“Can you really get an effective workout in only 15 minutes?”, I hear you say. I’m here to show you how to make time for exercise with shorter workouts.

Over the weekend I asked you what you would like to see in the way of workouts. Jonathan has gotten me to start training for 15 minutes three to four times a day. Until then I wasn’t aware that shorter workouts done throughout the day are more effective at burning calories / building muscle as one, longer workout. This is absolutely perfect, right? I mean, sometimes the last thing you really want to do is spend an hour working out, so breaking it right down is sheer brilliance.

I want to note that I know that not everyone is in the position to complete this on a weekday, as it would be hard to during work hours, so make this something you complete on a Saturday or Sunday. Also, If you can’t manage 3 or 4 then try 1-2 a day. If you’re doing two, do one before work and then one when you get home from work! Working out should be what can fit in to your lifestyle so you can easily maintain it. Don’t skip ahead, but Jonathan has left a comment with further insight into this post.


I bet you all are hanging to ask questions like: What exercises should you do? How can you keep the intensity up to get an effective workout? How can I change my longer workouts into shorter ones? So today I am going to show you an effective way to get an all over body work out in short stints throughout the day.

Did you know that shorter workouts done throughout the day are just as effective at burning calories as one, longer workout?

Note: Remember to keep a record of this workout in a notepad or your diary so you can tick off the day and exercises as you go.

What you will need

  1. Fitness / Yoga Mat
  2. 2X 5 Kilogram weights or alternatively a weight you are comfortable with
  3. A bench or surface you can perform dips on

Here is your 15 Minute workout to perform at least three times throughout the day


1. Normal Pushups

Reps: 10

Grab a yoga mat as it helps to cushion your hands. Begin in a full plank position with feet together, hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend elbows and lower body until chest is just above the floor. Please note: you want to avoid letting your hips sag or lift. I’ve had to learn how to do this, so speaking from experience it’s better to learn the correct way from the beginning than have bad technique. Push back up. Repeat.

Here’s a tip

Start out at your first one as slow as possible to get the hang of the form. This goes for the rest of the exercises as well.

2. Diamond shaped hand Pushups

Reps: 8

Begin in a full plank position with feet together, move both of your hands under your chest and make a pyramid-like with your hands. Slowly adjust and push your body down while you are at the diamond position. Make sure it is straight to avoid hurting yourself! Push back up. Repeat.

Tip: Start out at your first one as slow as possible to get the hang of the form. This goes for the rest of the exercises as well.


3. Wide arm Pushups

Reps: 6

Begin in a full plank position with feet together, arms ideally two shoulder widths apart. Continue as per normal push up.

4. Knuckle Pushups

Reps: 4

Make a fist with both hands. Make sure that your fists are tight. Place your thumb outside and over your four other fingers. Place your knuckles on to your yoga mat (trust me they’ll need some cushionin’). Come off your knees in to a full plank position with feet together with your knuckles in place. Slowly lower yourself to the ground being sure to keep your back and legs straight. Push back up. Repeat.

Here’s a tip

If you are having a tough time doing these four movements, you can do them on your knees. Doing them on your knees will make the movement easier. If you are completing on your knees you will need to increase your repetitions.

Working out should be what can fit into your lifestyle so you can easily maintain it.

Bench Dips

Reps: As many as possible (AMAP)

I never used to like these, but now I love them. Sit up straight on the long edge of an exercise bench. Your legs should be slightly extended, with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the edge of the bench, just outside of your hips. Then steadily lower yourself. When your elbows form 90˚ angles, push yourself back up to starting position. Have a break then repeat.


Walking lunges with free weights

Reps: 3 lots of 12 (Alternate with next exercise)

Stand up straight with weights in your hands (by your side), Step forward with one leg, With your shoulders back bend the knees and drop your hips downwards straight to the ground. Ensure that the back knee does not touch the floor! Repeat by alternating lunge with opposite legs.



Remember that you are alternating these with walking lunges!

I do my bridges on my head as that’s how Jonathan gets me to do them to. I am not going to advise you to do them this way as I don’t want you hurting yourself if you don’t have someone to guide you, so instead I will tell you this method.

Before doing your bridge, stretch. If you don’t, there is a risk that you may pull a muscle. Ouch!

Lie on your back with your legs drawn up to your bum. Place your feet flat on the ground. Then, bend your arms comfortably so that your hands are above your shoulders. Raise your elbows so they are pointing straight up and place your palms on the ground. The bottom of your palms should be next to your ears.

Using the strength in your legs, push your hips up off the floor. Then, using your arms, push the rest of your body off the floor. This should be done in one fluid movement. It’s such a great feeling getting off the floor! I still remember doing yoga with my best friend Harri and not being able to do this move!

First lot of Bridges: 9 Bridges held for 1 second
Second lot of Bridges: 7 Bridges held for 3 seconds
Third lot of Bridges: 5 Bridges held for 5 seconds


What I Am Wearing

Lorna Jane Charge Excel Shorts, Lorna Jane Maiya Sports Bra, Puma Sneakers

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

1 thought on “My Effective 15 Minute Workout”

  1. As the person who tailors Ally’s workouts and also as the person who has been out of shape:

    It’s incredibly easy to injure yourself if you haven’t maintained some form of physical activity.

    I put my back out skateboarding down a hill. No ollies. No kickflips. Just skating down a hill. And it was incredibly uncomfortable for ages.

    It doesn’t take long – like, at all – to get used to it, but until you’re over the hump, just take it easy. How do you know if you’re not in shape? Do you roughly remember how much you weighed when you were in your final year of school? If you’re more than fifteen pounds more than that, you might be out of shape (obviously if it’s fifteen pounds of muscle then forget I said anything). Also – because we’re not in the US (unless you are) – fifteen pounds is about 7kg.

    If you’re potentially out of shape (ie. the above maths or you just feel not great) then here’s a tip: before embarking on any kind of workout regimen, just start walking / running / moving. 15-20 minutes a day is more than enough, and more than most people ever do.

    As I said, it really doesn’t take long to be fit enough to get serious about working out. Seriously, after about a week, you’ll be ready for more.

    Also: if you’re thinking “well why would I work out when I could potentially a) hurt my back / neck b) stub my toe c) drop a 20kg plate on my head”, then the reality is our primary function – that we’ve evolved over tens of thousands of years to perform – is to gather food. Just because you can drive your Daewoo Lanos to Coles and pick up a 2lt tub of Triple Choc Chip Icecream doesn’t mean you should.

    My point being that if your ancestors were constantly moving and you should too.

    Start small and build from there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *