30-Minute Workout: No Equipment

woman doing a lunge and a squat at home
Let’s take a look at some at-home 30-minute workouts that require absolutely no equipment, as well as several of the health benefits that these exercises have to offer.

The most common reason people give for not exercising is that they don’t have time for it. Another common reason is that they don’t know how to use the exercise equipment at the gym. So, in order to get rid of these common obstacles that often prevent people from working out, let’s take a look at some at-home 30-minute workouts that require absolutely no equipment, as well as several of the health benefits that these exercises have to offer. 

Benefits Of Strength Training and Cardio Workouts In Thirty Minutes With No Equipment

The two types of physical activity that healthy adults should be doing each week to improve their health are aerobic activity (cardio exercise) and muscle strengthening activities (strength training). Healthy adults are encouraged to perform 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week and to do two days or more of muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups – legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.

While 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity may sound intimidating at first, it’s only just 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. And if you’d prefer to spend less time exercising each week, you can also do 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, which is only 25 minutes three days a week, plus two days (or more) of strength training. Some popular aerobic exercise options are walking, cycling, swimming, jogging/running, and aerobic dance. Ski machines, ellipticals, stair climbers, and steppers all provide a good aerobic workout, as well.

Some benefits of strength training and cardio workouts in thirty minutes with no equipment are keeping your heart healthy while minimizing your risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, preventing weight gain (or maintaining weight loss), reducing stress, boosting your mood, and increasing your energy levels. You may also be able to lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), and fasting blood sugar (glucose), too.

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Types Of Exercises You Can Do In Thirty Minutes Without Equipment

High-intensity interval training (or HIIT) is one of the best ways to make the most of your short workouts. A popular form of vigorous-intensity exercise, HIIT intersperses periods of hard effort with lighter recovery periods. The key to HIIT is that you’re spiking your heart rate and recovering in short intervals.

Since you can use HIIT-style protocols with many different types of workouts – from cardio to strength training – we’re going to highlight several types of exercises that you can do in thirty minutes without any equipment.

7 Examples Of HIIT Exercises With No Equipment

BUTT KICKS: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, your core engaged, and your hands placed one on top of the other at the small of your back. Jog in place for 30 seconds, kicking your heels high to try to tap your butt.

FAST FEET: Stand with your feet wide, your knees slightly bent, and your elbows bent by your sides. Then quickly alternate lifting your feet slightly off the floor, shifting your weight from your left to your right on the balls of your feet. Continue alternating as fast as you can for 30 seconds.

FOREARM PLANK: Assume a push-up position, but bend your arms at your elbows so your weight rests on your forearms. Next, tighten your abs, clench your glutes, and keep your body straight from your head to your heels. Then hold the forearm plank for as long as you can.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS: Start on the floor in plank position (on your palms). Quickly pull your right knee toward your chest. Then immediately switch sides. Repeat for 30 seconds, continuing to alternate sides as fast as you can.

REVERSE LUNGES: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your core engaged. Step back with your right foot and bend both of your knees to sink into a lunge, while making sure that you’re keeping your core engaged, hips tucked, and your back straight. Return to your starting position by pushing off your right foot and stepping forward. Then repeat on the other side and continue to alternate sides. Try to do as many repetitions as you can in 30 seconds, while maintaining proper form.

BODYWEIGHT SQUATS: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, your toes pointed out slightly, and your arms at your sides. Initiate the movement by sending your hips back as if you’re sitting back into an invisible chair. Bend your knees to lower down as far as possible with your chest lifted in a controlled movement. (Make sure to keep your lower back neutral as you do this.) Then press through your heels to stand back up to the starting position. Then repeat. Try to do as many bodyweight squats as you can in 30 seconds, while maintaining proper form.

ONE-LEG BRIDGE: Start by laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Raise your right leg to the ceiling and lift your hips up and down. Continue (slow and controlled) for 30 seconds. Then switch sides.

When doing HIIT workouts, try to complete each move for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. At the end of each circuit, rest for 60 seconds before doing the circuit again.

It’s also important to warm up before you work out and cool down at the end of each training session. Make sure that you’re staying hydrated during your workout, as well.

Effectiveness Of 30-Minute Workouts With No Equipment

At-home bodyweight workouts allow you to work pretty much every muscle in your body. They’re also an extremely effective way to build muscle, while also getting your cardio in. And just because a 30-minute workout may be shorter than some other workouts, it doesn’t mean that it’s any easier or any less effective than longer workouts.

In fact, since HIIT workouts are so challenging to your muscles and your cardiovascular system, you shouldn’t do HIIT more than two or three times per week. You should also always make sure to give your body at least 48 hours of rest between training sessions in order to allow your body to properly recover.

5 Examples Of 30-Minute Workouts Without Equipment

Now that you’re familiar with some of the moves, try one of these 30-minute workouts without equipment: