The 15-Minute Strength-Training Workout
Lunges are basically just one-legged squats. They work your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. You can use your body weight as resistance or, in a pinch, you can hold light dumbbells or anything else you have around (jugs of water work well). If you use weight, be sure to hold an equal amount in each hand. When you perform the lunge be sure to keep your torso upright and keep your front knee from passing forward of your big toe. Note how Jonathan's back is straight and his knees are behind his toes as he finishes his lunge.
With just these three exercises and a couple of ab exercises, you can give your muscles a good workout. Try this routine:
- Push-ups (standard shoulder width hand placement)
- Push-ups (feet elevated, shoulder-width hand placement)
- Push-ups (narrow-width hand placement)
- Pull-ups (military grip)
- Pull-ups (wide grip)
Clearly, 15 minutes isn't a lot of time, but it is enough to give your muscles a good pump. Any of these routines bands, manuals, or calisthenics can be done in your office, living room, or hotel room. Remember that while 15 minutes isn't the same as a full workout in the gym, it's far better than a day without exercise. Think about that the next time you're lounging on the couching watching ESPN.
The Least You Need to Know
- While 15 minutes of strength training isn't enough time to enable you to be in the next Mr. or Ms. Olympia contest, it is enough time for you to get a basic foundation of strength.
- Though not our favorite choice, resistance bands can give you an effective workout when you have no alternative.
- Manuals can be a fun way to work out with a buddy and they are killer routines to boot.
- Forget all the fancy stuff; some of the best athletes sculpt their fabulous bodies by doing good old calisthenics.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Short Workouts © 2001 by Deidre Johnson-Cane, Jonathan Cane, and Joe Glickman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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