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This 20-Minute Beach Body Workout Sheds Pounds and Builds Muscles

A total-body plan with minimal time commitment. What more could you ask for in a workout?

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Say you want to get a little bit fit and, just say, you’re a busy parent and want to do it fairly quickly. Say it would help that it’s a minimal time commitment, requires minimal cash, and utilizes minimal equipment — maybe if you’re in a point in time where access to the gym isn’t feasible (or healthy) and dumbbells are extremely hard to come by online. Well, you’re in luck, because that’s functionally the premise behind the library of the best Beach Body workout plans created by the hugely popular Beach Body workout video brand.

With more than $1 billion in sales for their exercise DVDs, the Beach Body company knows its audience. It also knows how to get that audience in shape, and quickly. To that end, among its most sought-after and best Beach Body workout plan is is the The 21 Day Fix. The premise? In just three weeks, even beginner exercisers can shed inches from his waist while building strength and adding definition to his arms, abs, and legs.

Each Beach Body workout runs about 20 and 30 minutes, meaning in the amount of time it takes to clean up the playroom or fold a load of laundry, you’ll have worked up a sweat and already cooled down to boot. The moves in the Beach Body workouts are a combo of cardio and strength, making this efficient workout one that emphasizes getting your heart rate up in short, high-intensity segments while also building muscle. High-intensity interval training is a tried and true way to get into shape very quickly.

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The workout below is inspired by the Beach Body routine. It luckily requires almost no equipment (just one set of light dumbbells). If you don’t have dumbbells, you can use water bottles, gallons of water, or bottles of wine, which you are likely to have on hand if you’re like us. It also combines upper and lower body sessions into one total-body routine. Do this 20-minute workout three to four times a week, for three weeks, to get the results you’re looking for.

A Note on Beach Body & Diet

The Beach Body 21 Day Fix does not just offer a workout — it has a meal plan that, quite frankly, does a bunch of the heavy lifting. This includes a portion-controlled approach to eating where each meal consists of 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. Overall daily calories depends on your current weight and estimated energy expenditure, but you should generally aim for about 2000 calories a day. So if your above workout isn’t giving you gains, it’s time to look at your intake.

Warmup (3 minutes)

  • High Knees
    From standing, bend and raise your right knee in the air, clasping it with both hands and pulling it to your chest before releasing. (Stand tall on your left leg.) Repeat on left side, then right, etc. (30 seconds)
  • Overhead Reach
    Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, raise both arms overhead. Lift right hand as high to the sky as you can, dropping left shoulder to extend the stretch. Repeat on opposite side. (30 seconds)
  • Squats
    From standing, bend knees and sink hips back as if you are about to sit in a chair, bending your elbows and tucking your arms in toward your chest. Return to standing. Repeat. (30 seconds)
  • Toe Touch
    Keeping legs straight but without locking your knees, bend forward and touch your toes. Hold for 10 seconds. Stand. Repeat. (30 seconds)
  • Side Lunge
    Stand with feet wider that shoulder-width apart. Bend right knee and shift weight over to the right side. Pulse for 15 seconds. Stand straight, then shift weight to left side. Pulse 15 seconds. Repeat on both sides. (60 seconds)

Cardio 1 (5 minutes)

  • Skip rope: 60 seconds
    15 seconds rest
  • Jumping jacks: 60 seconds
    15 seconds rest
  • Skip rope: 60 seconds
    15 seconds rest
  • Jumping jacks: 60 seconds
    15 seconds rest

Arms (2 minutes)

  • 3 x 20 pushups, 10 seconds rest between sets

Cardio 2 (5 minutes)

  • Box jumps: 10 jumps in ~ 60 seconds
    15 seconds rest
  • Sprint drill: Sprint (or run in place) as fast as you can for 15 seconds. Rest 15 seconds. Repeat.
  • Box jumps: 10 jumps in ~ 60 seconds
    15 seconds rest
  • Burpees: 90 seconds

Legs (3 minutes)

  • Bavarian split squats
    Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand facing away from a bench, right leg bent and raised behind you with your toes resting on the bench surface. Bend your left knee until your thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Straighten. Note: Do not let your left knee extend beyond your left toe; adjust your distance from the bench to accommodate. Do 10 reps, then switch sides. 3 sets total.
  • Single legs bench sits
    Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your back to a bench. Shift weight to right side and lift your left leg in front of you. Bend right knee and sink back until your butt touches to bench. Immediately straight back up to standing. 10 reps, switch sides. 2 sets.

Abs (2 minutes)

  • 20 situps
  • 20 crunches
  • 60-seconds plan