Your 30-Minute Plate Workout Perfect for Every Gym

There’s nothing worse than getting to your parents’ neighborhood gym during the holidays with the full intention of working out and then having that “now what?” moment. You’re there, but what do you do with what’s in front of you?

This plate workout uses just one piece of equipment that you can find in almost any gym – your relative’s, a hotel’s, whatever. A plate (the kind that you’d see on a barbell) can be used for a pretty killer workout.

If you try this workout, let us know with this short survey!

Here’s your plate workout:

This is a 20-minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workout, meaning you’ll set a timer and continue to go through this set of exercises as many times as you can in 20 minutes, doing 20 reps of each. When you get to the end of the set, you’ll hold a plank for 1 minute, then go back to the top of the set and do it all again.

I used a 25-pound weight for this workout. You can go heavier or lighter, but make sure it’s a challenge for you.

Before you start, do a dynamic warm-up like this one.

You’ll do 20 reps of each of these movements:

  • Plate squats
  • Plate press up from your head
  • Plate row
  • Plate hop
  • Leg lifts with a plate

Hold a 1-minute plank between sets

Here’s what your exercises look like:

Plate squats: Start with your feet wider than your plate so you have space for it to travel as you squat. With your plate facing up towards the ceiling, keep your weight in your heels as you sit your butt down and back, aiming to get your seat down to knee-level. At the bottom of your range of motion, tip the front of your plate down towards the ground and tap it to the floor. As you stand back up, squeeze your glutes at the top of your range of motion and lift your plate up to your chest then press overhead. If it bothers your back to press overhead, just stop the motion at your chest.

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Plate press up from your head: This is a sneaky move. Its short range of motion may have you thinking that you won’t work as hard, but I can assure you, you’ll feel this quickly. Start with your feet hip-width distance and a soft bend in your knees to protect your lower back. From there, take your plate to about one inch from the top of your head. Press up to nearly full-extension, but don’t lock out your elbows. Lower back down and repeat.

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Plate row: With your feet hip-width distance and a slight bend in your knees, hinge forward from your hips, keeping your core engaged and your back flat. Hold both sides of a plate directly beneath your shoulders with your arms extended. Pull the plate up towards your chest, keeping your elbows locked in tightly and pulling your shoulder blades together behind you.

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Plate hop: starting on one side of your plate in an athletic position, keep your knees bent slightly and hop up and over your plate, landing softly on the other side and return to your starting position quickly. To scale this down, you can do the same motion behind the plate or slow down the movement by doing a double-hop on each side of the plate.

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Leg lifts with a plate: With a plate over your chest, lie face-up on the floor, starting with both feet above your hips. Lower your legs down, engaging your core to go through the movement. Only lower down to the point at which you can still keep your lower back pulled down to the floor.

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plank: With your hands under your shoulders, keep your shoulders, hips and heels in a straight line. Hold there.


(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

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About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.