In an article recently published on Medium called “Put Down The Pink Dumbbell,” Zeynep Tufekci wrote about some misconceptions people have about exercise. At one point she noted: “Last year, New York Times health blog, the Well had back-to-back viral stories: first, how to exercise in seven minutes, and then how to exercise in one minute. There are a constant stream of allegedly better, novel ways to exercise.”

Obviously, people nowadays are looking for a quick fix when it comes to exercise, and everyone seems to think they can shortcut the process to better health. To these people I’d just like to say that in life there are no short… comings when it comes to cutting corners!

Welcome to the 30-Second Workout, where we take the work out of your workout.

In just 30 seconds a day you can get in shape and feel as great as victory tastes. If you’re like me and loved the sound of the one-minute workout but were all, “yeah right — where am I going to find that kind of time?” Then this is the workout for you.

It’s all of the benefits, none of the effort — which, as we all know, is how smart people get things done.

With the 30-Second Workout (copyright pending), there’s no need to leave your home or office, my superbly efficient friend. No gyms to navigate, no full minutes to waste — it’s simply never-before-seen fitness techniques designed to get you feeling amazing. You ready? Let’s proceed.

The 30-Second Workout

Make sure to go through the entire circuit as quickly as possible. Remember you only have 30 seconds, so make them count.

Part 1: Warm Up / Salutation

Kneel down with your hips directly in line with your knees. Sit all the way back so you’re sitting with your legs tucked beneath you. Close your eyes and imagine you’re floating on a sea of tranquility. This position is called the Sitting Duck.

You’re now officially in the 30-second workout zone.

Part 2: Arms

Stand up. Pick up something lightweight but bulky, like a wool sweater. Hold it evenly in both hands and extend arms up overhead. Bend at the elbows and lower the sweater until the wool is over your eyes.

Do this once then move on, you don’t have all day.

Part 3: Legs/Core

Hold your stomach in and bend your knees like you’re sitting in a chair (note: do this over a chair). Now, sit back all the way. Are you sitting down? Good, because I have some bad news — results of the 30-second workout are not guaranteed.

You have no time to dwell on this, move on to the final step.

Part 4: Cool Down / Stretch

(Note: requires a partner.)

Lie down. Specifically, lie down on your back with one leg in the air. Have your workout partner help you extend your raised leg as far as possible. Make sure not to manipulate or cajole the lifted appendage in any way, it should simply feel like someone’s pulling your leg.

Change legs and repeat.

And that’s it, folks. Studies* show that just 30 seconds a day can take you from flab to fab, no sweat equity required.

*I’ve yet to conduct any studies. I keep meaning to but I can’t find the time — if it’s not one thing, it’s another.

its always something

(For best results: Combine 30-second workout with moderate exercise 3-5 days per week. Sorry.)


Questions (Serious ones. No more nonsense):

How much time do you spend working out per week? (It takes me many, many hours of exercise per week to look like a regular person who could really use some muscle tone.)

Are you happy with your current schedule or do you wish you could increase/decrease frequency?

Do you have as much trouble sitting still at a desk all day as I do?

Speaking of sweat equity, how much do you sweat compared to a normal person? (If you converted the amount of water I lose per workout into snow, I’m pretty sure it would rival Boston totals)


38 Thoughts on “The 30-Second Workout

  1. I rather just have sex. Might take longer, will do more.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Lunch in Seconds : My Spiral Slicer Spiralizer Review + Giveaway!My Profile

  2. kathy c on March 11, 2015 at 8:13 am said:

    first of all, i’ve seen you in a bikini post-gummy bear bag and you lie — you have abs so shut your piehole! 😀

    seeing that i’m on work fuck off time, i workout all the damn time. as in the only rest day is saturday. sun, wed, fri i have muay thai; mon, tues are at the gym being an ahole bro (lifting + circuit training) and thurs is yoga so i can be all kumbiya with myself and loosen up from all the ahole bro lifting.

    i do think i need to slow my roll and take more rest days even though i don’t really want to….i’ve had this giant knot in my back for days so i’m taking thursday off and going for a 90min massage.

    • I WANT YOUR LIFE! You must be in killer shape and looking hot — which is the norm for you, so just business as usual. I’ve been protecting my abs this winter under a layer of blubber, I just hope they manage to find their way out for spring #LostForever #AggressiveHibernation . Good for you getting that massage — treat yo’ self!!

