Eight 20-Minute High-Intensity Workouts

Because it’s not about how long you exercise, but how hard the workout is.

Research shows it's not about how long your workout is, but its intensity. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Good news! New research shows workout effectiveness is not about how long you exercise, but how hard the workout is. The Danish study found that those who exercised to the point of perspiration reduced their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 35 to 50 percent. On the other hand, those who walked for an hour each day experienced no reduction in risk of MS, which includes high blood pressure, glucose levels, and large waistlines.

Even better news: We’ve featured tons of workouts that take 20 minutes or less to get you the intense workout you need in the short time you have. Take your pick!

The 20-Minute 100 Workout
This quick calorie-busting routine works every muscle in your body in less than half an hour. (Want to focus on shaping your legs? Try the 100 Workout for Toned Legs. Want Michelle Obama-esque arms? Try the 15-Minute Workout for Toned Arms.)

The Full-Body 5-4-3-2-1 Workout
This is way harder than it looks. If done with intensity, expect to burn about 150 to 200 calories in 15 minutes.

15-Minute Fat-Burning Tabata Workout
just your bodyweight, this workout combines high-intensity intervals
with short rest periods. Each set involves 20 seconds of exercise
followed by 10 seconds of rest.

The In-Office Chair Workout
Stuck in the office all day? No worries—your office chair becomes your new personal trainer with this workout. (Also try our at-home chair workout.)

Grant Hill’s Burpee Tabata Workout
Grant Hill’s workout combines the best of both worlds: Tabata and burpees. We all know the burpee is possibly the best calorie-busting exercise you can do, and doing it Tabata-style will keep burning fat.

Personal Trainer Arron Cowie’s Favorite Workout
Sometimes less is more. Trainer Arron Cowie’s favorite workout involves intervals of 45 seconds of exercise and 15 seconds of rest, using simple exercises such as squats, pushups, and lunges.

5 Multitasking Full-Body Exercises
Get more bang for buck by combining five multitasking full-body exercises into one workout. Want to lose weight? We’ve got a workout. Want to strengthen or tone? We’ve got that, too!

For more workouts, visit Well+Being’s Fit Check page.