Health – Back to School 30 Minute Workout


Start with a quick 2-3 minute warm-up. Try some torso twists, big arm circles forward and back, and gentle, easy squats. Follow up with a quick stretch and then get the arms and legs moving with a short jog in place or just march a few high knees.

For this workout, you will work in sets of 10. Each block of work will be broken down into four exercises. Complete one set of each exercise, rest for one minute, then move onto the next four exercises.


Block 1 – Warm Up Those Muscles
Good Mornings – Hip hinge with forward reach: With the feet hip distance apart and a slight bend in the knees, tip forward from the hips with a straight spine, reaching the arms forward and overhead as your chest becomes parallel to the floor and your hips press to just behind your heels. Bring the arms down as you engage the glutes and stand tall.
Downward Facing Dog with Opposite Knee Reach – Bring your hands to the floor and walk them out until your body is in an upside-down V, or downward facing dog pose. Reach your right hand up towards your left knee, then set it down and reach the left hand towards the right knee to complete one rep; keep the core engaged by drawing your belly button in towards the spine.
Pointers – Bring the knees down under the hips so that you are on all 4’s with a long, straight spine supported by a strong belly brace. Extend the left arm forward and the right leg back to create a straight line from the fingertips to the toes; set the hand and knee back down and repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.
Shoulder Taps with Knee Hover – From all 4’s, press into the palms and lift the knees 1-2 inches off the floor. Bend the right arm to tap the left shoulder then repeat with the other side to complete one rep. Set the knees down as needed and try to keep the back straight the core engaged.

Block 2 – Get That Heart Pumping
Jumping Jacks – to decrease intensity, take the jump out and just tap your right foot out wide and back in, then the left to complete one rep; to increase intensity, try jumping the feet out into a wide squat and then jump them back in.
Inchworms – bend the knees and bring the hands to the floor, walk the hands out until the body is long and straight in a plank/push-up position; walk the hands back towards the feet and stand tall to complete one rep; to lower the intensity, decrease the range of motion and stop in a downward facing dog position; to increase intensity, add a push-up to your plank position, or bring the hands to the floor and jump the feet back to a plank and back in towards the hands to perform a modified burpee.
Side Lunge with High Jump – step the right leg out wide and bend into the knee to perform a side lunge, then step the right foot back in and jump up and down once; repeat with the left leg to complete one rep; to decrease intensity, take out the jump and lift the heels off the floor while reaching the arms up overhead.
High Knees – Quick high knee run in place; to decrease intensity, march the knees right/left 10 times, or try a quick jog; to increase intensity, pump the arms and try 20 or more reps to reach fatigue.

Block 3 – Arm Work
Tricep Press-ups – Start on all 4’s and bring the forearms and elbows down to the floor, with the shoulders over the elbows and the knees directly under the hips; press into the palms and straighten the arms, concentrating on the contraction of the muscles down the back of the arm; bend the elbows back down to complete one rep.
– Deadstop Push-ups with Arm Extension – start with the arms straight and the shoulders over the wrist; you may work with the knees down or up on the toes; bend the elbows to lay the chest on the floor and extend your arms out to the sides with a slight chest lift; bring the hands back down under the shoulders and push your body back up again, with knees up or down.
Cobra Push-ups – Lay on the belly with the hands directly under the shoulders and the elbows pulled in towards the ribs; keeping the hips on the ground, press into the palms and lift the chest to engage the arms and upper back; try squeezing the glutes to protect the lower back and lower down to complete the rep.
Leg Flutters with Extended Arm Lifts – Staying on the belly, extend the arms out to the sides with a slight bend in the elbows and palms facing down; lift the chest slightly and then lift the feet up and kick them as if you’re swimming; reach the arms up and down 10 times.

Block 4 – Leg Work
Squats with Knee Lift and Twist – With the feet about hip distance apart, sit the hips back and down to a squat (keep the knees tracking over the middle toes for safety); drive the heels into the floor and engage the glutes as you stand to lift the right knee forward, twisting through the torso to bring the opposite elbow towards the knee; sit back into the squat and repeat on the other side to perform one rep; to decrease intensity, leave out the twist or even the knee lift entirely; to increase intensity, try moving with more speed.
Squats with Alternating Backward-stepping Lunges – Perform the squat and at the top, step one foot back into a long lunge bending both knees to approximately 90 degrees; keep the hips square and move slower if you’re feeling unsteady in the lunge; to increase intensity, try jumping from the lunge back into your squat.
Squats with Calf Raise or Jump – Perform your squat, driving out of the heels and lifting them off the floor for a calf raise at the top of the squat; try lifting the arms over head as you press into the big toes to increase your heart rate; for more intensity, jump out of your squat and land softly, rolling back into the heels as you squat back down
Wide Squat Pulses – Step the feet wider than the hips and drop into a low squat; Come up halfway out of the squat then drop back down to perform one rep; to increase intensity, try staying with these until your muscles reach fatigue.

Block 5 – Glute Work
Hip Bridges – Lying on your back, bend the knees and pull the heels in towards the hips; press into the heels as you engage the glutes and lift your hips as high off the floor as you can; try to keep the glutes engages as you lower down to complete one rep.
Bridge Hold with Knee Squeeze – Hold the hips high in your bridge and squeeze the knees towards each other to activate the inner thighs then release without letting the hips drop.
Bridge Hold with Heel Lift – Hold the hips high in your bridge and press into the big toes as you lift the heels up and down.
Bridge Pulses – Lift the hips up high into a bridge and lower halfway down before lifting back to the top to complete one rep; to increase intensity, try staying with these until your muscles reach fatigue.

Block 6 – Core Work
Crunch with Alternating Knee Lifts – Lying on your back with your knees bent and your fingertips by the temples, tuck your chin and lift the shoulders up while reaching the hands towards one knee as it bends up and in towards the chest; repeat with the other leg to complete one rep.
Crunches with Knees Lifted – Lift both knees up over the hips with the shins parallel to the floor; tuck the chin as you lift the shoulders and reach towards to the feet to perform the crunch; option to keep feet on the floor to decrease intensity; to increase intensity, try extending the legs straight and reach up towards to the toes in your crunch.
Shoot-outs – Crunch up with the knees over the hips; extend the arms and legs out straight while keeping the lower back pressed towards the floor and then return to the crunch; to decrease intensity, keep the head and shoulders down as you open the body or tap the toes down and keep the knees bent as you reach the arms overhead.
Bicycle Legs – Lower the head and shoulders and pedal the feet as if riding a bike for 10 total repetitions; to increase intensity, lift the head and shoulders into a crunch and twist the torso to bring the opposite shoulder towards the bent knee and try continuing until the abs reach fatigue.


As a busy mom of 5 kids, I use workouts to manage both my physical and my mental health. And after years of attending group fitness classes, I decided to share the joy I found through exercise by becoming an instructor in 2017 and earning my personal trainer certification in 2019. I know not everyone enjoys working out, so my goal is to help everyone find the fun in growing stronger and healthier, especially as we age.

Sara Postalwait
Grindhouse Training





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