quick workout ideas

List of the 33 Best Workouts & Exercises to Do [in 15 Minutes or Less]

Times are busy, aren’t they?

Well, how are you supposed to stay in shape when you’re so busy?

I recommend finding at least 15 minutes a day to get exercise in.

If you need help finding activities to do in only 15 minutes, I gave you a list of 33 right here. They’re great for beginners and experts.

And a lot of them you can do without much equipment, meaning you can do them at home or at the gym!

Bicycling

biking - under 15 minute workout

Biking brings me back to my younger days when I was ten years old, and my brothers would bring me to the neighborhood across the street.

I only recently realized that I still get that same joy while riding. It doesn’t even have to be a long ride.

Just pull the bike down from the rafters, wipe the dust off, and ride for ten minutes. You’d be surprised how little it will take to get your blood pumping.

If you are only riding for a short while, ride at close to full speed to maximize your time.

Ab Workout

Our abs are is used for everything!

Without a solid abdomen, your body doesn’t function well. Why not use that extra time you have to strengthen up one of the most important functioning parts of your body?

Here are my picks for the best ab exercises you can do in under 15 minutes:

Millionaire Hoy:

12WBT’s Quick Abs Workout:

quick workout under 15 minutes
(click to view)

Sprinting

run in under 15 minutes

Not everyone will have the body to do this, but if you are able, I’d highly recommend sprints.

They’re considered one of the best ways to burn calories fast, just look here:

calories burned by walking, running, swimming, rope jumping

Yes, just boring ‘ol wind sprints.

They’re so great for burning calories, and they bring your fitness to a whole new level.

If you want, here are a few ways to spice up your sprints:

1. Parachute sprinting

2. Hill sprinting/climbing

3. Sand sprints

Jumping Rope

jumping rope short workout

I would regard this as (and as we just saw from the last graphic) one of the best ways possible to lose fat in a short amount of time.

Normally, you wouldn’t think that jumping up and down would be that tiring, but once you get 500 jumps in, you start to believe it.

The great part about jump rope is that it’s challenging as a beginner, and there are so many variations to learn that you don’t get tired of it.

I bet if you jump rope for 15 minutes, you’ll feel so great the rest of the day that you may want to find another 15 minutes tomorrow to do it again.

My top picks for jump rope routines:

  1. Beginner
  2. Intermediate

Swimming

quick workout swimming

Granted, this one may also take a little longer than 15 minutes if you include travel time.

But listen…

Swimming burns calories, is fun to do (at least in my opinion), and it’s easy on the joints.

Those are benefits that not a lot of workouts can provide.

Ankle Weights

quick 15 minute workout ankle weights

(Credit: Jessica Urback, Visit her Instagram)

Add some difficulty to your day by throwing on ankle weights.

Put on ankle weights when cleaning the house, and add in some simple exercises.

For example, when you are loading the dishwasher, rather than bending down to add the dishes, squat down.

Ladder Drills

quick 15 minute workout ladder drills

Ladder drills are great for improved agility and stamina.

They are especially beneficial for athletes.

Try out King Sports Training’s Agility Ladder Drills [+Video] Workout.

Squats

15 minute workout squats

(Credit: Jessica Urback)

Perform some squats, and while we’re at it, why not mix them in with regular day-to-day tasks?

Try them while brushing your teeth. Doing this twice a day will guarantee at least 6 minutes of physical activity a day.

Yoga Ball Workout

15 minute yoga ball workout

Find an open area, and hop on that yoga ball.

It just so happens that Real Simple has already created a yoga ball workout for you.

And guess what?

It only takes 15 minutes!

Stretching

15 minute activity short on time stretching

Stretch, stretch, stretch!

I can’t say it enough.

Stretching is crucial for your posture, muscular health, and fitness performance.

Take care of your body, folks.

Foam Rolling

foam rolling quick exercise

Similar to stretching, foam rolling is a very important of keeping your muscles healthy.

Foam rolling takes knots out of your muscles and loosens them up.

I’d recommend checking out Strength Camp on YouTube to see what they have to say about foam rolling.

Take it to the next level by using a lacrosse ball on your back.

Be sure to stay on the muscles and NOT on the bones.

Wall Sits

wall sits 15 minute workout

(Credit: Jessica Urback)

Wall sits are one of those exercises you can try while brushing your teeth, reading a book, catching up on emails, or when you’re on a break from work.

Don’t skimp out, though.

Make sure your legs are at a 90-degree angle.

Once you improve with two legs, try them with only one leg.

Planks

quick 15 minute workout planks

(Credit: Jessica Urback)

Planks are quick to do and don’t require any equipment. There are lots of variations you can try as well.

And if you don’t want to take out a 15-minute chunk of your day, you can make it a routine…

Right when you wake up and right before you go to bed, hold a plank for one minute.

Go for a Walk

15 minute exercise - walking

Did you know speed-walking was an Olympic event?

I didn’t. But anyways, walking is a low-stress, decent reward activity.

I won’t lie and tell you that it is better than all the rest of the exercises and activities on this list.

But I will tell you it’s a great exercise if you don’t want to put too much strain on your body, and you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.

Battle Ropes

quick exercise - battle ropes

Battle ropes come with killer pains and killer gains.

They’re great for getting max effort out of anyone.

Do these for 15 minutes and your everything will be on fire.

Slackline

quick workout - slackline

Now granted, this may take a bit to setup, but if you can leave it up, it’s a great exercise for balance and core strength.

It’s also a lot of fun (but that’s just my opinion).

Here are some tips and tricks for rookie slackliners.

Plyometric Box Jumps

quick workout - box jumps

Again, a great, simple exercise.

Bring a box out on the driveway and jump onto it. Simple as that.

Tip: step down rather than jumping down. It puts less stress on the knees.

