In today’s fast-paced world, the demands of work, family, and other commitments often leave little room for personal endeavors like regular exercise. The once-enthusiastic gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts might gradually let go of their workout routines as life gets busy. Bills stack up, obligations suffocate the calendar, and relationships need tendering.
However, you know deep down that you would be a better parent, spouse, boss, and friend if you cared for yourself. You recall how your body and mind thrived when you worked out consistently. Not to mention, you got many double-takes thanks to your leanness and muscularity.
So, if you want to get back into training regularly, let’s dive into why you stopped exercising in the first place to ensure it doesn’t happen again:
- Time constraints: As we get older and kids, jobs, and life happen, we have less free time.
- Exhaustion: With more obligations, your physical and mental batteries are drained, but as I mentioned, they will improve when you start exercising.
- Perceived complexity: We often remember the good old days when we would train for hours with hyper-specific programs, but with time, many people lose the bandwidth to keep up with such training.
So, the solution to all of this is quick home workouts. Gone are the days of training for hours with endless periodization. You must now focus on moving your body and lifting consistently so you don’t feel frail running through life.
This is the key to lowering the barrier so you can introduce regular exercise into your everyday life again.
Keys to an Effective & Quick Workout
Fast workouts don’t mean reckless or ineffective. You want to be efficient with your training time so it can be intentional and meaningful. Here are the keys to an effective workout, even when it’s condensed to 15 minutes.
- Exercise Selection: You want to choose easy-to-execute exercises that you can do with dumbbells or bands. There is no need to drive to a gym to do a complex obstacle course.
- Circuit Training: No time to chit-chat with friends. Plan your exercises so you can go from one exercise to the next with minimal rest.
- Rest Periods: Speaking of rest periods, we want to strategically pair non-competing exercises one after another to minimize rest and maximize efficiency.
- Intensity: With less time, we must dial the intensity to ensure effectiveness. So push close to failure, squeeze your muscles hard, and lift with intent.
- Focus: Stay focused. This is your time to take care of yourself and improve your fitness. I understand you’re busy, and your mind scrambles most days, but try to stay focused during your workouts.
The 15-Minute Home Workout Revolution Exercises
Here is a list of exercises anybody can do at home with a few dumbbells and resistance bands. They are easy to perform and promote muscle and strength gains.
Goblet squats are a fantastic compound exercise that targets your quads, glutes, and core. They’re also an excellent movement for improving your squat form.
- Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest with both hands, holding the weight against your body.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out.
- Initiate the squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, keeping your chest up and back straight.
- Lower your body until your elbows touch the inside of your knees or thighs.
- Push through your heels to return to the starting position.
Wall sits are an isometric exercise that primarily targets your quadriceps, helping build endurance and strengthening your legs.
- Stand with your back against a wall and your feet hip-width apart, about 2 feet from the wall.
- Slide down the wall, bending your knees until they’re at 90 degrees.
- Keep your back flat against the wall and hold this position for a designated amount of time.
Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
Dumbbell reverse lunges work your quads and glutes while challenging your stability and balance.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides.
- Take a step back with one leg and lower your back knee toward the ground so your upper and lower legs are at 90 degrees.
- Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.
- Alternate legs for each repetition.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
Dumbbell RDLs are a fantastic exercise for targeting your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back while improving your hip hinge movement pattern.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
- Hinge at your hips, pushing them back while maintaining a flat back and slightly bent knees.
- Lower the dumbbells towards the ground, feeling a stretch in your hamstrings.
- Return to the starting position by squeezing your glutes and thrusting your hips forward.
Banded Glute Bridge
Banded glute bridges isolate and strengthen your glutes, which are essential for overall lower body strength and stability.
- Place a resistance band just above your knees and lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart.
- Push through your heels to lift your hips off the ground while keeping your upper back and shoulders on the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes at the movement’s top, then lower your hips.
Push-ups are a classic bodyweight exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core and are a staple for building upper body strength. You can modify them to suit various fitness levels.
- Start in a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your sides.
- Lower until your chest is just above the ground, then push through your palms to return to the starting position.
