15-Minute Total Joint & Body Workouts

15-Minute Total Joint & Body Workouts

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A mobile workout will keep your exercise routine sustainable.

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Finding time to exercise is difficult. Life is busy with work, kids and appointments. Fifteen-minute total joint and body workouts gain maximum results with minimal time. High-intensity interval exercises that focus on major joint and muscle groups provide a simple and sustainable exercise regime. Create a workout routine specific to your needs and ability level by following a few simple steps.

The Premise

High-intensity interval training provides a total joint and body workout that you can perform in 15 minutes. The premise of these workouts is to perform exercises in each major muscle group at maximum capacity for a short period of time with minimal rest. By doing so, your body will work at both aerobic and anaerobic levels, which can burn fat for up to 72 hours after you complete your workout.

Areas of Focus

A total body workout needs to incorporate three main areas: your upper body, legs and core. Various exercises are able to work more than one area of focus at a time. For example, a squat thrust or “burpee” works your arms, legs and core all at once, whereas a squat works only your legs. An exercise can be modified for greater intensity, which increases calories burned, such as adding a jump at the end of a squat.

Building Your Upper Body

The pushup alone can transform your upper body. It builds your chest, upper back and arms simultaneously. Modifying the pushup will shift the focus of particular muscle groups. For example, by placing your hands in a diamond shape, the focus is on your triceps. Moving your hands to the standard pushup position shifts the focus to your pectoral and bicep muscles. Performing a pushup at an incline builds the trapezius muscles. Performing the pushup on your knees is equally effective in building your upper body.

Shaping the Legs

Exercising the major leg muscle groups will increase your heart rate. This contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Jumping jacks build the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and buttocks while increasing your heart rate. To increase intensity, perform the jumping jacks in a squatting position, keeping your lower back arched. To tone and shape legs use exercises, such as lunges, high knees, squats and front kicks.

Concrete Core

All movements begin at your core. To develop a total joint and body workout, include exercises that strengthen your core, such as the bicycle crunch, plank and superman. Various plank positions focus on distinctive areas of the core. For example, a side plank builds the obliques, whereas a standard plank focuses on your stomach and lower back.

Create Your Workout

For a simple 15-minute total joint and body workout, choose 15 exercises, alternate each area of focus -- upper body, legs and core -- and perform each for 45 seconds of exercise with 15 seconds rest. For example, perform jumping jacks, squats, pushups, bicycle crunches, burpees, alternating lunges, dips, front kicks, diamond pushups, shoulder presses -- add a squat to increase intensity -- high knees, squat jumps, bicep curls and planks.

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