Most Effective Workouts Top Trainers Do When They Only Have 15 Minutes

The functional circuit

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Do 8 reps of each exercise in this circuit, and do them all in a row before resting for a minute, C.J. Murphy, MFS, C-ISSN and owner of Total Performance Sports, a 2012 Best of Boston Winner for Best Gym, says. Start with the Pause squat – squat as low as you can and hold for two seconds; get up quickly. Then do plank shoulder taps – start in a plank position, push up, hold, tap one shoulder with the opposite hand. Follow with 8 regular pushups and hip extensions. “Do as many of this circuit as possible,” Murphy adds. You should be able to complete at least 10.

The 30-to-60 seconds interval routine

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“If a client is conditioned, I tell them to get a jump rope and alternate 1 to 2 minutes of jumping with body weight exercise such as squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups, for 10 to 15 minutes,” Melanie Yoshida, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, says. Do 1 to 3 minutes of walking around, circling your arms, walking with heels ups, standing twists, boxer shuffles, followed by 30 to 60 seconds of squats with arm raises of shoulder presses (if you have weights). Then do another 30 to 60 seconds of down dog to plank, 30 to 60 seconds of lunges with goal post arms, 30 to 60 seconds of push-ups, 30 to 60 seconds of burpees, and finish with 30 seconds of pull-ups, 30 to 60 seconds of Moving Planks (opening side to side).  Repeat 2 to 3 times, if possible, Yoshida adds. “End with gentle forward folds, standing back bends and side to side stretches.”

Resistance training at the gym

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First, warm up for two minutes, Shane McLean, certified personal trainer at Balance Guy Training, says. Get up and down from the floor a different way each time. Be creative. “This will lubricate your joints and raise your heart rate a little and prepare you for a short intense training,” he adds. Select a weight that allows you to complete all the repetitions with good form. Do 10 pushups (they can be done on an incline surface), followed by 10 inverted rows. Finish with 20 kettlebell swings. “Rest one minute after each circuit and do as many circuits as you can in 13 minutes,” McLean says.

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