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The best 30-minute workout to keep fitness and strength up for the time-poor

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Let's face it, sometimes committing to an hour-long workout is not always possible in the lives of us busy-bees. Lucky for us, when we have to battle those time restraints, we have plenty of options for a quick but impactful workout. Thought you had an excuse to get out of your workout, didn't you? Keep dreaming, squad! 

We've put together the best 30-minute workout that will allow you to enjoy all of those glorious exercise-induced endorphins while increasing your muscle strength and cardio capacity. For this workout, we've broken it down into legs, core and chest, but note that across your weekly exercise regime, you should be engaging all muscle groups evenly. You'll only need some basic home gym equipment for this one. There's always space in the day for a quick 30-minute power workout. Let's get moving!

Before you do anything, set up your zone. This should include a yoga mat, dumbbells, slam ball, adjustable bench press, your water, a workout towel, and whatever tunes your vibe requires for the workout. 

5 minutes: Dynamic Stretch and Prep

What you'll need: A Yoga mat

  1. Spend the first two minutes running on the spot to get your blood moving and your muscles warm. 
  2. Spend the next three minutes doing dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches are repetitive movement style stretches that encourage blood flow to the muscles you are focusing on. Think side-line athletes warming up before their game-high knees, open/close the gate, heels to bum, side twists, etc.

Yoga Mat Stretching

Yoga mat warmup stretch


8 minutes: Legs

What you'll need: Slam ball and Dumbbell

Reps: (3 exercises x 12 reps each) x 3 rounds

  • Squats: Holding your slam ball in both hands, plant your feet about twice the width of your shoulders and lower down into the squat. As you rise up out of the squat, lift the slam ball into the air to work your shoulders too. Remember to bring your hips forward in your squat and squeeze in your glutes on the up.
  • Lunges: Holding dumbbells in each hand, make 10 deep strides forward, keeping your knees bent and your body low as you transition between strides. Ensuring you are dipping as you get to the bottom of each lunge, take 10 strides back to your starting point. 

    Dumbbell Lunges- Southern cross fitness

    Alternating Dumbbell Lunges
    • Single-Leg Deadlifts: Standing with your feet together, hold your dumbbells in your hands. Lifting one leg, and keeping the other bent at the knee, bend forward and stretch your leg behind youso that your body and leg are parallel to the floorthen squat. Your arms should take the dumbbells perpendicularly to the floor to create a counter-weight to your leg. Repeat on the other leg. 

    5 minutes: Core

    What you'll need: Slam balls, dumbbells and a yoga mat

    Reps: (3 exercises x 12 reps each) x 3 rounds

    • Twist Sit-Ups: Holding the slam ball, sit with your knees bent and your heels on the floor. Lean back to ensure your core is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Twist your body from left to right and touch the slam ball to each side. 
    • Leg Dips: Lying on your back, touch your thumbs and fingers behind your head to stabilise your core. Keeping your legs straight, lower both legs down until you touch the floor and bring them back up until they are vertical.
    • Mountain Climber: Starting in the plank position, lift one knee up in the direction of the opposite shoulder and plant back down. Alternate with the other leg and ensure you do this exercise quickly. 

    8 minutes: Chest

    What you'll need: adjustable bench press, dumbbells and a yoga mat

    Reps: (3 exercises x 12 reps each) x 3 rounds

    • Push-ups: Plant your hands one hands-span away from and in line with your shoulders. Balance on your toes or your knees and lower your body to the floor, ensuring your body is aligned the whole time. 

    Push up

    Push-ups
    • Dumbbell Bench Press: Lying with your back on the bench press, hold your dumbbells in both hands resting just outside your shoulders, ensuring the weights line up with your collar bones. Push your dumbells up, and in over your chest until your knuckles touch.
    • Incline Dumbbell Press: Change your adjustable bench press to sit at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Repeat the same action as above to really hit the same muscle group from a different angle. 

    5 minutes: Cardio

    What you'll need: a treadmill, rowing machine or a gym bike

    • Fast cardio: The best thing you can do for your muscles when they are already warm is to keep them working longer to extend the time your body is burning calories. Make sure you give it all you've got at the end of the workout to really solidify the results.

    We recommend following your workout using a stretching band to stretch out tight calves, to create tension between your shoulders when held overhead and it also helps to isolate tight muscle groups.

    There are many different ways that you can create a 30-minute exercise regime that ensures you aren't sacrificing your gains made in your regular hour or 90-minute sessions. There's always time to squeeze in a little something to keep your body fresh, so refer back to this blog when times are tight to keep you going! 

    As always, remember to hit us up online or in-store if you are looking to kit your home gym out with our basics! 



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    • Daniel Smith