A 15-minute workout is perfect for a busy day. With a short amount of time, you want to plan and make each minute count. Therefore, decide if the point of your workout is for calorie burn or strength building. Focus the workout to one area like shoulders and arms, or chest and back, or cardio, etc. So if you do a combo workout of strength and cardio, make the cardio count by doing it as a Tabata, or in the H.I.I.T. format.
That is to say, Tabata, for those who don’t know, is a form of H.I.I.T. (High-Intensity Interval Training). You set a timer for 4 minutes and go back and forth between 20 seconds of high-intensity cardio and 10 seconds of rest. While doing the cardio you want to push yourself so you are unable to speak a sentence. This puts you in the Performance Zone on the Rate of Perceived Exertion chart. In other words, if you push yourself to the point where it’s difficult to speak words you are in the High-Performance Zone. The Rate of Perceived Exertion chart helps you know how hard you are working without having to stop and check to see where your heart rate is. Being in these zones for cardio will help you burn more calories than if you just did steady-state cardio for the entire 15 minutes.
Therefore, a good 15-minute calorie burn would be to pick an area, plan 8 minutes of strength, a 4 minutes Tabata for cardio, and end with 3 minutes of stretching.
So here is a sample workout:
- 30 seconds of squats, 2 sets
- 30 seconds of hamstring kickbacks, 2 sets
- 30 seconds of wide-leg squats, 2 sets
- 30 seconds of calf raises, 2 sets
- 30 seconds per leg of single-leg hip thrusts, 2 sets per leg
- 30 seconds of clamshells per leg, 2 sets per leg
- 4 minutes running in place Tabata
- 3 minutes stretching
Never forget to stretch at the end :).