3 Basic 15 Minute Breathless Workout Routines

High Intensity Interval Training

What happens when your exercise schedule gets hijacked by life? If you want to work out, you’ll make it happen. If you don’t, you’ll make excuses. I’ll show you 3 simple workout routines that don’t require a lot of space, workout equipment, or time, but are intense enough to leave you feeling genuinely breathless.

Nowadays, lots of us ladies are changing diapers with one hand and firing out work emails with the other. Sometimes, your schedule is as tightly packed as your pre-baby jeans. But if you can find a spare 15 minutes you can get in some fast fitness with these basic workout routines.

The following moves are compound exercises that we’re gonna do in intense intervals. These short bursts of agony are going to rev up your heart rate, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and ignite a decent-sized calorie burn. Compound exercises work more than one muscle group. This’ll help you to gain lean muscle mass and burn more calories all day long.

If you do all the sets, each exercise should take about 15 minutes. These moves are seriously challenging, but don’t give up! Surprise yourself with what you’re capable of. Do each routine alone or try combining them for a serious face shredder of a workout!

Warm It Up!

Put on some music and get moving. You can jog in place, do jumping jacks, twerk, try to dress a toddler in clean clothes, anything to get your blood circulating for at least five minutes.

100 Burpees

Do 5 sets of 20, resting in between each set until you’ve recovered enough to move on. 

Stand with your feet about hip width apart. Squat and put your hands flat on the floor. Jump back into a plank and lower your body to the floor. Quickly pick your hands up to rest your body completely on the floor. Then put your hands down, press up into a plank, jump forward into a squat, and jump as high as you can into the air. That’s 1 rep.

Safety Tip: When you jump, land softly by bending your knees upon impact.

Jumping Lunges and Walkout to Mountain Climbers

Do 5 sets of 10, resting in between each set until you’ve recovered enough to move on.

Start in a low lunge with your right leg in front. Jump and scissor your legs in mid air, landing in a low lunge with your left leg in front. That’s 1 jump lunge. Do 4 jump lunges. After the last lunge, step your feet together. Bend at the waist to put your hands on the floor. Keep your legs straight. Walk your body out to plank. Quickly pull each knee to your chest, alternating knees in a running motion for 8 counts. Walk your hands back to your feet. That’s 1 rep.

Safety Tip: During the lunge, keep your legs at right angles with your front knee joint in line with your ankles, not out over the toes.

Sit-Up/Push-Up and Cross Body Mountain Climbers

Do 5 sets of 5, resting in between each set until you’ve recovered enough to move on.

Do 5 sit-ups. Roll over into plank position and do 5 push-ups (you can do these on your knees if you need to). Hold the plank and quickly pull each knee across your body towards the opposite shoulder in a running motion for 16 counts. That’s 1 rep.

Safety Tip: When you’re in plank position, always keep your hips low and core engaged to protect your back.

The Aftermath

If you’ve really pushed yourself, you’ll be soaked in sweat and gasping for breath with your heart seemingly relocated to your throat. Cool down: march in place, step touch, pretend you’re slow dancing with Ryan Gosling, or walk around until your heart rate returns to normal.

Good job! You’ve squeezed a whole body workout into 15 minutes. Are these workout routines as calorie-crushing and muscle-sculpting as your hour long Tabata class at the gym? Of course not. But is it better than doing nothing? Absolutely. Now stretch all those tired muscles and bask in the glory of your ability to do it ALL.

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Image and Videos: Sarah Olive Bergeson

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Sarah Olive Bergeson

Sarah Olive Bergeson is a group exercise instructor, personal trainer, writer, clean eater, and mom. She believes you can do anything and will show you how. She enjoys crushing it daily and thinking about David Bowie.