Here are 3 tips for better box jumps.

Pull-ups

quick exercise pull ups

Find a bar, find a tree, find anything you can grab onto that will hold your weight.

In my opinion, pull-ups are the most valuable upper-body exercise.

They work the back, biceps, chest, and parts of other muscle groups.

I would recommend doing six or seven max repetition sets, and take a 30 second rest in between each set.

Rice Forearm Workout

quick workout forearms

Wait, wha??

Yes, I kid you not, this could be one of the most valuable uses of your 14 minutes and 59 seconds.

In fact, I should’ve put it higher on the list. Too late now.

Your forearms are so underrated. They’re used for so many different activities, whether that be weightlifting, sports, climbing, or every day tasks.

How to do the rice forearm workout.

Boxing

quick workout - boxing

Boxing can be a little tricky if you don’t have a lot of extra space in the basement.

You do have a few options, though.

You can buy one to hang from a tree outside, or you can get one that has a stand of its own that you can use outside.

My top pick for you is this 15-Minute Boxing Workout from Vitamin Energy.

Rollerblading

quick workout rollerblading

 Nothing says more about my childhood weekends than rollerblading.

If you live near pavement, toss on the rollerblades and take them for a spin.

Not only are they enjoyable, but they are easier on the knees than running, and you can cover some pretty decent distance with them.

Push-ups

quick workout push ups

I figured most of you would have thought about push-ups already, but just in case you forgot about them, here you go.

I would recommend that you don’t make a routine of spending your 15 extra minutes every day on push-ups only.

Whatever you work in the front, be sure to work just as much in the back.

To counteract that push-ups, try pull-ups or other types of pulling exercises.

Skateboarding

15 minute workout skateboarding

If you’re younger, this may be more appealing to you.

But don’t be fooled older generations, skateboarding can be for you, too.

Just think of how cool you would be if you were that mom or dad that rides skateboard.

All the other mom’s and dad’s will envy you for sure.

Rock Climbing

rock climbing quick workout

I don’t really like rock climbing…

But that’s probably because my little sister is a rope climbing competitor, and she is ten times better than I am at it.

Obviously, you’re not going to be able to drive to the rock climbing gym and have time to climb in under 15 minutes.

I have seen some pretty DIY-savvy people create their own walls at their home.

It’s a fantastic workout, and you get tired quick.

Check out how to build a DIY rock climbing wall.

Dot Drill

15 minute workout dot drill

I learned the dot drill during my junior year of high school.

We used it to train for baseball and basketball (and soccer too, but I didn’t like soccer that much).

Find a mat, paint some dots on it, and start hopping.

Learn how to do the dot drill with Workoutaholic’s Dot Drill Instructions.

Concentration Drills

15 minute concentration exercise

The mind is just as (actually more) important as the body.

If you’re an athlete, this will help.

If you are a secret agent, this will help.

If you are a mother of seven and you have to be able to carry the eggs in one hand while the milk is in the other, and a kid is hanging onto your neck screaming for dear life, this will help.

This Art of Manliness concentration article is a good start for practicing at home.

Coordination Drills

quick workout - coordination drill

Technically, you could call this a functional exercise or a sports exercise.

Either way, it’s helpful for almost anyone.

My favorite is the tennis ball coordination exercise:

How to Improve Hand-Eye Coordination with a Tennis Ball

Rope Climbing

quick workout rope climbing

Find a strong rope, and tie it to a tree branch. Then…

Start climbing.

Go up and down as many times as you can in 15 minutes.

You don’t have to worry about the 15-minute time limit. I can almost guarantee that you’ll be drained after this.

Flip Tires

15 minute exercise tire flipping

If you have a backyard, start looking for a tire to flip.

You can sometimes find them on places like Craigslist.

These won’t take long to make you tired either.

Climb Stairs

quick workout stair climbs

Oh yes, stair climbing.

It just so happens that we already created a 15-minute stair workout for you last year.

15-Minute Stair Workout for Agility and Endurance

Farmer Walks

quick workout farmer walk

Grab something very heavy, and start walking with it.

Yeah, that’s literally all there is to it.

It works your forearms, legs, core, and basically every other part of your body are used as stabilizers.

Extra tip:

If you don’t have anything heavy laying around, find a wheelbarrow and fill it with dirt (or water if you want to make it extra challenging).

Then, start pushing.

Dip Bars

exercise dip bars quick

Don’t underestimate the power of dip bars.

You can do a lot with these things in short periods.

The great thing is that they’ll fit in your living room.

Dancing

easy quick exercise dancing

Let’s get one thing straight…

I am a horrible dancer.

So this is not just an excuse to dance. I need fact, the last time I danced was probably to “Who Let the Dogs Out” when I was 12 years old.

That’s beside the point.

Dance can be a great workout, and even if you don’t know how, there’s this fantastic thing called YouTube.

There are so many videos out there that you can search for yourself. Try “dancing 101” or something similar if you’re a rookie.

If you’re an expert, try “most difficult Michael Jackson dance moves”.

Bonus Tips from Jessica Urback from Healthy Habits by Jess for those really crunched for time:

  1. During TV commercials, pick one exercise, and do that exercise until the show returns. On the next commercial, pick a new exercise to do until the show returns. Do this for the entirety of the show. Some examples: squats, burpees, sit-ups, and push-ups.
  2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and challenge yourself to jog up them.
  3. Play a video game that makes you move such as Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution.
  4. When driving somewhere park a couple blocks away and walk to your destination.
  5. Put on ankle weights when cleaning the house, and add in some simple exercises. For example, when you load the dishwasher, rather than bending down to add the dishes, squat down.
  6. Walk around the block when making phone calls rather than sitting on the couch.

Guys…

I’d just love it if you left me a note below.

Tell me what I missed.

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