Exercise Push ups

Photo: Pexels

Ten quick beginner workouts that you can do anywhere – in any space

High Intensity Interval Training and CrossFit style workouts are great ways to get fit when you have limited time and equipment.

Exercise Push ups

Photo: Pexels

Based on the concept of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and the CrossFit training methodology we put together ten workouts that you can do anywhere if you have 30 minutes to spare.

If you have minimal equipment, time, space or you’re on the road, these workouts will enable you to squeeze some exercise into your day.  

Fitness to go

You may think that you need hours in the gym to reap real benefits from working out but it has been proven that High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) effectively increases fat loss and produces muscle.

HIIT is a combination of short yet intense periods of work followed by a period of rest. An example would be a 200m sprint followed by two minutes of rest. Repeat this five times and you have completed a HIIT workout.

CrossFit workouts, like the ones we have created below, use bodyweight movements, specific rep schemes and time frames to keep the intensity high.

The long and short of it

If you need further convincing as to why HIIT is of benefit (besides the fact that something is better than nothing) here is some other interesting research.

It improves cardiovascular health

According to a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the participants who were subjected to HIIT training during the testing saw a marked increase in VO2max and O2 pulse and power output.

Vo2 max is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption and an indicator of cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance capacity. It is also a great indicator of heart and lung health.

It burns fat

Despite the reduced exercise volume and time commitment, HIIT has been proven to have a similar 24-h energy expenditure as long cardio sessions.

This is known as post-exercise oxygen consumption. After your HIIT workout, your body will continue to burn calories as it attempts to bring itself back to its resting state.

It helps maintain lean muscle mass

HIIT has been shown to increase testosterone levels which aid in building and maintaining muscle mass.

While it won’t substantially increase muscle mass without additional strength training, it is beneficial for those looking to lose weight but not sacrifice hard earned muscle.

Ten anywhere, anytime workouts

Make sure you warm up before doing these workouts. A warm-up should take you about four to five minutes and prepare your body for the movements ahead.

An example warm-up:

  • 25 Jumping Jacks
  • Ten Lunges
  • Ten Squats
  • Ten Forward Circular Arm Swings
  • Ten Backward Circular Arm Swings
  • Ten Bow and Bends (Touch your toes and then reach for the sky)
  • 25 Jumping Jacks

Lower body HIIT workout

Complete four rounds of:

  • Ten air squats
  • Ten lunges
  • Ten squat jumps
  • Ten Jumping lunges

Rest for one and a half to two minutes between rounds.

Simple bodyweight workout

In 20 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of:

  • Five Push Ups
  • Ten Sit Ups
  • 15 Squats

The goal is to move at a constant pace. If you have trouble with push-ups you can do them on your knees to limit the range of motion.

Skipping rope HIIT workout

Three to five rounds of:

  • Ten Lunges
  • Ten Burpees
  • 50 single skips or 100m sprint if you do not have a rope

Rest 1:1 which means if one round took you two minutes, you rest two minutes.

EMOM Workout

Every minute on the minute for 15 minutes:
Three pushups + three burpees

The goal is to finish these movements within the minute so you have some rest before starting them again on the following minute.

Longer Interval workout

In five minutes, as many rounds as possible:

15 mountain climbers
Five pushups

REST two minutes then,

In five minutes, as many rounds as possible:
Ten sit-ups
Five pushups


Long Chipper Workout

As quickly as possible complete:

  • 80 Squats
  • 60 Sit Ups
  • 40 Push Ups
  • 20 Burpees

Running Workout

Run for ten minutes – every minute stop and do ten lunges

You can also substitute push-ups for the lunges for an upper body workout.


The Tabata protocol is eight rounds of 20 seconds of work, followed by ten seconds of rest, for a total of four minutes.

Tabata Squats
Rest 90 seconds

Tabata Push Ups
Rest 90 seconds

Tabata Sit Ups
Rest 90 seconds

Tabata Mountain Climbers
Rest 90 seconds

Six rounds for time

15 reverse lunges
Ten V – Ups
Five push-ups

Body weight HIIT workout

Five Rounds of, 45 seconds of work, 15 seconds of rest:
Jumping jacks
Reverse lunges

Get creative

Use what you have around you and incorporate them into your workouts.

Stairs can be used for step ups or jump-ups. A chair or bench can be used for dips. Hell, pick up a heavy rock and carry it for 100m!

Run around things, hang off things, climb. You may look a bit daft in the park but at least you are earning your holiday drinks.

People throw the words “functional fitness” around the gym quite a lot but nothing can get more functional than just using your body to move.

Sure, barbell back squats are great. The stair machine in the aircon with background music is convenient. The post-workout smoothie helps your gains bro, but once in a while, the quick easy basics can do a pretty good job as well.

Remember something is better than nothing.