The Perfect 30-Minute Workout For You

Spoorthi, the strength coach at, tells us how to set aside 30 minutes of our day to invest in our health.

Fitness does not have to be ‘all or nothing’.

If you don’t have time for a one-hour workout today, you don’t have to skip it.

You can instead do something for a shorter duration. After all, something is better than nothing.

If you are a working professional spending hours sitting, these simple exercises can all be done together as a workout or even individually for a short duration during your breaks.

1. Squat hold

All that sitting can really take a toll on your body and could also cause muscle imbalances.

It could tighten the hip flexors or the muscles in front of your body, and weaken the glutes.

The squat hold is an exercise that is easy to perform and yet super effective.

How to do it

  • Keep your feet in a shoulder width position with your toes pointed slightly outwards.
  • Descend down by pushing the hips back and knees in the direction of your toes.
  • Go as low are your mobility allows and stay there.
  • Ensure to keep your upper body upright and heels down on the floor.

2. Planks

The plank is one of the most fundamental exercises which will help you to strengthen your core.

How to do it

  • To perform this exercise, get in a prone position with your elbows and toes on the floor.
  • The rest of the body should be off the floor. Keep the shoulders, hips and knees in line.
  • Engage your core by contracting your abdominal muscles.
  • Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute for best results.

3. Side plank

Once you get comfortable with the plank, it’s time to engage the oblique muscles.

How to do it

  • Perform the side plank by having one palm under the shoulders.
  • The same principles of plank apply where the body is aligned and core is engaged.

4. Push ups

Push-ups can be slightly challenging if you aren’t practicing your planks regularly.

However, if you do this regularly, it is great for building upper body strength.

While it might seem difficult at first, focus on the progressions and it’ll eventually seem easy.

How to do it

  • The foundation of the pushup is the high plank position with palms under the shoulders, and shoulders, hips and knees in one line.
  • Now lower the body by bending the elbows.
  • Remember to keep your hips extended and core engaged.
  • Drop the chest close to the ground and rise up by extending the elbows.

5. Dynamic hip flexor stretch

This movement is great for stretching out those hip flexors which tend to get tightened with long hours of sitting.

How to do it

  • Have one leg in front of the other. One knee rested on the floor.
  • Ensure your abdominal muscles are contracted and upper body is upright, and slightly push your hips forward. You should feel a nice stretch in the front of your hips at this position.
  • Hold it for 3-4 seconds and repeat again.
  • Perform for a total of 30-40 seconds and repeat on the other side.

6. Bent over Ys

All that constant sitting can often lead to stress in the shoulder muscles.

The bent over Ys will help to activate the muscles and also ensure better mobility.

You can perform this movement by learning how to perform the hinge:

How to do it

  • With feet hip width apart, lean froward with your upper body.
  • Keep the knees slightly bent with upper body almost parallel to the floor.
  • Now raise both your arms overhead. Keep the elbows slightly bent.

7. Russian twists

The Russian Twist is the best exercise to tone your abs and obliques.

How to do it

  • Start in a seated position with your knees bent, now slightly lift your feet off the floor.
  • Use your hands and twist your upper body to one side and then to the other.
  • Keep repeating for 30s-40s and do it 5-6 times.
  • Don’t forget to rest 20s-30s in between each.

8. Bridges

This movement helps build posterior chain strength for the glutes, hamstrings and the lower back.

How to do it

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • Your feet to be placed roughly hip width apart with the feet completely on the floor.
  • Raise the hips by squeezing your glutes.
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds and lower the hips back.
  • While the hips are up, ensure to keep it in line with the knees and not to hyper extend it.

9. Shoulder taps

This movement basically sets up the foundation for the planks, side planks and pushups, but is also great for your shoulders, core strength, and stability.

How to do it

  • Start in a high plank position, shoulders hips and knees in one line, and palms under the shoulder.
  • Tap the right shoulder with left palm and similarly on the other side.
  • Keep performing it for 20-30 seconds.

Additionally, you can do all the movements for 30 seconds in a circuit manner with 10-15 seconds of rest between the movements, such as below :

  • Squat Hold
  • Plank
  • Dynamic Lunge stretch
  • Shoulder Taps
  • Russian Twist


  • Squat hold
  • Push ups
  • Side plank
  • Bent over Y raises

Spoorthi is a professional dancer, strength, conditioning and nutrition coach at She holds an ISSA Specialist certification in strength and conditioning and a PN (Precision Nutrition) L1 certification.

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