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Full-Body 30-Minute Workout

author image Sari Hardyal
Based in Dayton, Ohio, Sari Hardyal has been writing fitness, sports, entertainment and health-related articles for more than five years. Hardyal holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Miami University and is pursuing her master's degree in occupational therapy and her doctorate in physical therapy. She is a certified personal trainer with the National Federation of Professional Trainers.
Full-Body 30-Minute Workout
A woman is drinking water on a running track. Photo Credit Dan-Edwards/iStock/Getty Images

Some people have the misconception that you need to spend at least an hour or two in the gym each day to lose weight and sculpt your body. This is not true. You can get a full-body workout in 30 minutes. You can choose a 30-minute workout that you can do at home or in the gym, and can supplement the weight training and sculpting exercises with cardio exercise three to five times each week.


Workouts are designed to tone and build muscle, decrease fat and increase your energy. A 30-minute full-body workout is designed to train and tone your entire body in a short period of time. The keys to a successful 30-minute workout include entering the gym with a plan, knowing how to perform each exercise and managing your time well inside the gym. Plan on spending the first three to five minutes of your workout stretching your muscles. Start from your neck and work your way down, stretching out your back, chest, arms, legs and abdominal muscles. It can be helpful to perform your stretching in a dry sauna, as the heat can help relax your muscles, making them easier to stretch. Spend the next five minutes performing a cardiovascular warmup. You might want to walk or lightly jog on the treadmill, hop on an elliptical or use a five-minute warm-up program on an exercise bike.

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Such 30-minute workouts can be done at home, in the gym or outdoors. You should select a 30-minute full-body workout that best meets your needs and fits what you have available. For example, if you live close to a gym, it might be easy to go to the gym and locate the machines necessary for your full-body workout. If you prefer to work out at home, you can purchase a stability ball and some free weights and do your 30-minute workout there. You can do your 30-minute workout outdoors if you live near a playground or area with an outdoor workout facility that allows you to do pullups as well as offers some open space to do pushups and situps.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is one of the most popular types of workouts to ensure you target all muscle groups within a set period of time. Some gyms are set up with a specific circuit, so you can move from one machine to the next, performing sets of 20 to 25 repetitions of each exercise before moving on to the next machine. The key to circuit training is not to stop and take a break between each exercise. Instead, you should constantly keep moving, and the only time you should stop is to stretch your muscles to warm them up for the next exercise or to take a quick drink of water. It is helpful to set the correct weight on each machine before starting your circuit so you can keep your pace quick when moving from machine to machine. Aim to work each part of the body to fatigue for best results.


Check with your doctor before starting any new workout routine. Stretch and warm up the body parts you will be using throughout the workout, either at the start of your workout or just before working out that specific muscle group. Stop your workout if you become dizzy or lightheaded or if you feel nauseous. Avoid eating a heavy meal before your workout. Instead, drink a protein shake before and after your workout to give you energy and help repair any muscle damage. Don't spend extra time performing an exercise if you set the weight stack too heavy or too light. Move on from that exercise to keep your workout in the 30-minute time range and make a note to add or reduce the weight on that particular exercise next time.

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