Most of us have hectic schedules nowadays, which makes it harder for us to make regular exercise a part of our lifestyles. The truth is there’s no such thing as being too busy to exercise. Your body doesn’t need much to keep it healthy. A 15-minute workout can give your body the stimulation it needs to build strong muscles and keep them toned.
Doctors worldwide recommend getting at least 30-minutes of moderately-intense workouts at least five times a week. You can raise the intensity of your workouts to shorten their duration. Some of the benefits of regular exercise include:
- Helps with weight management;
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular issues;
- Stronger immune system;
- Improved physique;
- Lower stress levels;
- Improved mood, and
- Increased sleep quality.
Simple 15-Minute Full-Body Workout
Here are some straightforward exercises that do not require using any equipment:
Squats target muscles in your legs, like your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It’s an easy exercise that can be done with only your body weight, and you can make it more challenging by holding on to a kettlebell or barbell. To perform a squat:
- Get into the starting position with your feet a little more than hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Tighten your abs and glutes, and keep your chest up.
- Shift your hips backward as if you are trying to sit on a chair and shift your weight to your heels as you drop into a squat.
- Keep going until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor, then push back to the starting position to complete a rep. Try jumping off the floor as you return to the starting position to make the exercise more challenging. Aim for three sets of as many squats as you can do.
Pushups are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises for your upper body. The exercise targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Pushups can also be challenging despite being a bodyweight exercise. People who don’t exercise often typically struggle to complete ten pushups, making it an effective way to develop mass and strength in your upper body.
Here’s how to perform pushups:
- Get into a high plank position with your arms about shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back straight and engage your core as you bend your elbows to drop your body towards the floor.
- Push off the ground with your arms to return to the starting position when your chest is about to touch the ground. Go for about three sets of as many reps as you can do. You can make pushups more challenging by clapping between each rep.
3) Forearm Side Plank
The side plank is excellent for strengthening your oblique muscles, which don’t get engaged as much during conventional crunches or sit-ups. The exercise involves holding your body up with only one arm and foot. Here’s what the exercise looks like:
- Lay down on your side with your legs straight and stacked on each other. Keep your right elbow underneath your right shoulder and your forearm at a 90-degree angle to your body. Make a fist with your right hand and keep your pinky on the ground.
- Tighten your core, keep your neck neutral, and lift your hips off the ground. Your weight should be supported by your right foot and your elbow. You should be able to draw a straight line from your head to your ankles when in the proper position.
- Hold the position for 15 seconds and switch sides. You can increase the duration of the holds as your body gets used to the exercise. You can transition to an extended plank with your hand on the ground instead of your forearm to make the exercise more challenging.
Lunges are another effective way to target the muscles in your legs. They can be more challenging than squats since each leg is isolated during your reps, forcing it to do all the work. Mix lunges with squats to ensure your leg muscles get a proper workout.
Here’s what the exercise looks like:
- Get into the starting position, standing upright with your feet hip-width apart.
- Take a giant step forward with your left leg. The step should be larger than your usual walking stride. Keep your feet pointing straight ahead the entire time, and make sure your knees never go past your toes.
- Bend your knees until your thighs and lower leg form a 90-degree angle. Keep your abs and glutes tight as you complete your reps.
- Push off your front leg to return to the starting position to complete a rep. Now switch sides and complete a rep with your right leg. Aim for three sets of as many reps as you can perform. You can make the exercise more challenging by adding split lunge jumps. This involves jumping during each lunge and landing in the opposite lunge.
5) Shoulder-Tap Blast Off
Shoulder-taps are a simple bodyweight exercise that targets your arms, shoulders, core, and lower back. The exercise is a bit more challenging than conventional planks, but you can simplify things by starting the move on your knees until you get the technique down.
Here’s what the exercise looks like:
- Get into a push-up position and keep your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes and core once you get into position.
- Now, take your left hand off the ground and tap your right shoulder with it. Return to the original position and use your right hand to tap your left shoulder to complete a rep. If you find the exercise too challenging, perform the exercise on your knees instead of your toes. Aim for three sets of as many reps as you can do.
Create Circuits With Your Favorite Bodyweight Exercises
15-minutes isn’t a lot of time, so the most effective way to get a complete workout in a short amount of time is by creating circuits. For example, perform all the exercises listed above without taking any breaks until you’re done with the circuit. Rest for a minute and perform another circuit. You should be able to complete three sets of each exercise in less than 15 minutes, and you also get some cardio.
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