Pressed for time? Make big gains with this super-efficient, muscle-building 30min lunch time workout.
If work deadlines have got you struggling to squeeze in some quality gym time, why not try a lunch time quickie to get the blood pumping. There’s no need to miss a session when you can smash out this muscle-building, fat-burning workout in just 30 minutes and be back at your desk before the boss even notices you’re gone.
Developed by experienced fitness professional Tom Cruz, the idea of this program is to make the most out of your session with minimal time. The gym will probably be busy during your lunch break, so finding available equipment/machines will be difficult. Nobody’s got time to wait around and ask, “How many more sets do you have?” Efficiency and effectiveness are the name of the game.
To get this full body workout done in 30 minutes, jog to the gym as your warm up, quickly grab the following equipment and set them up.
All You Need:
- Medicine Ball
- Exercise Mat (optional)
Using the following combination of exercises one after the other is the best way to maximize your time because you’re building strength while also working your cardiovascular fitness at the same time by minimising downtime and keeping your heart rate up.
30min LUNCH TIME WORKOUT
LUNCH TIME WORKOUT EXERCISE #1
SUPERMAN – ( 15 REPS )
A great exercise to start with as it strengthens and stretches your lower back. Additionally, it prevents lower back pains or strains during your workout and can help to relieve tension from sitting at a desk all day.
1. Lay face down on the floor or exercise mat. Keep arms fully extended out in front of you
2. Raise your arms, legs and chest off the floor at the same time while exhaling and hold for 1 to 2 seconds. Inhale and slowly return to starting position.
Targets: Main Muscles – Lower back
Other Muscles: Glutes, Hamstrings
LUNCH TIME WORKOUT EXERCISE #2
AB CURL ( 15 REPS )
This abs exercise will strengthen and provide more stability around the trunk.
1. Lay flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat and hands on your thighs.
2. Using your core, slowly curl your upper body up letting your hands slide up your thighs and reaching your fingers over your knees. (Advanced option: wrists go past the knees.)
3. Slowly return to starting position
LUNCH TIME WORKOUT EXERCISE #3
FORWARD LUNGE WITH ROTATION ( 20 REPS EACH LEG )
Your core should already be nice and warm from the first two exercises. Not only does this exercise target your torso, it also targets your legs.
1. Stand with legs hip-distance apart, holding a medicine ball in front of you at chest level.
2. Take a stride forward with your left leg and lunge by bending your back leg 90 degrees down towards the ground. Do not allow your front knee to go past the toes.
3. Rotate your torso to the left with the medicine ball and squeeze your abs as you twist. Push off your front leg and return to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Targets: Main Muscles: Quadriceps, Abdominals
Other Muscles: Calves, Gluteus, Hamstrings
LUNCH TIME WORKOUT EXERCISE #4
DUMBBELL SQUAT TO BICEP CURL ( 15 REPS )
Progressing from the Lunge to a Squat will get your quads burning. You also target your biceps, prepping to superset that muscle for the next exercise.
1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and holding dumbbells by your side with palms facing the side of your thighs.
2. Keeping abs braced, squat down by bending knees about 90 degrees. Keep body weight in heels without allowing your knees to move past the toes.
3. Stand up, pushing through heels and curl your arms up towards your chest while rotating your wrists so your palms face you. Squeeze biceps at the top then lower to starting position.
Targets: Main Muscles: Quadriceps, Biceps
Other Muscles: Calves, Gluteus, Hamstrings, Lower Back
LUNCH TIME WORKOUT EXERCISE #5
UPRIGHT ROW ( 15 REPS )
This exercise targets the shoulders as well as the biceps.
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees soft and body upright, holding barbell in front of you with an overhand grip and hands next to your thighs.
2. Keeping the bar close to your body, exhale and use your shoulders to lift up the bar, raising your elbows up and out to the side and keeping them slightly higher than your forearms. Bar should be in line with your chest.
3. Hold for 1 second at the top and control the weight back to starting position.
Targets: Main Muscles: Shoulders
Other Muscles: Biceps
LUNCH TIME WORKOUT EXERCISE #6
PUSH UP – WIDE ( 15 REPS )
1. In push up position, have your arms wide apart with your palms facing in and fingers out to the side.
2. Support your body in a plank position on your toes (or knees for less resistance) without dropping hips to the ground. Inhale and bend elbows lowering the chest to the floor.
3. Using your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to starting position by extending elbows.
Targets: Main Muscles: Chest
Other Muscles: Shoulders, Triceps
LUNCH TIME WORKOUT EXERCISE #7
REVERSE GRIP – BENT OVER ROW ( 15 REPS )
You can’t have a full body workout without working your back.
1. Stand upright while holding dumbbell with a supinated grip (palms facing up).
2. Stick your butt back by bending from the hips, bend your knees slightly and bend your upper body forward. Keep your core braced and a slight arch in your back with head up. Your arms should hang in-front of you with dumbbells in line with your knees. This is starting position. (Note: Avoid slouching your back!)
3. Keeping this position, lift up dumbbell as you exhale out, keeping elbows close to your ribs and squeeze your back muscles at the top position. Return arms back down to starting position.
Targets: Main Muscles: Middle Back
Other Muscles: Lats, Shoulders, Biceps
*Not recommended for people with lower back problems.
LUNCH TIME WORKOUT EXERCISE #8
BURPEES ( 10-15 REPS )
Finish the set with this full body, fat-blasting exercise. Burpees will get your heart rate pumping and boost your cardio and endurance.
1. Begin standing with feet shoulder width apart.
2. Lower body into a squatting position and place hands on the floor.
3. Kick both legs back so you’re in push up position. (*Add a push up in this position if you’d like it to be more challenging.)
4. Jump feet forward to original position, stand up and jump into the air while reaching your arms overhead.
Rest for 30 seconds and repeat from the start to complete 2 full rounds. Your heart rate will be racing from the burpees, so starting the set with a low intensity exercises such as the Superman followed by the Ab Curl will help decrease your heart rate gradually and give your body more time to recover. This will help keep your form sharp and avoid injuries.
Targets: Main Muscles: Chest, Quads, Hamstring, Gluteus
Other Muscles: Shoulders, Triceps, Abdominals, Hip Flexor
Tom Cruz is a fitness professional, weight loss expert and professional mixed martial arts athlete who has been running Exercise101 for over 7 years, helping hundreds of Sydneysiders to achieve their body transformation goals and enhance their lives.