15-Minute Full-Body Workouts You Can Do at Home
Get a Full-Body Workout at Home
Some days, even fitting in a 30-minute workout can be next to impossible. Even when you're short on time, you can still fit in a complete workout at home. If you only have 15 minutes, you're going to want to make every second count. Try one of these full-body workouts at home or at the gym when your schedule is packed but you still want to exercise.
Don't let the small movements and light weights fool you. The high reps in this ballet-inspired workout will make you feel the burn while you sculpt lean muscle and improve your balance at the same time.
Grab a pair of light weights (3-5 lbs) and stand next to a chair or barre. Repeat the following sequence twice.
A. 50 plie squats in first position (heels together, toes out)
B. 50 plie squats in second position (heels wider that hip-width apart, toes out)
C. 50 overhead shoulder pulses
D. 50 biceps curls
E. 50 triceps kickbacks
F. 50 leg raises to the front (25 per leg)
G. 50 leg raises to the back (25 per leg)
Why the name? Prisoners only have a small cell to work with, and while you may never be in the same setting (hopefully), sometimes you need a workout that hits every muscle group but doesn't take up a lot of space. Pushups and squats may not be the most exciting moves, but there's a reason they're staples: They work! (Related: This Small-Space Workout Is Perfect for When You're Too Cramped to Do Anything Else)
Complete this circuit as many times as you can in 15 minutes.
A. 10 squats
B. 10 push-ups
C. 10 lunges (on each leg)
D. 10 narrow (triceps) push-ups
E. 10 jump squats
Rachel Cosgrove, author of The Female Body Breakthrough, says this workout is part of her build-a-butt plan because of the shape and definition it gives your backside. Alternating squats and lunges and grounded and plyometric moves keeps all of your leg muscles engaged while offering enough variety to take your mind off the burning sensation.
Complete the full sequence twice, resting just enough between sets to catch your breath.
A. 50 squats
B. 50 alternating forward lunges
C. 50 jump squats
D. 50 jumping lunges
The simple design of this workout can be deceptive (it's hard!). By combining these two power moves, you'll be able rest one muscle group while fatiguing the other without taking a break. (Related: The Pyramid HIIT Workout Formula That Builds a Faster Metabolism)
Start by doing 1 rep of each exercise. On the second set, do 2 reps of each exercise. Continue this pattern until you've done 10 sets, and then come back down the pyramid until you're back to 1 rep.
A. Pull-ups (jumping pull-ups, assisted pull-ups, or lat pull-downs, depending on your fitness level)
B. Burpees with a push-up and a jump at the top.
Plyometrics Power Plan
While plyometrics training isn't for everyone (skip these exercises if you have knee, hip, back, or other injuries), it can amp up the intensity of your workout like nothing else. You'll be soaked in sweat long before your 15 minutes are up.
Do each exercise for one minute, moving from one to the next without rest in between. After you finish the last move, rest for one minute and repeat the circuit two more times, three times total.
A. Squat jumps
B. Burpees with a push-up
C. Jumping lunges
D. Mountain climbers
Jump Rope Intervals
Nothing beats jumping rope for ease and accessibility. Plus, research shows that intense interval training like this workout burns more fat than steady-state cardio and increases your metabolism for up to 48 hours after your workout is over. When you add the strength moves, using your own bodyweight for resistance, you've got a killer total-body routine—not bad for a 15-minute investment.
A. Jump rope for 1 minute
B. Hang the rope over a tree, railing, or another stationary object at shoulder height or higher and use your body weight to do 15 rows and 15 biceps curls
C. Jump rope for 1 minute
D. Secure the rope to a solid base again and use your body weight to do 15 triceps extensions and 15 lat pull-downs
E. Jump rope for 1minute
F. Finish with 10 CrossFit Double Unders
Why settle for one or the other when you can have the fat-burning benefits of kickboxing and the strength work of kettlebells? This killer combination allows you to incorporate one of the hottest fitness tools into a traditional, heart-pumping workout.
Grab a medium-weight kettlebell and try this high-energy mashup designed by Dasha Libin from Kettlebell Kickboxing in New York City. Perform each exercise for 1 minute and then immediately move to the next. Rest for 1 minute between each circuit.
A. Alternating front kicks
B. Kettlebell swings
C. Kick to kettlebell raise (Hold the kettlebell at chest level and raise it overhead while kicking leg up to head level or as high as possible.)
A. Alternating front kick followed by a sprawl (Squat down and jump legs back like as if doing burpee but open legs wide and allow back to arch so that knees touch the floor.)
B. Kettlebell swings (Every 5 swings, catch the kettlebell up and rotate it around head)
C. Squat kick with kettlebell overhead raise, alternating legs with each kick
A. Alternating double front kick followed by a squat thrust (Bend knees, place hands on the ground and jump back into plank position. Jump back in and stand, squeezing glutes at the top.)
B. Kettlebell swings (Every 5 swings, catch and raise the kettlebell overhead)
C. Sumo squat followed by a kick with kettlebell raise overhead (Alternate which leg kicks with every rep.)
This quick workout incorporates a resistance band, one of the least expensive pieces of fitness equipment available, to help intensify strength moves beyond what you'd get using just your body.
Michael Schiemer of Frugal Fitness recommends going through this circuit three times. You'll need a resistance band, a Swiss ball, and a 10-15 lb dumbbell.