  3. So you’re saying I can look like Giselle in JUST 30 seconds?? Haha the “mini” workout just seems a little ridiculous to me. It takes most people 7 minutes just to break into a sweat!
    I average 4 days a week for about an hour per workout. That’s actually plenty for me!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…WIAW- Balance is a work in progressMy Profile

  4. Love, Love, LOVE your 30 seconds workout…I believe in being efficient where every second counts…I workout at least 1 hour – 5 days a week…I’m thinking if I broke that down to 30 seconds a day I would have so much more time to manage my daughter’s life and tell her what and how to do it!!!! Love this!!!!
    Carlotta recently posted…AMEN!My Profile

  5. My workout schedule varies a lot! Some weeks I’ll go 3 days, some weeks 4… it really depends how motivated I’m feeling. But I always try to make sure I’m generally staying active, because yeah… sitting still for too long doesn’t work too well for me. In fact, I’m not sure I even have the ability to sit still… I’m always fidgeting.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. flourless morning glory muffins .My Profile

    • Me too! Having to sit at a desk all day is torture for me. I need to move, get up, focus on different things, sweat a little, come back, etc. (Thats in an ideal world, of course) And yeah 4 days per week for me seems to be the sweet spot.

  6. DUDE I can’t tell you how happy I was to see your comment on my blog- so good to have you back in the HLB world :)! Hope you are doing well…I missed your humorous posts! Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to fit in 4-5 workouts a week although I’ve really scaled back the intensity- can’t say I mind though :)!
    Khushboo recently posted…Why I stopped Kayla Itsines Bikini Body ProgramMy Profile

    • I miss the blog world SO much when I have to focus on work for extended periods of time — your post today made my life bc the timing was so perfect. Where else does that happen?! (Only on the internet :) ) And yep- that 4 workouts per week is my sweet spot (This 5-day/wk kick I’ve been on lately is thus far no bueno)

  7. You’re such a goofball. I’ve missed you! I promise I won’t go away again (is this the end of a Nicholas Sparks movie?) but for real. I need these kinds of posts in my life. Keep em coming!
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…Currently: Top Five Food BuysMy Profile

  8. Go ahead and copyright your 30-seconds. I’ll be over here working on the 29-second workout… because why waste that extra second? I like my schedule, usually working out 5 days a week and then doing some stretching and whatnot while I watch TV or maybe even yoga on my rest days. If we compared my sweat to snow, I’d pretty much be Elsa. …yes I am a dude that just made a Frozen reference, I’ll hand in my man card now.
    Chris recently posted…2015 CrossFit Open WOD 15.2 RecapMy Profile

  9. Hahaha! The 29-second workout is going to put me out of business! I don’t count yoga as rest days, so by my count you work out 6-7 days a week. Well done sir. And you made my day with that frozen reference. No need to hand in that man card — laminate it.

  10. Right now I’m on the mend, but I can do this workout!!!

  11. I love this!!! It always makes me laugh to think that a workout or diet will work automatically!!!
    I actually like working out and usually get at least 1 hour (often more) a day – starting at 5:00am!!!
    I got a standing desk to use at home so that when I’m on my computer I don’t feel like such a slug!!!
    Kim recently posted…Not Every Day Is PerfectMy Profile

    • I’m SO jealous of your standing desk!! I was talking to a physical therapist a couple months ago bc my back was spasming and I was like “should I cut back on barre? Strengthen certain muscles?” and she was like “Stop sitting down whenever possible — it’s the worst thing for you”

  12. If I don’t sweat everyday my ass turns to a pile of mush. I try to experiment with being lazy, and then shit just gets ugly.
    Brittany recently posted…Sharing SecretsMy Profile

  13. Haha. Well done! This is a good one!

    I spend less time working out than I used to. I usually only have about 40 minutes from the time my son goes down for a nap until he wakes up so I try to make the most of it. I honestly just wish I had more time to enjoy myself because I am constantly waiting to hear him cry while I am working out, which makes me anxious!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Cyber Friends Not EnemiesMy Profile

    • Yes it absolutely makes sense you have less time nowadays for workouts (and well, everything) with the baby! I give you credit for trying to do it during naptime I have a feeling I would sit on the couch and not be able to move :)

  14. I am doing this workout for 30 days and if it works…..we’re marketing it. The 30 day shred..ded carrots.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday Link Party #214My Profile

  15. 30 seconds? Whaaaat?
    I love your suggestion to pair it with a “real” workout lol
    I try to do something at least 3-4x/week. I’m VERY into at-home, HIIT workouts – super effective and super fast (not 30 seconds fast, but ya know!?)
    Sammy @ Peace, Love and Ice Cream! recently posted…Pics from my Orangetheory Fitness Photo Shoot!My Profile

    • LOL totally — I almost consider my workouts at-home bc the studio is about a block from me, otherwise i’d be able to talk myself out of it easier — proximity is everything!!

