Workouts Top Trainers Do When They Only Have 15 Minutes from Workouts Top Trainers Do When They Only Have 15 Minutes

Workouts Top Trainers Do When They Only Have 15 Minutes

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Workouts Top Trainers Do When They Only Have 15 Minutes

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When people are pushed for time they may feel like getting an effective workout is impossible. Research has shown many times that intense training for a shorter period of time is more beneficial than sweating for 60 minutes on a treadmill. “This is due to what we call the ‘Afterburn Effect’ where the metabolism can be accelerated for 30-48 hours after the workouts,” Joshua Carter, a personal trainer and Fit Body Boot Camp owner with over 20 years of experience, says. One minute of grueling exercise can be comparable in its physiological effects to 45 minutes of milder workout routine, according to a recent study. This is good news for people who have busy lives and chaotic schedules.

The functional circuit

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Do 8 reps of each exercise in this circuit, and do them all in a row before resting for a minute, C.J. Murphy, MFS, C-ISSN and owner of Total Performance Sports, a 2012 Best of Boston Winner for Best Gym, says. Start with the Pause squat – squat as low as you can and hold for two seconds; get up quickly. Then do plank shoulder taps – start in a plank position, push up, hold, tap one shoulder with the opposite hand. Follow with 8 regular pushups and hip extensions. “Do as many of this circuit as possible,” Murphy adds. You should be able to complete at least 10.

The 30-to-60 seconds interval routine

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“If a client is conditioned, I tell them to get a jump rope and alternate 1 to 2 minutes of jumping with body weight exercise such as squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups, for 10 to 15 minutes,” Melanie Yoshida, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, says. Do 1 to 3 minutes of walking around, circling your arms, walking with heels ups, standing twists, boxer shuffles, followed by 30 to 60 seconds of squats with arm raises of shoulder presses (if you have weights). Then do another 30 to 60 seconds of down dog to plank, 30 to 60 seconds of lunges with goal post arms, 30 to 60 seconds of push-ups, 30 to 60 seconds of burpees, and finish with 30 seconds of pull-ups, 30 to 60 seconds of Moving Planks (opening side to side).  Repeat 2 to 3 times, if possible, Yoshida adds. “End with gentle forward folds, standing back bends and side to side stretches.”

Resistance training at the gym

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First, warm up for two minutes, Shane McLean, certified personal trainer at Balance Guy Training, says. Get up and down from the floor a different way each time. Be creative. “This will lubricate your joints and raise your heart rate a little and prepare you for a short intense training,” he adds. Select a weight that allows you to complete all the repetitions with good form. Do 10 pushups (they can be done on an incline surface), followed by 10 inverted rows. Finish with 20 kettlebell swings. “Rest one minute after each circuit and do as many circuits as you can in 13 minutes,” McLean says.

At home/no equipment training

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This is perfect when you haven’t got time for anything but still want to raise a sweat, McLean says. Start with 10 pushups, followed by side planks. Hold for at least 15 seconds on each side. Then do 20 bodyweight squats. You can try and make this functional exercise more challenging, if your body can handle it. As with the resistance training, rest for one minute after each set and do as many as you can in 13 minutes.

Cardiovascular training

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“Do a 2-minute walk/warm up, then a 15-second sprint followed by 15 seconds of rest,” McLean says. “Repeat this cycle for five work/rest intervals. Then cool down for 2-3 minutes,” he adds. This can be done on treadmill, track, bike, rowing machine or the elliptical. It can be a weight loss machine if you use it for more than a cardio exercise. Increase the intensity and adjust the resistance. Higher speed for a shorter period of time means more fat burn.

15-minute depletion workout

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This is a short but effective routine that Ben Boudro, Strength & Conditioning Specialist and owner of Xceleration Sports, always falls back on. “It's simple, to the point and I can do this anywhere,” he adds.  Start with 10 split squat jumps. Then do 10 pushups (elevate your feet to make the exercise harder), followed by 10 V-ups. Pick up the intensity after this first set. Do 20 of each, then 30, then 20 again, and finish with 10 reps. You can see the routine in this video.

Tabata

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When Jill Brown, personal trainer, fitness instructor and a wellness coach, only has 15 minutes to exercise, she does Tabatas. “I can do 3 rounds – each round takes 4 minutes plus a minute to recover in between.  If I have no gear (just body weight) I usually do burpees, squats and pushups or mountain climbers,” she says. Tabata can burn more calories than running. It’s a short workout and it incorporates your total body, so it's working every muscle group that you possibly can. Do each exercise for 20 seconds as hard as you can, and for as many reps as you can, and rest for 10. "Tabata by definition is always 8 cycles of 20 / 10," she says. A" round is completing all 8 cycles of 20/10 which takes 4 minutes to complete. Therefore 3 rounds takes 12 min and 4 rounds takes 16 minutes, not including rest in between the rounds." It's the intensity part that gets you into shape, not the time. 

