Monday, 27 June 2016

A 30-minute Workout You Can Do In Your Lunch Break

It isn’t always easy getting to the gym during the working week.  The 9-to-5 is no longer the 9-to-5, and if (like me) you work from home whilst juggling a family, the free time you once had no longer exists. Life is busy!

It’s a scenario that resonates with online sports and nutrition retailer Met-Rx, which recently invited a handful of fitness bloggers to come up with a mini exercise routine that could be done during a quick 30-minute lunch break.

My programme is one that you could do at your desk. It’s suitable for beginners and requires no equipment – though you could add in weights (dumbbells or ankle/wrist weights - keep them in a drawer) to switch things up and make the workout more challenging. These exercises are some of my favourites and use different muscle groups to work the whole body.

Time is short, so let’s get training!  

Hip Flexor to warm-up

Do five minutes of cardio to get the heart pumping. If I’m at the gym I’ll jump on the bike or cross-trainer (rower or treadmill if you prefer). If office-bound do a minute each of Jumping Jacks, Mountain Climbers, Knee Highs, Reverse Lunges and Crossover Touch & Reach, followed by a couple of stretches (shoulder rolls, hip flexor, calf stretch etc).

Main Workout 

There are four main exercises. Each should take about five minutes to complete, including the short rests between sets.

Bodyweight Squat:  
This first exercise targets the quads (front of the thighs), glutes and hamstrings. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, flex the knees and sit back pushing your bum out (imagine you’re about to squat on a park bench). Continue down close to the floor as far as you can go – keeping your head and chest up, and pushing your knees out - before coming back up again to the start position. Do 20 reps, 3 sets, with 15-30 seconds rest in-between. 

Bench Press-ups:

These strengthen the chest, shoulders and triceps (arms). Place your hands on the edge of a bench (or use your work desk), slightly wider than the shoulders. Step the feet back to a straight line and ensure the shoulders are positioned over the hands. Lower the chest to the desk by bending the arms, then push back up until arms are fully extended. Do 10 reps, 3 sets, with a 30 second rest in-between.

The Bridge/Bum Lift:
This one targets the glutes (bum) and hamstrings (back of the thighs). Lie flat on the floor with hands down by your side and knees bent. Lift the hips off the floor while keeping the back straight and breathe out. Hold for a second or two before lowering the body back down as you breathe in. Do 15 reps, 3 sets, with 15-30 seconds rest in-between each set. To add a layer of difficulty raise one leg as you perform the exercise (as I am doing here in the above pic - don’t forget to alternate the legs!).  


This final one is fantastic for working the abs. Get into a press-up position, then rest your weight down on to your forearms. Keep the body straight, bum tucked in, core tight and hold the position for 45 seconds. Do three, with a 30-second rest in-between.

Cool down
Finish with five minutes of stretches. Phew! I’m off to grab a protein shake!


  1. I really wish I could take advantage of this as it would help so much! I don't get a lunch break :( I am one of these people stuck in the office taking a working lunch at my desk. But also, I have no privacy to even attempt these without getting some funny looks :(
    Maybe I'll keep a note of these exercises though to fit in briefly when I am at home :)

    1. I know what you mean about leading a busy lifestyle. It's difficult to fit everything in. I think employers should do more to help - start a lunchtime fitness club at work perhaps. Tx

  2. Fantastic little work out! I'm doing the #lucylocketloves 30 min workouts at the moment and want to try 21 day fix after that, but will definitely give yours a go at some point too!

    1. Thank you and I hope you have fun doing it. Tx

  3. I need to try this! Thanks for the tips - really need to get motivated to do something to get my ass into shape! x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

  4. I am so saving this post and giving it a try I am a stay at home mum to twins and have two older ones so have zero time for me I can do this when the boys are playing and still watch over them. Will let you know how I get on thanks Lisa X

  5. Great tips! I've been using the gym since October and i'm always interested in looking for more exercises to do on the warm up mats when i start to become bored of the machines.

  6. Girl, you are so strong! I love it! I love all the photos you post on IG and wish I would be that fit. I thought I am fit but I hurt my knee 2 month ago so bad (a tear on my meniscus) that I could only do yoga- I hope I can go soon back to the gym- although I am never able to train as hard as you do my dear friend. Kisses lovely, xoxo, Sissi


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