Hear me out: When it comes to working out, something is always better than nothing. Every session doesn’t need to be a
marathon one to count. A little movement—even if that’s a 15-minute workout in between meetings—is absolutely worth it.
After all, if you want to be fit for life, you’ve got to be flexible and willing to adapt to whatever schedule and lifestyle changes come your way. And, heck, sometimes I just don’t have the motivation to spend an hour sweating. You too?
Awesome news incoming: “The amount of time you spend working out is not as important as the quality of movements you select,” says Kara Liotta, CPT, co-founder of KKSweat.
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When you only have 15 minutes, every movement really matters. Think simple exercises that allow you to move from one to the next quickly. “You may want to focus on one or two body parts specifically or go for compound strength moves that maximize your time by working several muscle groups at once,” says Liotta.
Meet the Expert: Kara Liotta, CPT, is the co-founder of KKSweat, a digital platform that has high-energy, low-impact fitness classes. She is a NASM-certified personal trainer, pre/post-natal training specialist, and Vinyasa yoga instructor.
Whatever you do, don’t skip your warm-up to shorten your sesh. Warming up for a few minutes before you do any workout that involves strength training with resistance is a must, according to Liotta. In fact, warming up may be more important than a cooldown for an express workout, she adds. Before diving into this circuit, get your blood flowing by incorporating some easy squats, slow lateral lunges, or sneak in a short plank. (Got 20 minutes? Try these strength circuits from the 28-day challenge.)
This lightning-fast high-intensity workout hits all of your muscles hard—and, best of all, requires zero equipment.
Time: 15 minutes | Equipment: none | Good for: total body
Instructions: Perform each bodyweight move below for the indicated amount of time, then continue immediately on to the next as quickly as possible. Once you’ve completed all seven exercises, repeat twice more for a total of three rounds.
1. Plank Toe Touch
- Start in a high plank position.
- Engage lower abs and lift hips to pull body into an upside-down “V” shape while reaching right hand back to touch left ankle. (Heels stay high the whole time.)
- Slowly return to start.
- Repeat on the opposite side. That’s 1 rep. Repeat for 45 seconds.
2. Lateral Lunge with Reach
- Start standing with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, hands at sides.
- Bend left knee to 90 degrees and push hips back and down, while simultaneously reaching right hand down toward left foot.
- Press through left heel to return to starting position.
- Immediately repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep. Repeat for 45 seconds.
3. Lateral Hop
- Start standing with both feet flat on the floor.
- Take a big jump to the left side landing softly on left foot with right knee raised.
- From here, push off through left leg to leap to the right, landing one right leg with left knee raised. That’s 1 rep. Repeat for 45 seconds.
4. Single Leg Deadlift
- Start standing on right leg with left leg slightly back behind body, toe pointed and resting on the floor, and arms by sides.
- Engage abs and slowly lean forward, lifting left leg straight back behind body, lowering torso toward floor, and extending left arm forward bringing bicep by ear until body forms a “T” shape.
- Drive into right heel to return to start position. That’s 1 rep. Repeat for 45 seconds.
Stay on right leg for first round. In round two, stay on left leg. In the final round, switch from right to left leg halfway through 45-second set
5. Jump Squat
- Start in a squat (feet under shoulders, toes facing forward, thighs parallel to floor) with torso upright and hands clasped in front of chest.
- Press through feet to straighten legs and jump up off the floor while swinging straight arms behind body.
- Land back in a squat position. That’s 1 rep. Repeat for 45 seconds.
6. Forearm Press Up
- Begin in a high plank position. (Modify by lowering knees to the ground.)
- Walk hands a couple of inches forward.
- Keeping gaze between hands, bend elbows, and lower down until forearms touch the ground.
- Pause, then press back up to start. That’s 1 rep. Repeat for 45 seconds.
7. Hollow Hold
- Start lying on back with arms and legs extended and on the floor.
- Raise arms and legs leaving just bra line and lower back on mat so body looks like a banana. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Kara Liotta, co-founder of KKSWEAT (a digital platform for live and on-demand boutique fitness classes), is a powerhouse celebrity trainer, master instructor, and fitness model based in NYC. As the former VP of Talent Development, Product Innovation, and Creative Director for Flywheel Sports, Kara was influential in the growth, expansion and success of the brand’s popular FlyBarre, FlyFIT and FlyRecover programs. She is a NASM-certified personal trainer, pre/post-natal training specialist and 200-hour vinyasa yoga instructor.