Burn calories and build muscle with this 20 minute no-jump lower body workout

You don’t need any equipment either!

Woman doing lunges
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Your fitness journey doesn’t have to take place in the gym with weight plates and barbells. In fact, you can start it right now at home with this no equipment, lower body workout. It's ideal for beginners and will help build muscle and elevate your heart rate to get those calories burning. Just grab your workout shoes and get ready to work for 20 minutes. 

As well as being able to do bodyweight workouts wherever you like, they’re also an effective way to build muscle. According to health and fitness app Fittr, a study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics found that bodyweight exercises were just as effective at building muscle as weight training, especially for beginners. Your lower body also houses your largest muscle groups and working them requires more energy (burning more calories) than your upper body).

This workout from Sweat Founder, Kayla Itsines has five exercises for you to get through. Some of them combine two exercises into one, so you can fit more in, essentially giving you more bang for your buck. It's quite high-intensity, in order to keep your heart rate up and burn more calories. You’ll do each exercise for 12 reps, with a 30 second rest in between each one. Once you’ve completed one round, rest for a minute and repeat the workout three more times. Here’s your workout:

  • Squat to calf raise 
  • Reverse lunge with knee drive
  • Glute bridge 
  • Donkey kick and fire hydrant (reps both sides)
  • Standing X crunch 

Once you can do this workout quite comfortably, it's time to make it more challenging! Progressive overload (gradually increasing the intensity of your workout), is key for bodyweight workouts if you want to build muscle, as your muscles need to be challenged or they won't grow. You can do this by completing this workout with a pair of dumbbells, decreasing your rest time, or increasing your 12 reps (why not do 15?). 

If you fancy a completely different workout next, give this four-move dumbbell workout a go, or here's another six-move lower body session using just your bodyweight.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.