Yoga

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If Brown doesn’t have energy for intervals, she does 15 minutes of flow yoga, “i.e. sun salutations.” Imagine good old-fashioned flowing vinyasa in which movement is synchronized to the breath. There is no stopping between each pose, hence the term “flow.” You’ll weave your way through creative changeovers that lengthen and strengthen your muscles. There is a lot or core work, stretching and sweating. Some studios call it “dynamic yoga.”

High Intensity Interval Training

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“When I am short on time, and need a workout that's relatively short, challenging, AND effective, I always reach for a HIIT workout,  Angela Gallagher, Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Certified Personal Trainer, says. “HIIT actually stimulates many important hormones that are important for changes in body composition. [It] is hands down one of the best ways to burn fat without causing your body to burn your own muscle tissue,” she adds. The workout utilizes fast twitch muscle fibers, which helps to build muscle. However, you need time to recover between workouts when you're exercising at a high intensity.  “Two to three times a week is enough to get the benefits,” Gallagher says.

Squat digs and bicep curls

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“Because strength training is also a crucial component of any health/weight loss/fitness program, I like to combine HIIT with a little strength when I'm short on time,” Gallagher says. A sample of a HIIT workout she likes to use is: 1 minute of squat digs –squat, then stand up quickly reaching hands into air, tiptoes. Then use two dumbbells and do 16 squat bicep curls.

Burpees and plie squats

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Do one minute of burpees, ollowed by 2 dumbbells plie squats into upright row to engage the inner thighs, glutes and shoulders, Gallagher says. Do at least 10 reps. This is one set. Repeat as many as you can in 15 minutes. To do plie squats correctly, open your legs wide to the side. Your toes should be pointing outward as well. Bend you knees as low as you can. Stay in a straight vertical line and hold that position for a few seconds.

Speed skaters and surfboarders

The Speed Skater exercise works your legs, inner thighs, shoulders and core, Gallagher says. You are going to lunge from side to side reaching across to touch one hand, holding a heavy dumbbell, near the opposite foot. Follow this set with surfboarders. “Jump 180 with one arm down, one arm up, like a surfer,” Gallagher adds. Try two dumbbells. “Jump down into a squat, then jump up to standing, press dumbbells overhead and complete 3 triceps overhead extensions,” she says. Do 16 reps. This exercise works the lower body and the triceps.

Tuck jumps and planks

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Tuck jumps are a fun plyometric exercise that mainly works the hamstrings as well as the glutes and quads. Stand up and slightly bend your knees. Quickly dip down almost into a regular squat position and jump up. Bring the knees towards your chest. Repeat 8 times, rest for 8 seconds and do 4 more jumps, Gallagher says. Then assume a plank position. Use one arm for triceps extension. Do 16 reps with each arm. This exercise targets the triceps and core muscles, she adds.

The “Warped Speed”

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This is one of Cardio Sport’s favorite routines that run about 18-20 minutes. The founder and creator of the program, John Duffy, is a national leader in the development of Athletic Fitness. Start with Circle Run Soccer Ball for 30 seconds, then Basketball Figure 8s and 20 Ball Jumping Jacks. Then do mountain climbers on ball for 20 seconds, followed by a ball plank for 10 seconds and 10 pushups on ball. Then do 12 squat jumps and ball toe taps for 20 seconds. Crawl around holding the ball for 15 seconds, followed by 4 square jumps and 10 squat thrusts with the ball. Finish with walkups for 30 seconds, 30 squat jumps, 100-yard sprint & soccer dribble back and 100-yard sprint & basketball dribble back.

Design your own workout

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You can set up a quick and effective fat loss program. “The key is using relative intensity because when you make it hard you make it count,” according to Joshua Carter, a personal trainer and Fit Body Boot Camp owner with over 20 years of experience. Pick 2 moves – one upper body, one lower body. “So let’s say bodyweight squats and pushups. Set up a timer app to 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest.  After a brief warm up use the timer and alternate between the squats and pushups,” Carter says.  Do 40 seconds each, with 20 seconds rest in between. “Knock out as many rounds as you have time for. Even as little as 4 minutes can make a huge difference in your metabolic rate for hours to come,” he adds.