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Take 15: Workouts To Do In 15 Minutes

Flickr/sean dreilinger.

We’ve all made the same excuse. None of us have time to exercise. We’re too busy. But, deep down, we all know that’s a ridiculous excuse. And luckily there are exercise pros who have developed techniques for building exercise into your day. So whether you have seven minutes or fifteen,  an hour or two, there’s the perfect workout waiting for you.

A recent study found that a short, high-intensity, circuit-based workout can be just as effective as an hour doing other exercises, but more efficient. In fact, just a few moves performed quickly and intensely might be just your ticket to weight loss and better health. (Just make sure to work with one of our personal trainers to figure out the right form and avoid injury!)

Here are some of our favourites:

Move one: Run in place

This move gets your heart pumping and your body ready to maximize every move that follows.

Move two: Squats

Grab a light weight in each hand and hold them at your sides. With your feet shoulder width apart, squat and raise your arms straight above your head. Push through your feet to return to a standing position. Repeat 12 to 15 times. This is a full-body move, working your arms, butt and core.

Move three: Plank

This one’s challenging for all its simplicity. Lie on your stomach with your elbows bent so your hands are by your head and your forearms are flat on the ground. Raise yourself onto your toes, keeping your forearms on the ground. Keep your back straight and legs extended. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat twice. (As you get better at this, you’ll be able to hold it for longer, so every day, add a few seconds onto your plank time.)

Moves four and five: Pushups and crunches

You know these moves. You’ve been avoiding them since high-school gym class. But do three sets of 10 each, quickly and controlled, and your body will thank you. Work with one of our personal trainers to optimize your form and you’ll do even better.

Move six: Triceps plunge

Pick your favourite, solid chair and have a seat. Work your way to the edge, hold onto it with your palms and extend your legs so that your butt is hanging off the edge. Raise and lower your body, using your arm muscles only, 10 to 12 times. Repeat the set three times.

If working out like this seems scary, don’t worry: there’s an app for that. The scientifically developed 7-minute workout (http://www.7-min.com/) has been making waves in the fitness community for a year, and its mobile-ready app times your intervals, demonstrates each move, and keeps you going right to the end. And you don’t even need weights. Fitness experts recommend doing the circuit at least twice for maximum benefit. It’s no substitute for a trip to the gym, but it’s great for non-gym days to stay active.

So, no more excuses. Take a break and get active today!