15-Minute Workout

Maybe it’s a business trip, or a busy day that has managed to crowd into your traditional workout time. Let’s face it: there are dozens of everyday life circumstances that often get in the way of the perfect workout routine. But what can we do to keep these occasional challenges from becoming excuses to forgo a workout altogether? Sometimes flexibility (of a non-physical variety) is key. Enter the 15-minute workout.

A 15-minute workout routine should be easy to do, shouldn’t take much – if any – equipment, should be able to be performed just about anywhere, and should work the core as well as the upper and lower body. It’s a program you can do at home when you’re short on time, when you’re on the road and don’t have the time/opportunity to hit the gym or go for an outdoor workout – even when you’re in the hoosegow awaiting bail. Alternatively, you can also use it during a “normal” day to break things up.

Before we move on, we should stipulate that we aren’t proposing the 15-minute routine as a basis for your regular workout, but we think it can be a solid, full body program that you can rely on in a pinch.

That said, let’s break down that 15-minute routine. Think “boot camp calisthenics” with short, intense segments of 30 seconds to 1 minute with at least 10 seconds rest between exercises. Here’s a simple option.

Pushups (Do as many as you can do in 30-60 seconds.)
Sitting monkey (Lie on your back with hands at your sides and lift your upper body and legs. Position your arms and lower legs to be parallel to the floor. Do as many as you can do in 30-60 seconds. You get the idea.)
Free squats
Handstands (Walking your feet up and down the wall)
Burpees (video example)
High-step run
Inchworm (Beginning in standard push-up position, walk your feet toward your hands and then back again to initial position. video example)

Repeat as often as needed for a 15-minute program, but the sky’s really the limit. You can always make up new exercises using a towel, a chair, the bed, etc. For more ideas and video demonstrations, go to www.crossfit.com and check out their “exercises and demos.” The point is, anything you do intensely for 15 minutes will buy you another day of fitness maintenance.

Comments or suggestions for additional exercises in the above workout? Other ideas you use for quick routines? We’d love to hear them.

svanes Flickr Photo (CC)

Further Reading:

Mark’s Weekly Workout Routine

Mark’s Beach Sprints Video

Subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple feeds

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