15-Minute Bodyweight Workout

This is a great tool for over the holidays (and pretty much every day when you’re pressed for time). Use it for your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions, even!

It doesn’t require, weights, a gym, a treadmill, or even getting out in the cold. Isn’t that nice? I used a mat for this Friday morning, but you don’t even need that if you’re tough. I’m obviously a weenie.

I found this workout online on Men’s Health. That magazine/website is generally better than Women’s Health (which is a Cosmo with fitness tips).

So, without further ado the 15-Minute Bodyweight Workout–3 Moves, 300 Muscles.

Repeat the round 3 or more times with a few minutes of cardio in between. Cardio suggestions: jumping jacks, burpees, toe taps on a stool or base board, running in place, alternating lunge jumps, etc.

Move 1: Bodyweight Squats

In standing position, spread your feet out a little wider than hip-width and place your hands behind your head. Squat down so that your knees do not bend past the tips of your toes. A squat should be a backwards move, not a knees-forward move. Sit back like you’re hovering over a nasty port-o-potty or about to sit in a stiff, wooden dining room chair. Get low so your quads are parallel to the floor and hold the squat for a few second. Lift back up into standing, paying close attention to how the muscles in your legs are contracting. Feel the burn, baby.

Make sure to focus on good posture, contracting your abs to protect your back muscles. When we start getting tired, our form goes out the window, and we’re more prone to back injuries (or unnecessary soreness) when we forget to protect the back by flexing the abs. Plus, free ab contractions. That doesn’t hurt anyone.

Each set is 20 reps–making sure to hold for 2-5 seconds once you’re down in the squat.

Bodyweight Squats


Move 2: Judo Pushup

Holy frijoles. This little move is hard. I had to move into regular pushups after one round of these puppies. If you can’t get through this move with proper form, then I say move on down to regular pushups. What’s even better is if you have a Bosu, short block, or short stool, and you can alternate which hand is on the prop while doing the pushups, just to mix it up a little.

Ok, so for the Judo pushup, you start out in the pushup position with your feet spread wider than normal and your rear a little more in the air than you’d usually have it. Your body will form an upside down V, but you won’t be so extended as to be in the down dog position. You can relax a little from getting your rear that high in the air… 🙂

From there, you’ll scoop your chest down to the ground in a sort of tricep pushup all the while moving your rear closer to the ground. You’ll then push into a cobra-like pose. Makes total sense right? Ok, just check out the pictures below…

Each set is 20 reps.

Judo Pushup


Move 3: Sprinter’s Sit Ups

Start this move lying on your back, legs flat on the floor, and elbows at your sides with forearms perpendicular to the floor. You’ll look like a broken robot. From there, propel yourself forward lifting one leg off the ground and the opposite arm, twisting upper body toward the raised leg. When you lift your leg, you’re bringing it up at a right angle, calf parallel to the floor. This is great for lower abs and obliques, those places we all seem to want to target.

Each set is 20 reps (10 on each side).

Sprinter Sit Up

Easy squeezy, right? So, the whole workout should look like this:

  • Short warm up (2 mins of cardio of choice)
  • Round 1
  • 2 mins of cardio of choice
  • Round 2
  • 2 mins of cardio of choice
  • Round 3
  • 2 mins of cardio of choice
  • Cool down/stretch

Try doing it as fast as you can, giving your body little time to rest in between reps and sets and rounds.

Boom! Done and done. Happy working out!

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