Has this ever happened to you? You’re super excited because for the past few weeks, you’ve been exercising consistently. You’re starting to feel stronger and have more energy, but then WHAM! You get hit with a crazy week, and everything is thrown off. When life gets busy, we often feel like we just don’t have time to work out. To drive to the gym, do a full workout, and come home takes over an hour, and your schedule is so packed you just can’t squeeze it in. Well, guess what, sister? It is possible to get in a great full-body workout in less than 15 minutes!
With some of the exercises, we use weights. Let me just bust the myth right now: using weights will not make you big. If anything, it will help create lean muscle, which will aid in burning more body fat, and in the long run, make you leaner. One of the main reasons women gain weight as they age is because they lose muscle.
Strength training really is the best way to boost your metabolism and is especially important for women over 40. Muscle uses or “burns through” calories at a faster rate than fat. In fact, muscle burns 13 kilogram calories (aka kcals, or “calories” how we think of it) while at rest as opposed to the 4.5 kcals that body fat burns at rest. Additionally, when we work out with weights, we build more muscle, which means we burn more calories at the end of the day because muscles require more calories to exist than body fat does.
Before you begin, it’s important you do a warmup. The best way to start a workout is with dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretches are active movements that allow your joints and muscles to go through a full range of motion. The last thing you want is to get injured due to working out cold muscles, so don’t skip this step. Spend about 3 minutes doing dynamic stretches.
The best exercises to do when you are short on time are compound exercises. Compound exercises are movements that use multiple muscles at the same time. To get started, grab a pair of medium size weights (5-12lbs are great). Use lighter weights if you are still building your strength or notice your form is being compromised.
Try 8 per side for 16 total repetitions. You should reach failure by the time you finish your last repetition.
Too hard? Try this to make it easier:
Aim for 8 per side, or 16 total repetitions again.
If you need an easier option, try this:
Combine Spidermans with Mountain Climbers for 20 total. And don’t use weights for this move. Speed doesn’t have to be super fast to get a great core burn and feel those shoulders too.
The easier move looks like this:
For this move, aim for 20 right and 20 left.
For an easier option, do not use a weight.
Aim for 16 repetitions or 8 right and left each if you’re going with the challenging, 1 leg option.
For a challenge, you can do this on one leg, with one leg extended straight. This will work your hamstrings as well. Don’t forget to switch legs for an even burn.
If you do not have time to get super sweaty, don’t have weights close by, or just need something quick while you have a few minutes, pick a move from those shown above and then aim for AMRAP with the time you have! AMRAP stands for “As Many Reps as Possible in __ Minutes.” I’ve done this with just one of the exercises and got in a great burn for even just a few minutes.
Lastly, find some music that you’ll want to move to and then get to sweating! I can’t wait to hear how you did. I’m rooting for you. If you want to see all the moves from this full-body workout done together, or if you want to be walked through them, check out the video below!
The next time you feel your schedule is full, don’t let lack of time cause you to lose momentum. You will be amazed at how much good you can do for your body in only 15 minutes. Give these 5 exercises a try next time you’re short on time.
Need equipment for a fast and effective home workout? Here are some of our favorite items:
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