30 under 30 (30 workouts in under 30 minutes)

Self Care

30 under 30 (30 workouts in under 30 minutes)

Self Care


I love working out! I really wish I could do it more often, but recently time has not been on my side and my usual 5+ hours of exercise each week is more like 2-3 hours. I’ve had to fit in a workout where I can, and more often than not all I can spare is 30 minutes or even less. Luckily there are a lot of workouts you can do in 30 minutes that will still leave you feeling like you have worked hard. I used to feel that unless I had been out running for an hour or spent and hour and a half in the gym (yes really) I wasn’t getting a decent workout. How wrong I was! Now there is growing research that shows that short, intense workouts are more effective for most peoples needs than slower paced longer workouts. I think it all really comes down to what works for you as an individual, if you love running and have the time to go out for long runs, or are training for a half marathon then obviously those longer slower paced workouts are going to be needed. However, if like me, you workout to feel good, keep fit and healthy, and perhaps even lose a few pounds, then you can still do that in 30 minutes 5 times a week or so. 

As much for myself as you lovely readers, here are 30 ideas for workouts that can all be done in less than 30 minutes! These are a mix of tougher HIIT and tabata style workouts, yoga and other random stuff, so hopefully a good selection, enjoy!

1. One of the levels from the 30 Day Shred DVD 

2. Hula Hoop for 30 minutes – make up a fun playlist to keep you going while you do it!

3. Rest in plank and work your core:

NewImagesource (via Pinterest) 

4. 30 minute yoga flow using the Yoga Studio app 

5. Try a Freelectics workout

6. Chill out with a gentle Hatha Yoga flow workout via You Tube

7. Have a go of this quick full body circuit workout:

NewImagesource (via Pinterest)

8. Go outside and run or jog for 30 minutes

9. Do a Tabata workout repeated 3 times like this one on You Tube

10. Get a stop watch or set an interval timer for 1 minute rounds then alternate 5 different exercises for 6 sets. Try squats, lunges, push ups, sit ups and tricep dips.

11. Grab a kettle bell and try this quick kettle bell workout via You Tube

12. Only got 12 minutes? Try this 12 minute full body HIIT workout

13. Team up with Davina and do one of her 30 minute workouts on DVD

14. Do a short and sweet morning workout (or combine them to add up to 30 minutes)

NewImagesource (via Pinterest)

15. Put your favourite music on and dance like a crazy person for 30 minutes!

16. Do this 30 minute high intensity interval workout via You Tube

17. Blogilates has a tonne of quick workout videos that you can pick from

18. Do this 30 minute super detox and weight loss yoga video from You Tube

19. Take a MetaFit class

20. Do the 100 workout:


source (via Pinterest)

21. Go to the gym and do 10 minutes on 3 different cardio machines alternating 1 minute exercising as hard as you can with two minutes recovery

22. Do the house work – yes really! But, after every task do 50 jumping jacks, 40 sit ups, 30 push ups, 20 tricep dips and 10 burpees – and don’t forget to pull in your abs while you do the hoovering!

23. Sign up for a free trial with YogaGlo and take a look at all their 30 minute classes

24. Workout like a man with this full body dumbbell workout from Men’s Fitness

25. Let Jillian put you through your paces again with Yoga Meltdown level 1 via You Tube (ok, just over 30 minutes this one!)

26. Hop on your bike and go out and cycle for half an hour

27. At the gym, do 5 minutes on one of the cardio machines as hard as you can, then do a strength move using dumbbells or machines for 3 x 10 reps, repeat 3 times

28. Do this 30 minute pilates workout for strengthening your core

29. Do the fab Yoga for Runners podcast from Yoga Download (free 20 minute class)

30. Give this 5,4,3,2,1 workout a blast through twice:


Do you have a favourite workout that is 30 minutes or less? Add any links to your faves in the comments! Is finding time to exercise something you struggle with? 

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  1. chrissy grace

    WOW! thats a lot of workouts!!! no excuses then to work out!! its really good to know there are some great exercises that can be done even with short 30minute workout sessions. I find that having consistency is the key its better to do regular 30minute workouts then a 2 hour workout in a blue moon or none at all!! thanks for all the lovely recommendations! xxx

    • Laura

      Haha, yep no excuses! I so agree, consistency is definitely key :-)

  2. Safa

    This is an amazing list! I will be sure to check back whenever I get bored with my workouts and need a change.

    • Laura

      Thanks, hope you enjoy them!

  3. Katie

    awesome suggestions!! Printing this out and hanging it up in my home office!

    • Laura

      Great idea, I need to do that too!

  4. Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    Great suggestions Laura. I just tried a blogilates workout this morning, was great!! I like going on youtube for short yoga videos as well.

    • Laura

      Glad you enjoyed blogilates, they can be harder than they look!

  5. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    These are great ideas! I actually only just found Blogilates and though I think that woman might have had a bit too much Panda Pop the workouts looked pretty good. I tend to just go to the gym classes and they do great 30 minute sessions, like Legs, Bums and Tums. If I’m left to my own devices (unless it’s running) I tend to slack off a little…

    • Laura

      Haha yes she is a bit full on isn’t she bless her ;-) I do like gym classes, sometimes I can’t focus when trying home workouts

  6. catherine

    You hero, totally bookmarking this.

    • Laura

      Thanks! x

  7. Maria @ runningcupcake

    What a long list of fab ideas! Although if I had 30 mins I would almost always choose a run. If not that, a walk in the fresh air. They are my fave two!

    • Laura

      I was thinking this morning that I would have gone for a run if it hadn’t been chucking it down!

    • Laura

      Haha, not at all! I think it’s just handy to have a few quick n dirty workouts when you can’t be arsed with doing any more than half an hour, that’s the deal I make with myself anyways! ;-)

  8. Claire @ Flake and Cake

    This is awesome and super helpful, thanks Laura! Love a good under 30 min workout :)



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