Make the Most of 15 Minutes! 9

A 15-minute High-Intensity Interval Training Workout

Fitting in exercise can be challenging, so it is important to make the most of any time you have. This quick 15-minute high-intensity interval training workout is perfect for both cardiovascular health and muscular strength.

Warmup

Important: Start with a warmup—it is critical to change the blood flow and distribute it throughout the body to fuel the muscles—and avoid injury. Start by marching in place and increasing the height of the knees as you get warmed up. After 1-2 minutes turn it into a jog in place, high knees, then, if possible, a series of jumping jacks. Take at least 5-7 minutes to warm up.

Side to Side Step with Band on Legs

A miniband is a great tool for working out at home or on the road. They’re cheap, effective and light—and take up very little space!

Place miniband around legs just above the ankles. Keep knees slightly bent and step side to side, keeping the band taut. The bigger the steps, the harder the exercise. The intensity can be increased by adding a little side to side leap instead of a step. Do this 10-12 times for three sets. This works the legs, hips and glutes, as well as keeps the heart rate up for cardio gains.

Pushups

The pushup is a perfect exercise that can be modified for all levels. Pushups engage almost all parts of the body, including the core, chest, back, shoulders, glutes and even the legs a little. Adding the miniband around the ankles amps up the benefits for the lower body.

Pushups can be done on the feet, knees or even on a stable chair or against the wall. In all cases, it’s important to keep the head in line with the body and the core tight. Draw the abs in like you are pulling your belly button into your spine. Arms should be far enough out to create a 90-degree angle when at the bottom of the move and are in line with the chest. There is no need to take the chest all the way to the floor. Stop when elbows create a 90-degree angle and push back up. Repeat 8-12 times for three sets.

Ab Exercise with Band

It is important to work the core, which is more than just the abs. The core involves everything from below the neck to above the hips. This exercise may be done with or without the miniband. Using the miniband adds leg strength to the exercise as a bonus!

If using miniband, place it around the feet—not the ankles. Sit back in a V position and engage abs. Hands can be placed behind for balance or lifted for more balance and difficulty. If sitting up is too difficult, then the exercise can be done in a cone lying down. Bring one knee in as the other leg pushes out and repeat 10-12 times. Repeat for three sets.

Always complete a workout with a cool down and gentle static stretches. The blood flow needs to slow down gradually, so muscles are warm enough to stretch safely.