- Keep your core engaged and maintain a straight line from head to heels throughout the movement.
Banded Shoulder Press
The banded shoulder press is a resistance band exercise that targets the shoulders and triceps.
- Step onto a resistance band.
- Hold the band handles at shoulder height with your palms facing forward.
- Press the handles upward until your arms are fully extended.
- Slowly lower the handles to shoulder height and repeat.
Dumbbell Bent-Over Row
Dumbbell bent-over rows are excellent for targeting the upper back, lats, and biceps. This exercise also promotes good posture by strengthening the muscles that support your spine.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.
- Hinge at your hips while keeping your back straight, allowing the dumbbells to hang in front of you.
- Pull the dumbbells to your sides by bending your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner and repeat.
Band pull-apart is a great exercise for improving posture and targeting the upper back muscles, especially the rear deltoids and rhomboids.
- Hold a resistance band in front of you with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Your arms should be parallel to the floor.
- Keep a slight bend in your elbows and your palms facing downward.
- Pull the band apart by moving your hands outward and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Slowly bring your hands back together in front of you and repeat.
Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Dumbbell hammer curls are a variation of the traditional bicep curl that emphasizes the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles in the forearm and biceps.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip (palms facing your torso).
- Keep your elbows close to your torso and your upper arms stationary.
- Curl the dumbbells while contracting your biceps until the weights are at shoulder level.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Dumbbell lateral raises target the lateral deltoids, helping build broad, impressive shoulders.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides, palms facing your body.
- Keep a slight bend in your elbows and raise your arms to the sides until they are at shoulder level.
- Maintain a controlled motion and avoid swinging the weights.
- Lower the dumbbells back to your sides and repeat.
Planks are a fantastic core-strengthening exercise that engages your abdominal muscles, back, shoulders, and glutes.
- Start in a high push-up position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders.
- Engage your core and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Hold this position, ensuring your hips don’t sag or lift too high.
- Aim to hold the plank for a designated amount of time, gradually increasing the duration as you get stronger.
Hollow Body Hold
Hollow body holds are an effective gymnastics-inspired exercise that challenges your core muscles while improving body awareness and control.
- Lie on your back with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight.
- Lift your head, shoulders, and legs off the ground while pressing your lower back into the floor.
- Create a slight “hollow” shape by contracting your abs and pressing your lower back into the ground.
- Hold this position, aiming to keep your entire body engaged and off the ground.
Programming a 15-Minute Home Workout Circuit
Programming a circuit is less overwhelming than you think. Simply select the muscles you want to train and choose exercises that target those muscles. When in doubt, a push, a pull, a hinge, a squat, and a core exercise will train your entire body.
For ease of programming, you can pick one of the following to choose your exercise order:
- The most difficult to easiest exercise
- Lower body to upper body or vice versa
- Alternating lower-body and upper-body exercises
Once you’ve determined the exercise order, program 2-3 sets of each exercise for time.
Pushing hard and doing enough sets is most important for getting the required volume and intensity. Push hard, and don’t rest mid-set. If the weight feels too easy, increase it the next round or at your next workout.
Your rest between exercises should be minimal. Rest only as long as necessary to set up for the next exercise and to get in position. You can rest for 2-3 minutes after each circuit.
Complete three rounds of the following circuit. Stick to the prescribed training and rest time, and the workout will take no longer than 15 minutes.
|Goblet Squat||30 sec||0 sec|
|Push-Up||30 sec||0 sec|
|Dumbbell RDL||30 sec||0 sec|
|Bent-Over Dumbbell Row||30 sec||0 sec|
|Plank||30 sec||2.5 min|
Stay consistent with your circuit, and once the exercises start feeling easy, you can add more weight or increase the training volume.
Revolutionizing Training Down to 15 Minutes
We are all busy. But we all know it’s essential to stay healthy and, you know, not get chubby. So, let’s slay the excuses because we all have 15 minutes a day to invest in our health. We can sprinkle a 15-minute circuit into our days that doesn’t have to be half-hearted. It can be effective, intense, and fit the busiest schedules.