A bodyweight workout is the perfect option when you’re short on time. It’s an anywhere, anytime type of routine: No gym, no weights, all you.
Rebecca Kennedy, NYC-based trainer, shared her go-to 15-minute bodyweight workout with SELF—use it to kick things into high gear the next time you feel like playing workout hooky because you don’t have time. You’ll check the cardio box by taking minimal rest to jack up your heart rate while doing strength moves, too. Here’s how your 15 minutes will break down:
Start with a quick three-minute dynamic warm-up.
Yes, even if you only have 15 minutes, you still need to do a proper warm-up. This will help prepare your muscles for harder work and increase your range of motion so you can make the most out of each exercise in the following section. Don’t slack off during these three minutes, ease into the movements then begin to pick up the pace to get that heart rate rising.
1. 90 Seconds: Spider Lunge With Twist + Jumping Jacks
- Start standing tall, then fold forward.
- Walk your hands out to a high plank, then bring your right foot and set it on the floor on the outside of your right hand.
- Reach your right arm to the ceiling and twist your torso to the right. Return your arm back to the ground and step your right foot back so that you’re in high plank. Repeat on the left side.
- Then walk your hands back to your feet and roll up to stand. Do 10 jumping jacks, and start again from the beginning. Continue for 90 seconds.
2. 45 Seconds: Squat To Front Lunge
- Start standing with feet hip-distance apart. Shift your weight into your heels and sit back to perform a squat, bending your knees to 90 degrees without letting them go beyond the toes.
- Push through your heels to return to standing and now take a step forward with your right leg, and bend both knees so that you’re in a lunge position.
- Step back to standing and repeat, starting with a squat, but now stepping forward with your left leg. Continue alternating for 45 seconds.
3. 45 Seconds: Reverse Lunge To Straight-Leg Front Kick
- Start standing with feet hip-distance apart. Step your right leg back and lower into a lunge, aiming for a 90-degree bend in both knees.
- As you return to standing, sweep your right leg forward into a front kick, keeping the leg straight.
Repeat on the left side and continue alternating for 45 seconds.
Then you’ll do a 12-minute total-body routine.
This is where the real work comes in. Ready? Repeat the three bodyweight exercises below for 30 seconds each. After you’ve completed all three moves you should take a 30-second rest. You’ll repeat this circuit for six rounds total, and on the last round, skip the rest—you’ve got a bonus move to do!
1. 30 Seconds: 8 High Knees + 2 Drop Squats
- Perform eight high knees in place, driving elbows back. (It’s like an exaggerated running in place where you’re trying to lift your knees to your hips.)
- Then, jump out into a squat with feet parallel, tapping your right hand on the ground between your feet. Jump back together and repeat, tapping your left hand to floor. Repeat for 30 seconds.
2. 30 Seconds: Break Dancers
- Start on all fours with your hands and toes on the ground and your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart.
- Lift your right hand towards the ceiling and kick your left leg through, twisting your body to face the right.
- Come back to start and repeat on the opposite side. Continue for 30 seconds.
3. 30 Seconds: Burpee Push-Up Broad Jump
- Start in a high plank and perform a push-up, bringing your chest as close to the floor as you can.
- Jump your feet to the outsides of your hands. Start to stand up and instead of jumping up, jump forward (distance is the goal).
- Now jump up and turn around 180 degrees.
- Place your hands back on the floor and jump feet back to high plank and start from the beginning.
- Repeat for 30 seconds.
Now rest for 30 seconds before starting the next round. Except on round six when you get a ~special~ cardio exercise to finish with:
Tuck Jumps: Start standing tall. Jump up and bring your knees to your chest in the air. Land softly (stick it!). To modify, bring your feet to your butt instead.
And don’t forget to cool-down.
No need to spend any of your 15 minutes on a cool-down (sorry!), just incorporate one into whatever you’re doing next. “Walk whenever you’re going, or stretch at your desk. Even better—right before bed! Netflix and stretch.” Yes, please.
You may also like: 13 incredible bodyweight exercises you can do at home