners

We talked with Bryant D. Edwards, a certified personal trainer, to get his best tips for working out at home. According to Edwards, working out 2–4 times a week for 20–60 minutes is “more than enough to start.”

These moves can help you build muscle and endurance as you get started.

FYI: It’s important to talk with your doctor before starting a brand-new workout routine.

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In a hurry to see some results? Here’s a workout for newbies that takes only about 20 minutes.

1. Bridge

The bridge will boost your booty all over. It works your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus muscles. It’ll also help get your heart rate up before you move on to more challenging exercises.

How to do it:

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Bend your knees and plant feet flat on the floor.
  • Extend arms at your sides and press palms into the floor.
  • Push your feet into the floor and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders.
  • Squeeze glutes and hold for a few seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Pro tip: Place a folded towel under your neck for extra support. You can also use a yoga mat to make things a little more comfy.

2. Knee push-up

This is a great way to build strength and stamina as you work your way up to classic push-ups. It targets your pecs, core, shoulders, and arms.

How to do it:

  • Start on hands and knees, keeping spine aligned and hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend elbows to a 45-degree angle as you lower your body toward the floor.
  • Push your palms into the floor to raise yourself back up.
  • Do 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

Pro tip: Keep your shins on the floor to take some pressure off your knees.

3. Side-lying hip abduction

This one is all in the hips. The movements will help loosen tight muscles and strengthen your sides.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your right side with your legs stacked. (You can bend your right leg for more support.)
  • Lift left leg up, then lower it toward the floor.
  • Repeat this motion.
  • Switch sides.
  • Shoot for 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

Pro tip: Add ankle weights or a resistance band if you want to kick it up a notch.

4. Wall squat

You’ll feel the burn in your abs, glutes, calves, and quads with this move. Wall squats can also help you learn to focus on your form and increase your stamina.

How to do it:

  • Press your back flat against a wall.
  • Press your feet firmly into the floor, shoulder-width apart, about 2 feet in front of the wall.
  • Bend your knees until they’re at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back pressed into the wall.
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute at a time.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Pro tip: Try placing a stability ball behind your back. It can increase your range of motion while reducing your risk of injury.

5. Straight-leg donkey kick

This bootylicious exercise will help strengthen and tone your glutes. It also adds some sweet shoulder action into the mix.

How to do it:

  • Start on all fours, with knees under hips and hands under shoulders.
  • Extend left leg straight behind you, keeping your foot flexed and toes pointed down toward the floor.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

Pro tip: Remember to keep your spine aligned and glutes engaged.

Finding your dream routine can take time. And that’s OK! Fitness isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s all about finding the right balance and tools that work for you. Here are some ways you can personalize your workouts.

1. Add weights

Adding weights to your workout isn’t just bomb for how your bod looks. Pumping iron can increase endorphins and boost self-esteem. Bonus: Research suggests that a steady strengthening routine can help you get a better night of shut-eye.

2. Pick your muscle groups

There are lots of perks of a full-body workout. But some folks see better results when they target one or two specific muscle groups at a time. This also gives your other muscles time to recover.

3. Join the resistance

Resistance bands are designed with compound exercises in mind. That means they can help engage your stabilizing muscles and improve the overall quality of your workouts. They also get major brownie points for being so lightweight and portable.

4. Grab your gear

You don’t need to spend big bucks on a brand-new #FitLife wardrobe. You just need a solid pair of sneakers and some breathable, supportive clothing.

Working out isn’t just about gains. Health and safety should always come first. Here are some tips to keep your workouts as safe and effective as possible:

  • Set realistic goals. You won’t see huge results overnight, fam. “Too often people set a goal that sounds good because it’s what society is telling us we should strive for, but in reality it is so far off what we really want for ourselves,” Edwards says. So take your time as you transition into your training.
  • Drink up. Studies suggest that staying hydrated during a sweat sesh can help you maintain performance, lower your heart rate, and keep your fluid levels on fleek.
  • Fuel smart. Try to eat 2–3 hours before your workout. Some delicious and nutritious choices: Greek yogurt with oats, brown rice with grilled chicken, or a protein smoothie.
  • Consistency is key. According to Edwards, consistency is more important than any specific program. “If you can find an activity you enjoy and will consistently do, you’ll be more likely to keep up with it rather than constantly starting and stopping,” he says.

The importance of good form

Proper form can make or break your workout. Sloppy stances increase your risk of injury and reduce the effectiveness of each exercise.

Here are some tips to keep your form 10/10:

  • If it hurts, STOP. This isn’t the time to push it to the limit.
  • Focus on each movement. Tweak your position if something feels awkward.
  • Ease into it. Research suggests that keeping a slow and steady training pace can reduce your risk of injury.
  • Get your blood flowing. Make sure you do a warmup before you start your workout. And don’t forget the cooldown!

P.S. It’s OK to ask for help! Most gyms have personal trainers on hand. You can also reach out to a fitness pro via Zoom if you want to stick to an at-home routine.

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This 20-minute workout routine is designed for folks who are new to fitness. It’ll help you build a fantastic foundation for your future fitness goals. Just remember that results take time. If you stick with the program, you’ll def notice a difference. You’ve got this!