How to Do a 15-Minute Workout
WHAT YOU NEED
- yoga mat
- stability ball
- light dumbbells (two to five pounds)
Do jumping jacks for two minutes
Stand with your feet a little more than hip-width apart and your arms over your head, palms facing forward and fingertips touching. In one rapid motion, jump up a few inches while simultaneously bringing your legs and feet together and your arms straight down to your sides. Quickly return to the starting position and repeat for two minutes.
Do lunges with triceps extensions for two minutes
Grasp a free-weight in each hand. Starting with your arms at your sides and your legs together, take a big step back with one leg, bringing it as far back as it will comfortably go—the toe of that foot should be about two and a half feet behind the heel of the front foot. (The knee of your front leg will be bent and the back leg will be straight. Don’t lock the knee.) Maintaining this lunge position, raise both arms overhead so weights are touching and your upper arms rest next to your ears. With a slow and controlled motion, bend arms at the elbow so your hands end up behind your head and your forearms are parallel to the floor. Slowly return arms to the straight position. Do this for one minute, then alternate legs and repeat.
Tip: When starting a new workout routine, begin with lighter weights and increase them as your body builds muscle.
Do a gluteal bridge for one minute
Lie on a mat with your arms straight down by your sides and your knees bent. Keeping your head, shoulders, and arms on the floor, raise your bottom off the mat, bringing your torso in line with your upper thighs so your body forms one straight line from shoulders to knees. As you do this, squeeze your glute muscles and tighten your abs—it should feel like you’re pulling your belly button back toward your spine. Lower back down to the mat and repeat for one minute.
Make a plank for one minute
Get on all fours on your yoga mat, then bend your arms so your forearms rest on the mat, and clasp your hands together. Straighten your legs behind you, keeping your feet together. Look down at the mat, keeping your head and neck in line with your spine. If you’re a beginner, you can bend your legs slightly and rest your weight on your knees. If you’re more advanced, keep your legs straight so all your weight rests on your toes and arms. Maintain this position for one minute.
Tip: To vary the exercise and add another challenge, rock back and forth from your toes to the balls of your feet.
Perform leg raises on stability ball for one minute
Place the stability ball on the floor and bend over it, resting your lower abdomen and upper thighs on top of it and supporting and stabilizing yourself by placing your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, with your arms straight. Straighten your legs and keep them together. Raise your legs a few inches, then lower them, bending slightly at the hip, while keeping your legs straight and squeezing your glute muscles.
Tip: When raising your legs, pretend there’s a string tied around your ankles that’s pulling your feet up to the ceiling.
Repeat that circuit
Do each of the steps one more time.
Finish with up-downs for one minute
Stand with your legs together, then bend over at the waist as if to touch your toes. Bend your knees and put your hands flat on the floor six- to eight-inches in front of your toes. Keeping your arms straight, jump back with both feet at once, straightening your legs behind you and landing on your toes. Your body will now be in a full, straight-arm plank position. In a smooth, rapid motion, jump forward, returning your feet to the starting position. Repeat for one minute.