  16. So, I totally read the 30-second workout part in the voice of Guy Smiley (the game show host from Sesame Street), because it *needs* to be an infomercial. This must happen.

    As for gym time/sweat equity, I go to the gym or run 5-6 times per week, but I do it that often because it’s the one thing standing between me and abject insanity. Like, I turn into a cranky banshee if I don’t exercise on the regular. So, in an effort to spare myself and everyone around me from that horrid fate, I get those little endorphins going as often as possible.

    The one problem is that I sweat like a wildebeest. It’s disgusting. I see all these other women in the gym, seemingly glistening with a dewy complexion…while I turn beet red and sweat pours off me while soaking through my shirt. It’s not a pleasant sight.
    Lillian @ Seize the Latte recently posted…Springing ForwardMy Profile

    • Hahaha ok 1. guy smiley!! thats the reference of the week. 2. i completely agree – working out is great for physical health blah blah but really it keeps me sane too. 3. what is with those women who glisten?! i even wonder how they’re pulling off certain colors and not sweating through them — i pretty much have to stick to black workout gear.

  17. Oh dang – I got to the disclaimer to realize you had the wool pulled over my eyes – you were pulling my legs with your quick 30 second workout! Gah – now I gotta go back to my 45 minute one! Grrr!!!
    Hey – remember when people were selling empty large mason jars on ebay saying they were “Ghosts in a jar” well, if I were to use my workout sweat, I think I could fill three of them large mason jars easily! Yes – I am a sweat-a-lotta! But it’s weirdly cleansing! I mean – it gets rid of any lingering BO from any garlic and spices eaten the night before! 😉
    Charlotte – seriously – thank you! I needed a laugh today and you delivered! You rock lady! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Blueberry Milk Rice “Kiribath”My Profile

    • Aww thanks Shashi!! And I agree that the sweating is kinda therapeutic — people might stand a little farther away from me than normal, but I feel really good after sweating everything out. (Lol ghosts in a jar! I somehow missed that trend — thats hilarious!)

  18. Hahaha ok this is brilliant. (I almost wanted to post anonymously pretending I couldn’t understand why this wasn’t ‘working’ for me 😉

    I do get tired of reading gimmicky exercise plans – I just think the lamest excuse for anything pretty much is ‘I don’t have the time’ – I can’t help but think of that (somewhat obnoxious) inspo quote ‘You have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce’…
    Cat recently posted…WIAW #59: Food In LisbonMy Profile

    • Hahaha im pretty sure beyonce has figured out how to get more hours- clones maybe? who knows, but now I’m feeling like i need to get more productive. And LOL– I’m imagining a comment saying that it wasnt working and I can’t stop laughing

  19. As much as I’d really like to tackle this workout, I’m not sure I can find the time. It’s a little too lengthy and a lot labor intensive for me. Maybe you could consider my needs a little but more in the next one. K, thanks.

    Just Kidding. You crack my shit up.

    On a real note, I workout out anywhere from 3 to 5 times a week on a good week. On a bad week, I might not make it to the gym at all. Gasp. It happens though. My workouts average about 45 minutes with HIIT being the shortest at 30 minutes and yoga being the longest at 1:15 minutes. I’m a big believe in rest days though and think way to many folks in our blogging circle overextend themselves fitness wise and set unhealthy expectations for others. Sad but true.

  20. I too spend a lot of time working out… I could probably not be quite as much of a workout maniac if I only didn’t love food so much and have a slow metabolism! I usually workout 6 days a week. But I also exercise a lot because I feel fab afterwards and love a good sweat sesh. Speaking of sweat, I do a lot of it when working out. If it’s an intense workout, I’m drenched by the end of it!
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…Ending a Fabulous Day with Outdoor Vino’s Rambling Red [Wine Review]My Profile

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