The Best Workouts If You’ve Got Half an Hour or Less

High-efficiency, full-body routines

The Best Workouts If You’ve Got Half an Hour or Less

Guess what the number-one reason for not exercising is? That’s right: “I don’t have enough time.” But if you keep your workout to 15 or 30 minutes, it’s hard for that excuse to stick.

Intensity + efficiency = healthy

There’s no “perfect” workout. The amount of time you have to spend will determine both the type of exercises you perform, as well as the manner in which you perform them.

For maximum health benefits, full-body workouts are best, rather than workouts that target specific muscles on specific days (an exercise regimen that many bodybuilders employ). In reality, the “best workout” is the one that you’ll actually do! So if you have the will (and a break in your day), here’s the way.

The killer 15-minute workout

This workout is sweat-inducing and tiring, but it’s over fast—and will leave you feeling more energized than before you started! Because efficiency is paramount, each exercise is a compound movement (targets multiple muscles) to be performed using interval training (30 seconds of work, followed by 30 seconds of rest).

All of the exercises involve only your body weight (rather than using weights and equipment), and none of the exercises are too technical in nature. Remember, though, that proper form will always make for a better and safer workout. Consider booking a few sessions (or more) with a personal trainer to bone up on proper form.

Perform these exercises (30 seconds on, then 30 seconds rest) in order:

1. jog on the spot

2. jumping jacks

3. mountain climbers

4. inchworm walkout

5. drop squats

6. drop squats

7. Spiderman push-ups

8. Spiderman push-ups

9. overhead lunge extensions

10. overhead lunge extensions

11. stretch and release cobra stretch

12. stretch and release downward dog stretch

13. stretch and release l-lower back stretch

14. stretch and release door frame chest stretch

15. stretch and release alternating sprinter calf stretch

The “get results” 30-minute workout

With a little more time to work with, we can add free weights and resistance. With resistance comes the necessity to focus on form a bit more. But if time is still at a premium, these exercises can be performed in a circuit with 60 seconds of rest in between exercises.

Do 12 reps per exercise (for warm-up, circuit and cool-down) in a controlled manner. Perform three rounds of the workout circuit. Perform the warm-up and cool-down just once.

  • bodyweight squat
  • push-ups (or knee push-ups)
  • wall angel
  • lower back extension
  • lunge position reach and rotate
Workout circuit (3 times)

1. dumbbell goblet squat

2. 3-point bent-over dumbbell row

3. walk-over bench push-up

4. Bulgarian split squat

5. dumbbell pullover

6. plank up-downs

  • downward dog to cobra stretch
  • L-sit gluteal stretch