When it's finally warm enough to shed your jacket, taking your workout to the backyard can be a great way to get some fresh air and vitamin D. Especially if you've been working at a desk staring at a screen, a quick 20-minute full-body at-home workout can provide a much-needed pause.
Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.
This standing workout stretches and strengthens basically every muscle in your body. And you won't need to haul any equipment out to the yard — just bring yourself, some water and a pair of comfortable shoes!
Crafted by Matt Cheng, CSCS, this workout requires you to repeat each of these circuits twice, taking a 10- to 30-second pause between circuits. Move at a consistent pace and pause to deepen each stretch or exercise as needed.
Get tips on how to stay healthy, safe and sane during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Move 1: Modified Jack Reach
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands at your sides.
- Slightly bend your left leg, shifting your weight to the left leg.
- Reach your right foot out to the right side about two feet, leg straight.
- Tap the right foot down and simultaneously raise your right arm up overhead, leaning and stretching to the right.
- Pause for a quick moment and return to the starting position.
- Then, repeat on the opposite side, alternating between right and left.
- Repeat for 60 seconds.
This dynamic stretch is especially good for those that are constantly hunched over, Cheng says.
Move 2: Squat to Hip Lift
- Squat down, pushing your hips back and bending your knees to about a 90-degree angle. Keep your chest up and out, shoulders down from the ears.
- Keeping your knees pushing out, hook your fingers under your toes.
- Then, keeping your torso facing down, fingers in place, shoot your hips up toward the ceiling to stretch the hamstrings.
- Return back down to the squat position.
- Then, release your fingers and return to the standing start position to reset.
- Repeat this move for a full minute.
Move 3: ISO Squat Chop
- With feet shoulder-width apart, lower into a squat, pushing the hips back and bending the knees to 90 degrees.
- Keeping the chest up and out, shoulders back, bring your arms out in front of you, interlacing the fingers.
- Keeping your lower body still, lead your extended arms to the left of your body, twisting to torso slightly to the left.
- Then, move the arms to the right, twisting slightly to the right.
- Alternate between left and right for a full minute.
Throughout this exercise, keep that isometric squat in the leg, Cheng says. But if you can't keep good squat form, pause and return to standing as needed.
Move 1: Reverse Lunge Twist
- Step back three feet with your right foot. Keeping the weight in the left side, foot planted, bending the left knee to 90 degrees.
- At the same time, bend the right knee until it hovers just above the ground.
- Hold at the bottom of the lunge and twist your torso to face the left side.
- Then, extend your arms straight out to your sides in a T.
- Pause here for a moment, then reverse the twist and return to standing.
- Repeat on the opposite side, twisting to the right.
- Alternate sides and rotations for one minute.
Move 2: Knee Hug to Inverted Hamstring
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.
- Keeping the left leg rooted, draw the right knee into the chest. Pull the knee up and closer to your torso until you feel a stretch across your right glute.
- Release the knee and brace your core as you extend the right leg straight out behind you.
- As the leg extends, lean your torso forward, keeping a flat back.
- Once your torso is nearly parallel to the ground, drive into your left foot to bring the body back to standing.
- Then, perform this move again on the opposite side.
- Alternate legs for one minute.
The goal is to feel this exercise in the hamstrings as you lower and rise back to standing, Cheng says. If this balance is too difficult for you, you can hold the back of a couch or chair for added support.
Move 3: Straight-Leg March
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.
- Keeping your left leg planted and knee slightly bent, raise your right leg until it's about parallel to the ground.
- Simultaneously, reach for your right toes with your left hand.
- With control, let the right leg and left arm return to start, repeating immediately on the other side.
- Alternate sides for a minute.
Move 1: Low-Back Stretch
- Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, hands behind your head and elbows pointed out.
- Begin to lean your torso to the right side.
- Gradually circle around the front of your body with your torso, keeping your legs in place, arms behind the head.
- As you pass the midline, keep the back natural without forcing it to flatten.
- Then, pass over the left side and return to start.
- Reverse this motion, leaning to the left first.
- Alternate side to side here for a minute.
Move 2: Pivot Lunge
- Stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.
- Pivot your body to the left side until even your toes are facing to the left.
- Then, drop into a lunge, bending the left knee to 90 degrees and lowering the right knee to hover just above the ground.
- Straighten the legs to return to standing.
- Then, pivot to face front again.
- Move to the opposite side, pivoting to the right and lunging with the right leg forward.
- Alternate between left and right for one minute, returning to the center each time.
Move 3: Chest and Quad Stretch
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.
- Bring your weight into your left leg and raise the right heel up toward your glutes. With your right arm, grasp the inside of your right ankle.
- Gently pull the right ankle up and toward your body as you gently lean forward. Pressing hard into your hand with your right ankle, look back at the right heel and slightly twist your torso.
- Pause for a breath, then switch legs.
- Repeat this move for a minute.
Deepen this stretch gently. As you look back over at the raised heel, you should feel a deep stretch across your chest and raised quad muscle.
Concerned About COVID-19?
Read more stories to help you navigate the novel coronavirus pandemic: