Achieving fitness doesn’t require hours of commitment. Even a 15-minute break can accommodate an effective workout. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans state that physical activity in any duration contributes to significant health benefits akin to longer sessions. Consistency in your workout routine matters more than its length when it comes to achieving results.
Discover these 10 under 15-minute workouts designed for various fitness goals, all conveniently doable without stepping foot in a gym.
Total-body HIIT workout
Experience the ultimate efficiency of a total-body HIIT workout—activating all major muscle groups without the need for any equipment, combining both cardio and strength training in the same session.
Here is an example of a quick workout you can do at home:
- Jumping Jacks
- Side Lunges
- High Knees
- Mountain climbers
- Forearm side plank
- Crab walk
Depending on your fitness level, you can choose a different intensity for your HIIT training.
- For easier intensity: Do each exercise for 20 seconds, then take a 10-second rest at the end of the circuit. Repeat this circuit 3 times.
- For higher intensity: Do each exercise for 30 seconds, then take a 1-minute rest at the end of the circuit. Repeat this circuit 3 times.
No-jumping HIIT workout
To minimize stress on your knees, ankles, and joints, it’s advisable to avoid jumping exercises. In such cases, a low-impact HIIT workout can provide comparable cardiovascular, strength, and fat loss benefits. If you prefer a non-jumping routine, here’s a sequence designed to target your core, lower body, and upper body. Complete 3 rounds for a focused workout:
Round 1 (5 minutes)
- Reverse lunge – 40 sec
- Sidekicks – 40 sec
- Squats – 40 sec
- Bear crawl – 40 sec
- Single leg deadlift – 40 sec on each side
- Rest – 1 minute
Round 2 (5 minutes)
- Plank – 40 sec
- Plank toe touch – 40 sec
- Push-up – 40 sec
- Russian twists – 40 sec
- Deadlift to biceps curl (with dumbbells) – 40 sec
- Diagonal arm kicks – 40 sec
- Rest – 1 minute
Round 3 (5 minutes)
- Walkout – 40 sec
- Bench press – 40 sec
- Scissors – 40 sec
- Hollow hold – 40 sec
- Bridge – 40 sec
- Crab walk – 40 sec
- Rest – 1 minute
Reduced Exertion HIIT (REHIT) is the next level HIIT workout developed by scientists looking for the shortest, most efficient way to exercise. It is based on research that has shown that 2×20-second all-out sprints are enough to deplete up to 30% of the body’s glycogen stores and trigger metabolic changes that increase calorie afterburn and significantly improve aerobic fitness.
CAROL Bike is the only exercise bike fully optimized for REHIT— making it simple, effective, and safe. It provides the shortest, most effective workouts suitable for any age and fitness level – while offering greater versatility and choice than most other smart bikes. It’s scientifically proven to deliver superior health and fitness benefits compared to regular cardio exercise in 90% less the time.
Here is the structure of a REHIT workout:
- Warm up with easy pedaling at low resistance for between 20 seconds and 2 minutes.
- Sprint for 20 seconds, pedaling as hard as you can.
- Recover by pedaling at your warm-up pace for 1-3 minutes.
- Complete a second 20-second sprint, the same as the first.
- Bring your heart rate back down with 3 minutes of easy pedaling.
CAROL Bike is scientifically proven to deliver superior health and fitness benefits in 90% less time compared to regular cardio.
Developed with the world’s leading exercise researchers to help develop the shortest, most effective workout.
Strength workout for cyclists
To enhance your cycling endurance and performance, it’s crucial to prioritize specific muscle groups engaged in bike riding. Cycling can create muscle imbalances by placing greater stress on certain muscles than others. That’s why targeted strength training should encompass more than just the quads, glutes, and hamstrings involved in the pedal stroke. The core, back, and arm muscles play a pivotal role in maintaining stability and proper posture for optimal performance.
Here’s a workout to improve your cycling fitness:
- Dumbbell deadlift (targets your glutes, hamstrings, quads, lower back, and biceps)
- Side step-up with leg lift (targets outer glutes and improves balance)
- Single-leg bridge (targets glutes)
- Squats (targets your quads, glutes, and hamstrings)
- Lunges (target your quadriceps, hips, and hamstrings)
- Swimmer (targets entire back)
- Plank (targets your core and upper body)
- Burpee (targets the entire body and improves endurance)
Do each exercise for 1 minute with a 30-second rest in between.
Muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to hold a contraction or repeat a certain movement for a prolonged period of time. If you want to focus on your endurance, you need to gradually increase exercise time while making rest periods shorter. You can also try the AMRAP HIIT variation—doing as many reps as possible during a certain time frame. Log your numbers and compare them to your next workout to see progress.
Here’s a list of 10 efficient exercises you can do to push the limits of your endurance:
- Jump rope
- Jumping jacks
You can do each exercise for 30 seconds, gradually increasing this time to 90 seconds. Or, you can start with a certain amount of repetitions (x10), gradually increasing this number.
Muscle growth workout
You don’t have to sweat for hours in the gym to build strength—the weight of your body, a bench, and a couple of dumbbells will be enough. Here is an effective workout that will help you grow your muscle mass in a few weeks:
Chest and arms:
- Push-up variations (knee push-ups, classic push-ups, or push-ups with shoulder touch)
- Triceps dip
- Biceps curl (with dumbbells)
- Triceps extension (with dumbbells)
- Shoulder press
- Bench press
- Bicycle crunches
- Deadlift with dumbbells
- Dumbbell squat
- Calf raises
- Side leg raises
You can start by doing 8-10 repetitions of each exercise, gradually increasing the number of sets. Alternatively, you can target only 1 body part at a time: e. g. do 3 sets of 10 repetitions of chest and arms exercises.
