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Building A Workout Top Trainers Do When They Only Have 15 Minutes

Here are the tools to build a quick workout for your busiest days--short bursts are more effective than long, mild workouts, so even when you only have 15 minutes, try these!

Fitness is often the first thing to get lost amidst our busy schedules. However, recent studies have proved that even fifteen minutes of high-intensity exercise is more effective than long, mild activity. Not only are you more motivated to get a quick sweat in rather than spending hours at the gym, but your metabolic rate will stay higher throughout the day.

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“If I only have 15 minutes, I’ll make sure the exercises target all major muscle groups, or combine strength and conditioning,” Gerren Liles, MIRROR founding trainer and Equinox Master Instructor, said to Men’s Journal. Like Liles, most top trainers recommend some form of high intensity training–so, the following is formatted to help you build a quick workout for any busy day!

Warm-Up – 1 minute

Find a space to do a dynamic warm-up. Either use these recommended stretches or your own, and make sure to add in a jog or some jumping jacks to get your heart rate up before you begin! 

Examples: Elephants, knee hugs, fours, quad stretch, hip flexor stretch 

Cardio – 7 minutes

Pick one. Perform 30-45 second sprints/high effort intervals, using the remainder of each minute for rest. Repeat 7 times. 

Examples: Treadmill sprints, bike sprints, jump rope, stairs, burpees, high paced walk, or any form of cardio that works for you! 

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Strength – 6 minutes

Pick five. Perform two rounds of 12 reps of five of these exercises. If you feel comfortable, try adding weight! 

Examples: Squats, lunges, side lunges, 45 degree lunges, BW step ups or box jump, hip thrusters, push-up, tricep dips, chin ups, supermans 

(Optional) Core – 5 minutes

Pick 3. If you have a few extra minutes at the end of your workout, mix in some cardio. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps of each exercise. Also a good place to add weight if you can! 

Examples: Leg elevated crunches, cross-crunches, leg raises, flutter kicks, bicycles, penguins, plank, Russian twist 

Cool down – 1 minute

The cool down is essential when doing a quick HIIT workout. High intensity training strains our muscles, and quickly sitting back down in your desk chair can hurt gains and make you incredibly sore later on. Repeat the dynamic stretching exercises used in your warm up at a slower pace, working your way into static stretching. Do your best to ensure a full body stretch! 

Working out can seem time consuming, but it will pay off in the long run. A quick break from your work day can help improve your focus and motivation, as well as your mood throughout the day. High intensity training, while it may sound intense, is built for everyone. Pushing your heart rate up is the best way to burn fat and get that feeling of accomplishment for the day!

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