Let’s face it, some days you simply don’t have time to get to the gym or perhaps you’re on the road and don’t have access to a gym. If you want to get a workout in, but don’t have a lot of time to spare, a 15-minute total body workout is a great way to get the blood pumping and work your muscle groups. And best yet, it doesn’t require any equipment, so you can do it anywhere.
The best total-body workout is short but intense and works all major muscle groups. , so you’ll feel like you got in a full-length session in a fraction of the time. And it leaves no major muscle group untouched. Typically, these workouts alternate between lower body, upper body, plyometrics, and core work, providing both cardio and strength training. They also include exercises that use your own body weight, so no equipment is needed. And, moving through the exercises quickly keeps the heart rate up, leading to a more intense workout.
Here are the steps for a quick, 15-minute total body workout. Do the first six exercises for one minute each two times, with a one-minute rest in between. Then, rest for one minute and do the final exercise for one minute
- Jumping Jacks
- Squat to Curtsy Lunge
- High Knees
- Push-up to Double Shoulder Tap
- Plyo Lunge
- Sit-up to Glute Bridge
- Final Exercise: Broad Jump to Burpee
Here’s the step-by-step for completing each exercise:
- Start standing upright with arms by your sides.
- Jump both legs out while raising both arms above your head until your hands meet.
- Return to starting position.
Squat to Curtsy Lunge
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, arms at your sides or in front of your chest (as shown).
- Engage your core and keep your chest lifted and back flat as you shift your weight into your heels, push your hips back, and bend your knees to lower into a squat.
- Drive through your heels to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top.
- Then, step your right foot diagonally behind you and lower your right knee until it almost touches the floor. Your front knee should bend to about 90 degrees.
- Drive through your left heel to stand back up and return to the starting position.
- Continue this movement, alternating sides for the curtsy lunge each time, for 1 minute.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Run in place, bringing your knees up toward your chest as high as possible. You can either hold your hands in front of you to meet your knees, or pump them along with your legs.
- Keep your chest lifted, core engaged, and land lightly on the balls of your feet.
Push-up to Shoulder Tap
- Start in a high plank, shoulders directly above your wrists, hands shoulder-width apart, palms flat, legs extended behind you, core and glutes engaged.
- Bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor. Drop to your knees if needed (keep your core engaged even in the modified position).
- Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms. Now tap your right hand to your left shoulder, and then your left hand to your right shoulder. Engage your core and glutes to keep your hips as still as possible so that they’re not swaying from side to side.
- To make this easier, try separating your legs a little more.
- Continue, alternating between a push-up and two shoulder taps, for 1 minute.
- Stand with your feet together. Step back about 2 feet with your left foot, landing on the ball of your left foot and keeping your heel off the floor.
- Bend both knees until your right quad and left shin are parallel to the floor, your torso leaning slightly forward so that your back is flat. Your right knee should be above your right foot, and your butt and core should be engaged.
- Push through both feet to jump straight up, swinging your arms overhead to add momentum.
- In the air, switch legs, so that your right foot is now behind you and your left is in front. As you land, lower into a lunge before immediately jumping again.
- Continue this movement, alternating legs, for 1 minute.
Sit-up to Glute Bridge
- Start lying on your back with your hands at your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
- Using your abs, roll your body up until you are sitting upright. You can either cross your arms in front of your chest or hold them straight out by your sides. Slowly lower back down to starting position.
- Squeeze your glutes and abs and push through your heels to lift your hips a few inches off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Pause and squeeze your glutes at the top, then slowly lower your hips to return to the starting position.
- Continue this movement, alternating between sit-ups and glute bridges, for 1 minute.
Finisher: Broad Jump to Burpee
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides.
- Bend your knees into a squat and jump forward about a foot, landing in a squat.
- Reach forward to place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
- Kick your legs straight out behind you into a high plank with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders.
- Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor.
- Push your body back up to a high plank and jump your feet toward your hands so your lower body is in a squat. Backpedal to the starting position.
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