A. 20 resistance band biceps curls
B. 12 resistance band shoulder presses
C. 40 Alternating bodyweight lunges (20 on each leg)
D. As many reps as possible (AMRAP) triceps dips
E. 15-20 Swiss-ball crunches holding 10-15 lb dumbbell straight up to ceiling the whole time: 15-20 reps
F. 30 second plank
Called "the home workout revolution," Bodyrock.TV made its mark on the fitness world by providing short and intense workouts, but they earned their legion of devoted fans by coming up with creative moves like "the drunk chicken." (Related: This Full-Body HIIT Workout Uses Bodyweight to Burn *Major* Calories)
There's a reason this plan is called 12-minute madness. Perform each of the following moves for 50 seconds, resting 10 seconds between each. Work through the entire circuit once.
A. Jump squats
B. Lateral jump
C. 5 high knees, down, jump tuck
D. Push-up core rotation burpee
E. 2 side jumps, 2 squat jumps
F. Comando up and down, 2 kick-outs
G. V-abs roll left to right
H. Superman abs
I. 5 high knees, 5 switch lunges
J. 2 dive bombers, 2 drunk chickens
K. Surfer kick-outs, 2 jump tucks
L. 2 push-ups, 5 mountain climbers
To get the best total body workout at home, consider incorporating a kettlebell. The swings amp up your heart rate while the power moves engage every muscle in your body, resulting in a workout that's as effective as it is fast.
Choose a kettlebell you are comfortable swinging and try this circuit, created by Jenn Nims of Girl-Heroes. Do each move for 40 seconds, resting for 20 seconds between moves. Complete the entire circuit two to three times. (You can see a video demonstration of the moves here.)
A. Kettlebell swings
B. Hot potatoes
C. Kettlebell swings
D. Kettlebell toss
E. Kettlebell swings
You'll notice the cardio burn first during this short-but-intense kickboxing circuit, but thanks to the punching and kicking drills, you'll feel the burn in your upper back, lats, quads, and even calves the next day.
Use a heavy bag if you have one available. If not, ask a friend to hold focus mitts/pads for you or simply punch and kick the air. Do each exercise for 50 seconds as hard as you can, rest 10 seconds, then move on to the next exercise. Go through the entire circuit once.
A. Alternating jabs
B. Alternating front kicks
C. Alternating cross-body punches
D. Alternating side kicks
E. Alternating hooks
F. Alternating round-house kicks
G. Jab-cross-hook (switching lead hand every 10 reps)
H. Alternating knee raises
I. Low hook, high hook (switching hands every 10 reps)
J. Alternating round-house kicks, changing levels 3 times (low, medium, high) in quick succession
Exercise Ball Challenge
Incorporating an exercise ball into your normal routine not only challenges your core strength and balance, but it forces you to focus on performing the moves in a controlled way. (Related: This 30-Minute Total-Body Workout Tones from Head to Toe)
Grab a large Swiss ball and a set of dumbbells. Choose a weight that is heavy enough so that you can complete no more than the prescribed number of reps with perfect form. Repeat the full circuit below 3 times.
Lie with your upper back placed firmly on the Swiss ball to do:
A. 12-15 dumbbell chest presses
B. 12-15 dumbbell flyes
C. 12-15 skull crushers
Lie faceup on the floor and place your lower legs and heels on the Swiss ball to do:
A. 12-15 hip raises
B. 12-15 leg curls
Get into push-up position and place your feet on the Swiss ball to do:
A. 10 push-ups
B. 10 jackknives
Stand holding the Swiss ball overhead to do:
A. 25 squats
B. 25 sumo squats (set feet about twice shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly)
15-Minute Yoga Flow
Don't overlook yoga if you want to get a full body workout at home without equipment. You don't have to know where your chakras are (or even what one is) to get the physical and mental benefits of a vinyasa. The continuity and focus on breathing helps release serotonin (the feel-good hormone in your brain) to calm your mind, while the movements challenge your balance and strength.Go through this vinyasa flow once, moving through the steps as fluidly as possible. (Related: Try This Yoga Flow to Stretch and Strengthen Your Legs)
A. Start in mountain pose
B. Swan dive to forward fold
C. Step back to downward facing dog
D. Plank to low pushup
E. Lift our chest into upward facing dog
F. Raise your hips and return to downward facing dog
G. Step one foot through to a low lunge
H. Bring your back foot in to a forward fold
I. Stand back up to mountain pose
Quick Cardio Blast
Sprint training is powerful medicine. Studies conducted by Izumi Tabata found that short, intense sprints ("intense" meaning "run as if the zombie apocalypse is upon you") offer benefits like increased aerobic capacity, fat-burning, and production of human growth hormone—the closest thing to the fountain of youth that scientists have been able to find. (Related: What's the Difference Between HIIT and Tabata?)
Try this killer cardio blast:
A. Sprint for 1 minute
B. Walk/jog for 1 minute
C. Sprint on an incline for 1 minute
D. Walk/jog for 1 minute
Repeat the circuit 3 more times (4 times total), cutting the walk time in half every time.
The Primal Blueprint Workout
Exercising like our distant ancestors has great benefits. Whether you're lifting heavy things to build your hut or build your biceps, research supports the perks of lifting as heavy as you can handle for short sets. You'll increase your strength and your contribution to the gene pool.
To get the best whole-body workout at home, try this primal workout from Mark's Daily Apple. Grab a weighted object (two dumbbells, sandbag, barbell, kettlebell) and do not put it down until you have completed 3 full cycles of the workout below. Do one set of six reps for every exercise, and then repeat the entire circuit two more times. You can take a break in between each cycle, but you may find that you just want to power through since you can't put down the weight.
A. 6 cleans
B. 6 overhead presses
C. 6 squats
D. 6 bent-over rows