Get back to looking and feeling better than ever with this fun and fast “anytime or anywhere” 15-minute bodyweight workout designed by New Body Plan editorial director Joe Warner
After a recent post – in which I offered some quick and easy stress-busting tips on how to counter the anxiety so many of us are feeling right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic – I was inundated with emails from people saying they really wanted to regain control of their health and happiness to start feeling as positive as possible, but aren’t sure of how to start. And because confusion is the killer of positive progress, I wanted to offer some quick help to those of you who want to take the fast track to feeling great!
That’s the reason for this post: to give you a quick, fun and effective 15-minute workout, because one of the very best ways to feel better fast is to move your body more and get a bit of a sweat on! You don’t need any specialist equipment, just a bit of time, a little space and a whole bunch of positive energy to give the session everything you’ve got! If you do then I guarantee you’ll end it feeling fantastic. Remember, after following a really good workout plan it’s impossible not to feel better!
So, if you’re determined to take that first step towards feeling healthier and happier, I’ve laid it all out for you. You just need to show up and give it your all for just 15 minutes – if you do, I promise you won’t regret it!
Move Your Body
The workout is made up of six different exercise that you’ll do in a circuit or “round”. I want you to do as many reps of each exercise as you can in the stated “work” periods for each round and then write down the number on a piece of paper (you can do this in the 10-second rest period you get between ending one exercise and starting the next!). All the info you need about the work periods for each circuit is explained below.
Here are the six exercises that make up your circuit – including the “work” and “rest” periods for each exercise in each round – and you can find detailed form guides, bonus tips and photo demonstrations of every exercise below.
In the first round the “work” period for each exercise is 10 seconds, and the rest period is also 10 seconds – except after exercise 6, when you get a longer rest of 30 seconds. So, do 10 seconds of chair squats, rest 10 seconds, do 10 seconds of chair dips with bent knees, rest 10 seconds, do 10 seconds of split squats, rest 10 seconds, do 10 seconds of heel taps, rest 10 seconds, do 10 seconds of crunches, rest 10 seconds, do 10 seconds of star jumps, rest 30 seconds then start Round 2! And don’t forget to record your reps for each exercise!
In the second round the “work” period for each exercise increases to 20 seconds to work you a little bit harder! So, do 20 seconds of chair squats, rest 10 seconds, do 20 seconds of chair dips with bent knees, rest 10 seconds, do 20 seconds of split squats, rest 10 seconds, do 20 seconds of heel taps, rest 10 seconds, do 20 seconds of crunches, rest 10 seconds, do 20 seconds of star jumps, rest 30 seconds then start Round 3!
In the third round the “work” period is again increased to 30 seconds each – but don’t worry; after this round the work periods start to decrease so it will get a bit easier! So, do 30 seconds of chair squats, rest 10 seconds, do 30 seconds of chair dips with bent knees, rest 10 seconds, do 30 seconds of split squats, rest 10 seconds, do 30 seconds of heel taps, rest 10 seconds, do 30 seconds of crunches, rest 10 seconds, do 30 seconds of star jumps, rest 30 seconds then start Round 4!
Rounds 4 and 5
In the fourth round the “work” and “rest” are reduced so are the same as what you did in the second round – 20 seconds of work for each move, with 10 seconds of rest between them. And try and beat the number of reps you did in Round 2 – if you push hard you should be able to do more, which will give you a big boost of motivation heading into the final round!
Then, in the fifth and final round, the drop again to the same as in the first round – so 10 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, and try to beat your rep counts from Round 1 to absolutely smash your session and end it feeling strong, sweaty and with a huge sense of satisfaction!
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Move your body!
That’s it – so what are you waiting for? It’s only 15 minutes and the rewards – both physical and mental – will be totally worth it. All the exercises are explained in more detail – with photos and form guides – below, and if you’ve got any questions about the workout, or any general health and fitness queries I can help with, just drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m here to help!
The Exercises Explained
1 Chair squat
• Stand tall with a chair behind you.
• Keeping your chest up and abs engaged, bend your knees to squat down and raise your arms in front of you to shoulder height.
• Once your glutes touch the chair, push through your heels to straighten your legs and stand back up to return to the start position.
2 Chair dips bent knees
• Place your hands on the edge of a chair behind you with your arms straight and knees bent.
• Keeping your chest up, bend your elbows to lower your bum towards the floor. Go as low as you can, then press back up to straighten your arms and return to the start position.
3 Split squat
• Stand tall with one foot forward and your chest up and abs engaged.
• Bend both knees to lower until your knee almost touches the floor.
• Push through your front foot to return to the start and repeat. Halfway through the time switch legs.
4 Heel tap
• Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and arms straight and by your sides. • Keeping your arms straight, engage your abs and reach down with your left hand to tap your left heel, then your right hand to tap your right heel.
• Keep alternating and keep your breathing controlled and relaxed.
• Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, and bend your arms so your fingers touch the side of your head.
• Engage your abs, then raise your torso off the floor without tensing your neck.
• Keep that tension on your abs as you slowly lower your torso back to the floor. Make the move harder by not allowing your upper back to touch the floor between reps.
6 Star jump
• Stand tall with your chest up, abs engaged and hands by your sides.
• Jump up and bring both feet out wide to the sides while raising your arms to the sides so your hands finish above your head.
• Jump back from the wide stance to the start position, lowering your arms as you go.