15 minutes per day: A full-body workout plan for all women

Life gets busy, and let’s face it, it can be a challenge to make time for the healthy lifestyle you’d like to maintain. Exercise is important, but even spending 45 minutes at the gym can set your schedule behind. The good news is, to see impactful physical results from a workout you don’t need to spend several hours a week sweating it out. A total body workout, for women in this case, can be done in as little as a quarter of an hour. All you’ll need are some basic pieces of equipment and a simplistic understanding of how to treat your body right.

Exercise basics

Before you begin a regimen, it is important to understand a few guiding principles to give you the most for your time. The first rule is to stay hydrated — always. The general recommendation is to consume half of your body weight in ounces each day. Next, when it comes to the workout itself, variety is key. You never want to stick to just cardio or just weight lifting. A well-rounded physique comes from well-rounded exercise, especially if your goals include muscle growth.

On that note, you will want to make sure your nutrition includes plenty of protein. This will aid in your strength training and recovery. Lastly, never underestimate the power of stretching. Ideally, just a little bit of stretching before and after workouts ensures elasticity and reduced soreness in most cases.

The 15-minute workout circuit

Woman doing a workout at home
  • Three 45-second sets of squats. Take 15 seconds of rest between each set. Make sure each squat is executed with your feet about shoulder width apart and dipping low to the ground with a straight back. Keep your back straight as you return to a standing position. To add tension to this workout, do your squats while holding 5- to 10-pound dumbbells.
  • Three sets of 20 alternating lunges. There are many variations to this movement. You can jump from one side to the other or do the more basic single-step version. If you need to rest between sets, take only a few seconds. To give yourself a greater challenge, try doing these movements with dumbbells. You could keep the weights at your sides or try lifting them as you lunge.
  • Three sets of 15 burpees. This exercise can be modified many different ways. The most common method is to begin by crouching and pushing up into a vertical jump. After the jump, come down again into a crouching position and thrust your legs out behind you, so you are now in a plank position. At this stance, do one push up, bring your knees forward into a crouch, and then stand again.
  • Two sets of 30 scissor kicks. Lie down flat on your back and place your hands at your sides. Lift your legs up vertically so your body forms a 90-degree angle. Now, slowly lower and lift one leg at a time, alternating sides. You should feel the strain primarily in your core.
  • A 90-second plank. Posture is important, so make sure that your buttocks are a flat continuation of your back. Pull in your core to really feel the impact of resistance. If you need to modify this movement, you can hold a knee plank or try holding your position on your hands versus your elbows.
Woman doing planks at home

Ensuring great results

Everybody is different, which means your limits and abilities will not mirror the person beside you. It can be easy to compare yourself to others when exercising and feel discouraged. Appreciate the things you can do, and celebrate each milestone, no matter how small. The key to progress is consistency and continued wellness practices. Exercise is a small piece of the puzzle. To look and feel great, you need to eat nutritionally wholesome foods and get plenty of sleep.

Whether you are short on time, energy, or a little bit of both, there are ways to maximize your efforts in fitness. For women, full body workout regimens are best kept simple. Keep your body prepared by drinking water and stretching. Take your workouts 15 minutes a day, and be consistent about it. Follow up your efforts by eating well and sleeping seven to eight hours each night. With these foundational basics, you’ll stay fit as a fiddle.

If you’re interested in fitness equipment, check out our guide on the best stepper machines.

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