]If you’re a busy person with kids, work, school, and social activities, it can be hard to fit time in to take care of and improve yourself physically. Fortunately, you can find fast at-home exercise routines with a search online.
There are countless quick workouts that need nothing other than yourself to complete. Here are 10 workouts that you can complete in 15 minutes using just your body weight and a coffee table, couch, or chair as resistance.
If you ever took a gym class in elementary or high school, you’ll be familiar with the push-up. Do these for 15-30 seconds just to get the party started. Since we want to get the entire workout done in 15 short minutes, we’ll measure the exercises by time. But once you’ve done this a number of times and feel comfortable with the time, you may want to set your own repetitions (the number of times you do each exercise).
2. Oblique/Knee-to-Elbow/Leg Up Push-ups
Some effective pushup alternatives are the oblique push-up, the knee-to-elbow push-up, and the leg up push-up. The oblique push-up stretches and strengthens your obliques as you complete the push-up, the knee-to-elbow tests your coordination and is a little more difficult, and the leg up challenges your muscle endurance. Do one of these for 15-30 seconds.
Another common exercise, the sit up, can also be done in different ways that still achieve the same effect (or better). One of these ways is the v-up. You fold your body in an upward motion, arms stretched in front of you as you lay on your back. You want to have your legs lifted in the air as straight as possible. You will try to touch your toes by lifting up your torso and working those core muscles for 30 seconds.
4. X-Pattern Toe Touch
This exercise, another sit-up variation, helps core and torso strength and stability by having you reach to touch the opposite side of your body. Try your hardest to touch the toe — you probably won’t be able to start out, but over time this will get better as you improve. 15 seconds on each side.
This exercise gets you even more mobile while still working on the core muscles. If you’re having trouble keeping balance on your back, start off slow then try to go faster, always staying in control. 15-30 seconds.
A bit of an active rest, the plank asks you to set yourself on your elbows and toes in a horizontal position. Doing this for 30 seconds to a minute, keeping your back and butt as straight and level as possible. Ramping up again slightly, the side plank gets you to turn on, you guessed it, your side. Let yourself balance on your right or left elbow, depending on what side you turn to, and your other arm comes up with your hand to your head like you would answer a phone, elbow out. This works your lateral core strength, stability, and posture. If you want you can plant your outside foot. Otherwise, your foot closest to the floor should be touching on its side. 15-30 seconds on each side.
7. Butt Lifts (AKA Hip Thrusts, Glute Bridge)
The butt lift is good for loosening up those midsection hinges, working balance and core strength once again, and giving you a strong booty. Push those hips up off the floor with as little help as possible from your arms, shoulders and back. Depending on your range of motion, you might be able to get your hips and butt almost parallel to your thighs, hence the name glute bridge for 30 seconds.
With an epic name, this workout will make you feel super by improving your back strength and getting it solid over time. Lay on your stomach, legs stretched straight and parallel to body, arms out in front of your head parallel to your body. As best you can, you’re going to lift your arms and legs off of the floor rest position all the way. Try to raise your arms from the chest; try to raise your legs from the waist/hip. It’s almost like an abdominal crunch for your back for 30 seconds.
9. Swim Lifts
From the same position as the Superman, you’re going to want to mimic a freestyle swim move — without the down stroke. Lift one arm up off the floor as high as you can while staying in control; at the same time, you’ll want to lift the opposite leg in the same way. Let those limbs fall while lifting up the opposite arm and leg. Keep doing this for 30 seconds.
For this final workout, you will need the coffee table/chair/couch to rest your hands. Your starting position is with your hands on that surface, at your side and slightly behind you, with legs stretched out in front of you, and torso as straight up and down as possible. Dips work your triceps mainly but also coax you to keep the rest of your body stable. 30 seconds.
You may want or need to rest in between any of these exercises. After all, you have 15 minutes to do workouts that don’t take as long. This isn’t supposed to exhaust you, but to get a little sweat going, which is a great thing to do. Get your day started in a great way, giving you a little energy boost before work; or get it in at the end of the day to put yourself in good spirits in the evening. It’s amazing what a little workout can do for your body, and more importantly your self-esteem!