3 Awesome Workouts You Can Do in 15 Minutes or Less

By Molly Galbraith

Some days the "Beast Mode" switch is just... off.

Believe it or not, even fitness professionals don’t feel like absolutely crushing their workout every time they step into the gym. Especially if we've spent the whole day in the gym coaching and cueing clients through their workouts, writing about workouts, reading about workouts, designing workouts for our online clients. Sometimes you just want to be anywhere but the gym.

On days like this, you have a few options:

  1. Suck it up and push through. This can result in a few outcomes:
    • Crushing your workout and feeling amazing.
    • Having a so-so workout and feeling a little blah.
    • Having a crap workout and potentially injuring yourself.
  2. Ditch the gym completely and not train that day.
  3. Modify your workout and get something done.

This isn’t a “trick” list of options where we think you should always pick #1 or #3.  These are all completely legit options at different times. Neghar Fonooni actually wrote an awesome article about how to assess and adapt your workout, and I wrote an article about times you should push yourself and times you shouldn’t. Each of those options has its place.

In the event that you do pick #3, here are three quick, easy workouts that will have you out of the gym in about 15 minutes or less.

Workout 1

  • Foam roll and do a quick dynamic warm-up for five minutes.
  • Push a light Prowler or drag a moderate sled for 10 minutes straight, taking a short rest only as needed.
  • Go home.

Yes, sometimes it’s that simple. I've actually done this myself. It kicks my butt (I love the Prowler option). I push that mutha with all I've got, and when time's up I call it a day.

Workout 2

  • Spend five minutes warming up.
  • Perform 4 supersets of goblet squats for 6 reps (2 seconds down,  5 seconds in the bottom, 2 seconds up) and pushups or chin-ups for 6 reps with the same tempo — except your five-second pause would be at the top of the chin-up. Use a timer, no cheating! Do push-ups on an incline or chin-ups with a band if necessary. Do not rest between exercises if you can help it.
  • Do five to 10 deep, cool down breaths and go home, you're done!

Workout 3

  • Spend three to five minutes warming up.
  • Pair three to six exercises that you can do with good form, even when fatigued. These could be bodyweight squat, goblet squat, medicine ball slams, kettlebell swings, push-up holds, push-ups, or reverse lunges, just to name a few. Bulgarian split squats or heavy barbell snatches are not appropriate for this workout.
  • Line up the equipment you’ll need (if any) so you can go from exercise to exercise with minimal rest. You can perform the exercises for time or for reps.
  • Do five to 10 deep, cool down breaths and go home, you're done!

Here's a circuit Neghar Fonooni and I put together, in which we performed six exercises for 20 seconds each, with no rest in between. That is one round, and we rested 60 seconds between rounds. You can rest less or more, depending on how fatigued you feel. Complete three to six total rounds.

All three workouts listed above are fantastic options if you are feeling less-than-motivated, but still want to get something done in the gym. They're also great if you’re short on time or on vacation and still want to get a little something done.

If you're looking for a little more guidance with your workouts, we're happy to help!

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About the author:  Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith, CSCS is co-founder and woman-in-charge at Girls Gone Strong, a global movement of 800,000+ folks passionate about women’s health, fitness, and empowerment. She’s also the creator of the The Girls Gone Strong Academy, home of the world’s top certifications for health and fitness pros who want to become a Certified Pre-& Postnatal Coach or a Certified Women’s Coaching Specialist.   The GGS Academy is revolutionizing women’s health and fitness by tackling critical (and often overlooked) topics like body image struggles, disordered eating, menopause, amenorrhea and menstrual cycle struggles, PCOS, endometriosis, osteoporosis, pre- and postnatal exercise, incontinence, diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, postpartum recovery, and much more.   Learn more about Molly on her website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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