Last Updated on December 11, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
A lot of companies, people, fitness experts, and general enthusiasts make the claim that you can get into shape while working out for less than 30 minutes a day.
And at Qwik Fitness, we completely agree with this logic! However, what about working out for only 15 minutes per day? Is this beneficial? Do 15-minute workouts work?
Well, we are here to tell you they do, so please read on to learn more.
The first thing to keep in mind is that we need to have realistic goals. For example, do we think anyone can become a professional bodybuilder by working out 15 minutes per day?
Well, no, unless you have genes like the Incredible Hulk. However, you can “get into shape” with just 15 minutes of exercise and committing to them on a daily basis.
So, what do you need to know about effective 15-minute workouts? Well first, you need to know what workouts to do, how often to do them, and what kind of fitness you are aiming for.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you will be well on your way on your fitness journey, and we are here to help you know how to reach your potential today.
What Are The Benefits Of 15-Minute Workouts?
The health benefits of 15-minute workouts are surprisingly high.
However, in order to get those 15 minutes to really work for you, you have to do a lot of high-intensity exercises and activities.
This means that your body has to adapt to going from a non-workout state to a workout state very quickly and that you must maximize every second of your 15 minutes of exercise.
If you are willing to make just that small commitment, here are some of the benefits you will receive from your 15-minute workouts:
- Longevity and healthier body – Honestly, even if you don’t do much in that 15 minutes, anything is better than nothing. Over time, those 15 minutes add up, as well, and internally your body will start to show the results. You will find that you are fitter and healthier by just doing even the smallest amount of exercise each day.
- Weight management – Getting into shape is the most common reason to begin working out. By doing a short, but high-intensity workout, you are reducing or managing your weight better. Not only that, but over time, a lot of your weight will turn into muscle, which will give you confidence about whether you are getting good results from this activity.
- You may burn more calories – If you do a really hard 15-minute workout, some studies have shown that this will burn more calories than a light 30 to 45-minute cardio session.
- Increases brain power and cardiovascular system – Exercising is good for your brain, as well as, your body. By doing intense exercise, no matter how short the period of time you do it for, you will increase blood flow in the body. This helps your heart to stay healthy and provides more nutrients to your brain. As such, you will think clearer throughout the day and have a more positive outlook in general.
What Workouts Can You Do In 15-Minute Sessions?
When we talk about 15-minute workouts, we are talking about very specific exercises, sets, and rest times that you can use to burn fat and get fit in a short period of time.
While there are many other workouts beyond these, most do not meet the requirements necessary to be incorporated into 15-minute intervals.
They either require a long time to achieve anything – like jogging and cycling – or the preparation takes too long to be worth doing in a short time – like weight training.
However, if you take out the activities that require you to use equipment, leave the house, or require a huge amount of space, then you can really begin to see what workouts you can do.
Basic exercises are always the most common in 15-minute sessions. These are things like sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and chin-ups.
While chin-ups and pull-ups require a solid object higher to pull yourself up from, sit-ups and push-ups can be done anywhere.
These workouts are great for the upper body and specifically work out the shoulders, chest, arms, core, and back all in the space of 3 to 5 minutes, if you push yourself.
Other forms of basic exercises are things like running on the spot, knee kicks, or kicking into the air.
Just think of any form of warm-up exercise you did in school before playing sports. These are the kinds of exercises you can do easily in 15 minutes.
Another one is core exercises. Core exercises work out the abdominal and core muscles that unite the two different parts of the body – the upper and lower sections.
These are vital muscles for stability and balance in our day-to-day lives and use positions and moves like planks, bird dog, superman, and mountain climbers.
These take about 90 seconds per set and are a fantastic way to work out your core in a short amount of time.
Stretches and isometrics are very welcome parts of a routine, as well. Stretches increase the adaptability of muscles and make them able to do more intense workouts without the risk of injury.
Isometrics is resistance training that uses a solid, immovable object, as the resistance.
The person then pushes, pulls, or holds against or on it to increase muscle mass and strength. Stretches can be done in under 5 minutes, and isometrics take a little over 5 minutes to complete.
Both of these exercises are great for all parts of the body, but focusing on your lower half will be welcome here, as it is the hardest to engage with in 15-minute intense training sessions.
Finally, you can put all these together in HIIT training. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and though they typically last 30 minutes or just under, you can make a very good 15-minute one with modifications.
For this, put in a lot of exercises that can be done one after the other in a very short burst.
Then, make each of these exercises only 45 seconds long with a 15-second break before the next one.
Do 5 in a row, before resting for 30 seconds and then repeating once for another five minutes. This should take you to 11 minutes, at which you have 4 minutes to really grind one more exercise of your choice that day.
So, as an example, we will look at a sample 15-minute HIIT routine:
- Burpees – 45 seconds, 15-second rest
- Running on the spot – 45 seconds, 15-second rest
- Star jumps – 45 seconds, 15-second rest
- Plank – 45 seconds, 15-second rest
- High kicks – 45 seconds, 15-second rest
- Rest and repeat the above 5 exercises one more time, then move on to the next two
- Sit-ups – 90 seconds, 30-second rest
- Push-ups – 90 seconds, 30-second rest
The only requirement for this type of routine is that it needs to be high-intensity, because if you go at it weakly, you will only receive weak results.
How Often Should I Do 15-Minute Workouts?
You don’t have to do 15-minute workouts every single day if that doesn’t work for your schedule. However, you need to commit yourself to doing these qwik workouts at a minimum of 4 times a week and more often if you can.
Don’t be discouraged, though, if you need to split up your 15-minute sessions throughout the week.
You can do this on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or a Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday schedule.
The main thing to remember is not to do one specific type of workout every single day, but instead to make sure that you use your 15 minutes wisely.
You will notice that 15 minutes of exercise will go by very, very quickly.
This is one of the best parts of going at your exercise routine in this fashion which will leave you plenty of time to complete all of the other tasks you had planned for the day!
Once you get used to your regular commitment to the workouts, it will become easier and easier to find the perfect place in your day to squeeze them in. As you continue to complete them, you will find that they become a part of your routine and you will see almost all of the benefits as longer workouts.
15-minute workouts are great for those who are short on time or looking to get fit in a short amount of time. And the health benefits of these workouts are significant!
However, the only way these workouts work is if you put in the time and create a routine for yourself.
You may not get the most desirable body on the beach, but you will look pretty good if you keep these up.