Get fit fast: The 20-minute workout you can do at home

New year, new you

Get fit fast: The 20-minute workout you can do at home

Text: Denise Kok

No time to hit the gym? This one's for you

In 2015, our contributing writer Andre Frois embarked with the personal trainers over at Ultimate Performance Singapore on a fitness journey that took him from flab to fab in just under six weeks. His stunning transformation gave us all the motivation to abandon our Netflix-and-chill plans for some heart-pumping action. Now that we're almost a month into the New Year, we think there's no better time to revisit our fitness goals and have Chris Richards, general manager at Ultimate Performance Singapore, share some exercises you can execute right from the comfort of your home. Let's do this!

Commit to performing the following five exercises in a circuit at least three times a week for 12 weeks. It only takes 20 minutes. Get your workout in first thing in the morning and you'll be revved up for the day.

Get fit fast: Ultimate Performance Singapore workout plan by Chris Richards

Follow Chris Richards below as he demonstrates how to execute each of the above exercises. Be sure to watch your technique and push yourself! 


split squat

Areas targeted: Lower body, glutes, quads, hamstrings

Things to note: You want to have your hands by your side, lift your chest up, and your pull shoulders back. This will stop your body from collapsing or slouching when you go into the bottom of the movement. As you come up, take your time, and avoid resting on your back leg.

Reps: 10-12 per leg. 
Sets: 3
Rest: 15 seconds


Glute bridge

Areas targetedGlutes, hamstrings

Things to noteEnsure your weight is evenly spread across your legs. At the top of the movement, squeeze your glutes together so you get the most out of the exercise.

Reps: 10-12 
Sets: 3
Rest: 15 seconds


Reverse lunge

Areas targetedGlutes, quads, hamstrings

Things to noteSimilar to the split squat, upper body posture is important. Lift your chest and pull your shoulders back. Take your time to observe the tempo and stabilise yourself.

Reps: 10-12 per leg
Sets: 3
Rest: 15 seconds


Partial press-up

Full press-up

Areas targeted: Chest, arms, shoulder, triceps, back, and neck 

Things to noteDepending on what your capabilities are, it's fantastic if you can do a full press-up. Otherwise, opt for a partial press-up so you can focus on the chest and upper body exercise. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Focus on tightening your core and abs, and squeeze your glutes throughout the movement. Lean into the exercise and don't just duck your head down.

Reps: 10-12 
Sets: 3
Rest: 15 seconds


mountain climber

Areas targetedEntire body

Things to noteYou need to stabilise your upper body before moving your lower body where the predominant movement is happening. The drive is coming from the legs. This is a metabolic exercise which will help to get your heart rate up. While something like a burpee is common, there's a lot more impact on your joints when you jump up and down. So the mountain climber is a good low-impact alternative.

Reps: 12-15 per leg 
Sets: 3
Rest: 45 seconds


Introducing weights to your exercises

1. You can increase the number of sets tackled for a more challenging exercise. Alternatively, if you are able to incorporate weights, such as dumbbells or water bottles, it is not necessary to increase the number of sets undertaken.

2. These exercises are accessible to most and you can do them effectively with your own body weight. They also work the big muscle groups in your body. However, the benefit of heading to the gym is the availability of equipment which allows you to build on these basic exercises. 

3. The tempo, or speed, in which you execute each movement is important.  When you're controlling the movement, there's going to be much more energy involved and therefore more effective than just rushing through the motion. You should be able to feel the right muscles working.

Keen to explore a personal training session at Ultimate Performance Singapore? Click here

  • Image:
    Amanda Soon
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