Thursday, March 12, 2009

20 Minute Cardio+Stretch Workout

The common excuse for not exercising enough is “I don’t have the time”. Well, I want to show you a 20-minute cardio workout with stretches. I think everyone has at least 20 minutes. If you insist that you don’t even have 20 minutes for a quick workout, I would like to say that you don’t have 20 minutes to get ready in the morning. Yet, you manage, don’t you? You don’t have 20 minutes to eat, yet you manage to squeeze in a 20 minute break for a meal 3 times a day, right? I am sure that you can manage to squeeze in a brief 20-minute workout, if you have the will. As the cliché goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Here is the brief and simple cardio workout with stretches that I recommend on the days when you “don’t have the time”. It is for people who have access to a treadmill and an elliptical trainer. Do not take out any components as this is already a bare minimum workout. Again, 20 minutes is not impossible.

You might also want to do this with your partner, your friend, or your son/daughter. It could be a chance to bond with someone you love since it is very likely that you also “don’t have time” to bond with your loved ones. This is a better way to spend time with a loved one than sitting in front of the TV with them where you don't really talk to eachother. You can totally have a conversation while performing these exercises (after you remember the routine).

(Part 1) 5 Minutes - Treadmill Walk

You should speed walk, but I do not recommend running.

(Part 2) 5 Minutes - Stretches

Standing Quad Stretch

i. Stand in front of a wall on your left leg while drawing in your abs (throughout the whole stretch).
ii. Bend your right leg bringing your right heel toward your butt (as much as you comfortably can) and hold for a count of 30. (Balance on your own if you can, but use the wall for balance if you need to.)
iii. Do the same for your other leg.

Standing Calf Stretch

i. Stand in front of a wall
ii. Bring one leg forward toward the wall for support.
iii. Shift your weight forward while keeping the back leg straight. Hold for a count of 30.
iv. Switch position and repeat.

Hamstring Stretch

i. Lie on the floor facing upward.
ii.Bend your right leg at a 90 degree angle while straightening your left leg.
iii. Grab the back of your left leg and pull it toward your chest
iv. Hold for a count of 30.

Spinal Twist

i. Sit on the floor with left leg straight, and the right leg bent and crossed over the left.
ii. Draw abs in.
iii. Slowly turn your upper body to the right while pulling your right leg with your left arm.
iv. Count to 30.
v. Switch sides and repeat.

(Part 3) 5 Minutes - Elliptical Trainer

For 5 minutes, go as fast as you can (while drawing in your abs throughout the whole exercise).You may switch the direction of your pedaling whenever you like. You can go longer on the elliptical if you have the time, but you must make sure you reserve at least five minutes for the next part (part 4 - stretch).
Note: If you feel faint, nauseous, or do not feel right in other ways, stop and consult a doctor.

(Part 4) 5 Minutes - Stretches
Repeat the same stretches as #2 above

For more lessons like this one, feel free to go to -

For updates of new posts and for connecting with others who like these readings, feel free to “like” the SpirFit page at

No comments: