This exercise routine was created by Rob Kitson, ISSA Elite Trainer and Exercise Therapy Specialist
We all know exercise is good for us. But for many, getting in a workout can be difficult.
For some, it’s just about finding time or motivation. For others, health or ability levels may limit what you can do and how much you can exercise.
The good news is, any movement is good.
The idea is to find what you CAN do — what fits into your schedule or what your body is able to do — and DO IT!
So, to help, we wanted to share a quick workout that could be modified for different needs and ability levels. One that could be done at home without any special equipment. In other words, a workout routine that would work for a variety of different people with different situations.
Of course, no one routine will work for everyone. So be sure to review the exercises and any modifications, consider where you are and what will work for you. And then, make it your own!
Recent research has proven that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts cause an increase in metabolism that can last for hours after a workout. Plus, they burn more calories in less time.
These types of workouts have long been a tool of the elite athlete, because the short intervals allow them to exercise at higher intensities that aren’t sustainable when doing traditional low-intensity exercises at high volume.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this fun 15-minute interval-based workout designed to get your heart pumping, keep your body guessing, and let you quickly get on with your day. You won’t need any training equipment, but you will need a way to keep time (clock, stopwatch, or interval timing app) and a way to generate a random number between 1 and 6. Either a 6-sided die or a smart phone/speaker (“Hey Siri, roll a die”, “Hey Google, roll die”, or “Alexa, roll a 6-sided die”) will work fine.
* As with any new exercise regimen, if you haven’t been exercising regularly, or have any chronic medical conditions, you should consult with your doctor before trying this workout. When you’re ready to get started, take it slow and try not to overdo it during your first few workouts.
15 minute home workout routine
The workout is 3 rounds of 6 intervals.
Each round will look like this:
Interval 1: 60 seconds — Strength — Group 1 (Upper Body)
- Incline Pushups
- Knee Pushups
- Spiderman Pushups
Interval 2: 30 seconds — Cardio
Randomized. See instructions below.
Interval 3: 60 seconds — Strength — Group 2 (Lower Body)
- Alternating Bodyweight Lunges
- Box (or Chair) Squats
- Air Squats
- Jump Squats
Interval 4: 30 seconds — Cardio
Randomized. See instructions below.
Interval 5: 60 seconds — Strength — Group 3 (Core)
- Knee Plank
- Flutter Kicks
- Toe Reach Crunches
Interval 6: 30 seconds — Cardio
Randomized. See instructions below.
Rest: 30 seconds
The strength groups are listed below. Each group is targeting a different part of the body and has exercises with a range of difficulties. The exercises are listed in order of difficulty, so as the number increases so will the difficulty.
Before getting started, look through the lists to decide which exercises in each group best suit your current ability. You should aim to complete at least 10 repetitions of your chosen exercise during each of the strength intervals.
If the time runs out before you reach 10, that’s ok, but you should immediately move on to the next interval and consider doing a less advanced exercise during your next round.
If you reach 10 in time, and feel like you can do more, you can continue, but if you reach 25 reps before the interval is over you should consider increasing the difficulty by using the next exercise in the group during the next round.
The cardio groups are where you’ll use the random number you get from rolling a die. Before each cardio interval, get a number between 1 and 6 from your chosen random number generator. Then find the corresponding cardio exercise in the list below and do that exercise for the time allotted.
If you are unable to do the selected exercise, look down the list (starting at the one selected by the dice) and do the first one that you are able to do.
Option 1: Incline Pushups
Step 1: Set up a bench or stable elevated surface. Begin with both hands on the bench at shoulder-width or just outside of shoulder-width.
Step 2: Place your feet straight behind you while you tighten your abs and engage the hips. Your hips should not dip or elevate too high during the movement.
Step 3: Slowly lower yourself towards the bench. Once your upper arms are parallel with the floor, pause, and return to the starting position.
Option 2: Knee Pushups
Step 1: Come to the ground on your knees. Tighten your core and maintain a flat back.
Step 2: Position your hands on the ground in front of you, directly below your shoulders. Cross your feet in the back.
Step 3: Lower your chest towards the ground. Bend your elbows at a 60-degree angle until your chest is just above the ground. You should feel a stretch across your chest. Hold for a count of one.
Step 4: Without locking your elbows, push yourself back to the starting position by straightening your arms.
Option 3: Pushups
Step 1: Get into position by placing your hands flat on the floor, directly below your shoulders.
Step 2: Extend your legs out behind you, with only your toes and balls of your feet touching the floor.
Step 3: Hold your body up and keep your back straight by tightening your abdominal muscles.
Your neck and head should be bent slightly back.
Step 4: Lower your chest towards the ground by bending your elbows until your chest is just above the ground or you feel a stretching of your chest and shoulders. Hold for a count of one.
Step 5: Press upwards from your chest and shoulders, straightening your arms as you return to the starting position. Hold for a count of one.
Option 4: Spiderman Pushups
Step 1: Go into a standard push-up position, supporting your weight on your toes and hands. Your back is flat and your core is tight. Your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders.
Step 2: Lower yourself into a push-up. Focus the tension in the chest.
As you descend, bring your right leg up and to the side. Try to touch the knee to the elbow. As you push yourself back up, return the leg to its original position.
Step 3: Repeat with the other side.
Option 1: Alternating Bodyweight Lunges
Step 1: Stand straight — that’s the starting position. Step forward with your left leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees, while your rear knee is just off the floor. Keep your torso upright the entire time. Look forward.
Step 2: Pause, then push off your left foot off the floor and return to the starting position as quickly as you can.
Step 3: On your next rep, step forward with your right leg. Continue to alternate back and forth — doing one rep with your left, then one rep with your right.
Option 2: Box (or Chair) Squats
Step 1: Place a chair behind you. Stand up straight with a tight core and flat back. Fold your arms in front. Your feet should be shoulder-width and toes and pointing forward.
Step 2: Slowly descend by bending your knees and driving your hips back. Keep your chest and head up.
Step 3: Touch the chair with your butt then slowly rise back to the starting position.
Option 3: Air Squats
Step 1: Place your feet at shoulder width apart while keeping your chest up and your abdominals braced.
Step 2: Begin the movement by swinging your arms up towards your shoulders. At the same time, bend at the knees and drive your hips back like you’re sitting in a chair.
Step 3: Once your upper thighs are parallel with the ground, pause, then drive your hips forward to return to the starting position.
Option 5: Jump Squats
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Your toes should be pointing straight ahead or only slightly outward.
Step 2: Cross your arms in front of your body, place your hands behind your head or at the sides of your head.
Step 3: Keep your weight on your heels and bend your knees while lowering your hips towards the ground as if you are sitting down on a chair. Keep your back straight at all times.
Step 4: Continue until you feel a slight stretch in your quadriceps. Do not let your knees extend out beyond the level of your toes.
Step 5: Pause for a count of one.
Step 6: In an explosive movement, drive down through your heels pushing yourself up off the floor with your quads. At the same time extend our arms out above you.
Step 7: Land with your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.
Option 1: Knee Plank
Step 1: Lie face down on the ground with your legs together and your arms at your sides. Position your hands beneath your shoulders.
Step 2: Tighten your core and elevate your upper body off the ground, stabilizing yourself with your forearms. Your feet, shins, and knees will remain on the ground.
Step 3: Do not allow your hips to drop down. Hold the tension in your core for the prescribed amount of time. Slowly release back to the starting position.
Option 2: Plank
Step 1: Get into a face down position on the floor supporting your upper body on your forearms. Your elbows should be bent at 90 degrees.
Step 2: Extend your legs straight out behind you, supporting them on your toes and balls of your feet.
Step 3: Keep your body in a straight line by tightening your abdominal and oblique muscles.
Step 4: Hold for as long as possible.
Option 3: Flutter Kicks
Step 1: Lie on a mat with your hands under your buttocks and raise your legs slightly, keeping knees straight and ankles together.
Step 2: Keep abs engaged and perform short kicks in an alternating fashion.
Step 3: Repeat as needed and then lower legs to the ground.
Option 4: Crunches
Step 1: Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Alternatively, you can place your feet up on a bench a few inches apart with your toes turned inwards and touching.
Step 2: Place your hands lightly on either side of your head. Keep your elbows in so that they are parallel to your body.
Step 3: Push your back down flat into the floor to isolate your abdominal muscles.
Step 4: Gently curl your shoulders forward and up off the floor. Continue to push down into the floor with your lower back.
Step 5: Raise your shoulders about four to six inches off the ground.
Step 6: Hold and squeeze your abdominal muscles for a count of one.
Step 7: Return to the start position in a smooth movement.
Option 5: Toe Reach Crunches
Step 1: Lay on a yoga/exercise mat or towel with your back flat on the floor and your legs straight and in the air with the soles of your feet facing up.
Step 2: Outstretch your arms above your chest so that they run parallel to your legs.
Step 3: Lifting your shoulders off the floor, reach up and touch your toes with your fingertips.
Step 4: Lower your shoulders back to the floor to complete one rep.
Option 1: Jumping Jacks
Step 1: Stand with your feet together, arms fully extended with your hands by your sides. This is the start position.
Step 2: Bend your knees slightly then straighten and push through the balls of your feet while straightening your knees to jump up spreading your legs to wider than hip width apart.
As you do so, raise both arms out and up in a smooth arc until your hands meet above your head.
Step 3: As you return to the ground, bring your feet together and your hands back to your sides with your arms fully extended.
Option 2: Seal Jacks
Step 1: Stand tall with your core braced, chest up, and arms at your sides. Begin the movement by jumping into the air.
Step 2: As you jump, move your legs out to the side. Also, bring your arms up in front of you and clap your hands together.
Step 3: Once your feet touch the ground, jump back into the starting position with your legs together and hands at your sides.
Option 3: Frog Jumps
Step 1: Standing straight up, bring your feet outside of shoulder width.
Step 2: Squat down by bending at the knees and driving your hips back.
Step 3: Keeping your chest up, forcefully push off the ground with the balls of your feet.
Step 4: Land on the balls of your feet, remaining in the squatting position. Your legs will remain wide.
Option 4: High Knees
Step 1: Begin jogging in place, lifting the knees as high as you can.
Step 2: Try to lift your knees up to hip level but keep the core tight to support your back.
For a more advanced move, hold your hands straight at hip level and try to touch the knees to your hands as you lift them. Bring the knees towards your hands instead of reaching the hands to the knees!
Option 5: Speed Skaters
Step 1: Keep your core tight and back flat as you bend slightly forward.
Step 2: Perform a small jump to the right. As you do, bring your left leg behind you and tap the ground. At the same time, bring your left arm in front of you.
Step 3: Jump to the left, bringing your right leg behind you and your right arm in front of you.
Step 4: Repeat the movement, alternating back and forth.
Option 6: Burpees
Step 1: Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart and hands by your sides. This is the start position.
Step 2: In one smooth motion, squat down and place your hands palms down on the floor in front of your feet.
Step 3: Lean forward, so your weight is on your hands, at the same time jumping your legs out behind you until they are fully extended. Your body should form a straight line with your weight supported on your toes and the balls of your feet and your arms fully extended. (In a push up position)
Step 4: Jump your feet out by spreading your legs, so that they are wider than hip width apart, then immediately jump them back together.
Step 5: Complete 1 full push up.
Step 6: Jump your feet forward to just behind your hands.
Step 7: Use an explosive motion to push through your heels and return to the start position.