No gym equipment or outdoor space is required for an effective cardio workout. These simple exercises will elevate your heart rate, burn calories, and can be easily performed in the comfort of your living room.
Warm-up (3 mins):
- Jog in Place (30 sec)
- Rotating toe touches (30 sec)
- Arm Circles (30 sec)
- Lunges (30 sec each side)
- Walkdowns (30 sec)
Workout (12 mins):
- Curtsy Lunge to Reverse Lunge to Hop (1 min)
- Skater Hops (1 min)
- Jumping Jacks (1 min)
- Pop Squat (1 min)
- High Knees (1 min)
- Split Jumps (1 min)
- Butt Kicks (1 min)
- Front Kicks (1 min)
Take a 30-second rest after each exercise.
Even simple cardio exercises can elevate your heart rate and burn calories, in the comfort of your living room.
While dancing may not be the typical choice for a workout, it holds remarkable benefits. Just 15 minutes of dancing can elevate your mood, enhance posture, coordination, and contribute to weight loss as effectively as regular workouts. Various impactful fitness routines like barre and ballet sculpt integrate dance movements into their sessions.
Discover the following dance exercises ideal for your 15-minute at-home workout:
- Stand in plie in the first position: legs turned out from the thigh bone, heels together, toes apart, inner thighs pressed together. Bend the knees and slowly lower the hips 4 inches from your heels. Keep the hips over the heels, the tailbone drawn down. Engage the glutes to return to standing. Repeat 10 times.
- Put your feet in the second position—shoulder-width apart, heels turned outwards. Repeat the same movement lifting your arms up and making a circle with them as you bend your knees. Keep your back straight and core engaged. Repeat 10 times.
- Staying in the same position, extend your arms on the sides, and pulse down. Move up an inch, down an inch 30 times.
- Get back into the first position and stand sideways against the barre holding onto it (you can use a bookshelf or a bar counter instead.) Lift your left arm up and put your left leg behind for a curtsy lunge. Make sure your right knee is in a straight line with your ankle. Go as low as you can in curtsy lunch, then do a sidekick with your left leg. Alternate the movements 10 times, then repeat on the other side.
- Stand in the first position facing the barre. Bend your left leg and point your left foot behind the right knee creating a triangle. From this position, lean forward to the bar while lifting your left leg and extending it in a straight line with your body. Lift the chest to come back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Sit on your side, keeping your bottom leg straight and your upper leg bent with your foot pointed at the ground behind. Place your bottom arm right below the shoulder and push your body up extending the right arm above your head. Go down on the floor. Sitting on the floor, lift your bottom leg. Keep the left heel flexed the whole time. Alternate movements. Repeat 10 times on both sides.
- Do a ballet jump. Begin in the fifth position, with legs turned out from the hips and right foot in front of the left. Align your front toes to the heel of the back foot. Arms form an oval in front of the body. Bend the knees slightly, brace the core, and jump into the air. Squeeze the legs together in the air. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
This 15-minute yoga flow is a great workout to improve both your body and mental state. You can focus on asanas that build strength, improve balance, and help to stretch depending on your priorities.
- Take 5 breaths in a child’s pose
- Do cats and cows
- Move to downward facing dog
- Lift your right leg into a 3-legged dog
- Move the right leg forward into a high lunge stand
- Turn to the Warrior 2 position
- Turn to Exalted Warrior
- Put your palms flat around your right foot
- Get into a high plank position
- Lower down by down chaturanga
- Bend your back into an upward-facing dog
- Get back to downward-facing dog
- Do the same sequence for the opposite side
- Hold a boat pose for 30 seconds and repeat
- Do 3 glute bridges
- Sit with your legs extended and fold forward
- Do a shoulder stand for 1 minute
- Go to savasana and relax for 1 minute
This short sequence will keep you energized, stretched, and mindful for the whole day.
If you have a rest day between more intense workouts or your body feels tight after spending 8 hours at your laptop, you can always do a low-impact stretching session. Here’s a 15-minute stretch to flex your full-body muscles, improve your blood circulation, and promote relaxation:
- Stand straight and bend forward.
- Cat and cow posture. On your hands and knees, bend your back inwards and outwards.
- Thread the needle. On your hands and knees, reach up with your right arm, then thread it underneath your body to the left. Bend your left elbow slightly leaning to the right side. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended and bend forward.
- Sit in the butterfly position with your knees bent outwards and heels touching each other. Lean forward. Then straighten your back to the neutral position and lean to the sides extending the right and the left side of your body.
- Lay down on the floor, bend your knees, and put your legs on the right side. Extend your left arm to the left and look to the left gently twisting your body. Repeat on the other side.
- Pigeon position. Get into a low lunge, then bring your front knee to the side placing the front leg in front of you. Place your back knee on the floor. Square your hips towards the front of the mat and bring your torso down into a forward bend over your front leg. Repeat on the other side.
Easily achieve diverse fitness goals with these convenient 15-minute workouts, whether in the comfort of your home or at a dedicated workplace space. Customize your routine by selecting your preferred workouts or alternating them based on your mood and priorities.
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