15 Minute Muscle Firming and Fat Burning Workout

September 2, 2010 by superch6

First off, you have probably heard this before but it is important that you consult your doctor before starting any strenuous workout routine.  Once, you are ready to go though this workout can really get your blood pumping and your muscles working in a short amount of time.

The key here is activity.  This is not a workout routine where you should be taking any breaks at all.  What I want you to do is to move from one exercise to the next as fast as possible with no rest time.  This will keep your heart rate up and will help you get more of a cardiovascular workout at the same time you are working your muscles.  You may not even be able to last the full 15 minutes when you first get started.  If that is the case, just push yourself as much as you can and chart your progress.  I promise you that after a few weeks you will start seeing a change in your body and in your stamina.

Another key is warming up.  This does not count towards the 15 minute workout but is just as important in order to avoid injuries and to get the most out of your body.

When warming up it is good to actually get some movement going and the blood flowing before you stretch.  Ideally, you do not want to stretch cold muscles.  What I do is either jog slowly in place or do a few jumping jacks.  Sometimes I’ll jog around the blog at a leisurely pace while shaking out all my muscles along the way.

Then make sure you stretch all your major muscle groups including your neck, shoulders, chest, arms, abs, hamstrings, and quadriceps.  I’m not going to go into stretching here but you can find a lot of good stretching exercises just on Google.

So once you are warmed up and stretched out let’s get started!

1. Walking lunges with shoulder press – take a long stride and then just naturally let your self sink into the ground.  You want to try and get your front leg to be at a 90 degree angle at the knee and your trailing knee should almost be touching the ground.  As you lunge, reach to the sky with both of your arms and as come out of your lunge bring your arms back down.

Come out of your lunge by bringing your rear foot back up to meet with your front foot.  Your arms should be back at your side now.  Now do the same motion but start with the opposite foot now so you are working both sides of your body.

The key here is to get a good deep lunge and to maintain good form.  I see a lot of people doing this exercise at the gym but they are just doing a very shallow lazy lunge.  This will not do much for you.  Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep your heart rate up as much as possible so try to add a little speed.  Go as quickly as you can while maintaining good form and balance.

Try to do 10 lunges quickly on each leg.  If that is too easy just keep doing them until you feel it burn.

2.  Pushups and Plank

Everyone is familiar with pushups but the plank may be new to you.  What you want to do in this exercise is quick repetitions.  Do a quick burst of pushups first.  You want to do about 1/2th of the total amount of pushups that you can do.  So if you know you can do 50 pushups then you want to do a quick burst of 25 and on your last full extension hold yourself at the top of the pushup position.  Keep your arms fully extended and keep your body in a perfectly straight line from your shoulders to your feet.  You should almost look like a slide.

Hold that for as long as you can and focus on keeping your core engaged.  You will have to work your ab muscles here as well as your back.  When you cannot hold it any longer then slowly lower yourself down.

This is a strenuous exercise so you should feel a good burn after that one.  Now without resting it’s time to move on to your next exercise.

3. Side plank

This is going to work your obliques.  It is similar to the previous plank position except you will be on your side.  Start off by laying on your side.  All you want to do is life yourself off the ground with only your elbow and feet touching the ground at all.  Your focus should be to keep your body as straight as possible in this side plank position.  Hold that position until you cannot keep yourself off the ground any longer.  Once that side is exhausted, simply roll over and do the same thing on the opposite side.  And once that side is exhausted, it’s time to move on to the next exercise.

4. Jumping Jacks

Remember the good old days of doing jumping jacks?  Well they are just as valuable for increasing your stamina today as they were years ago.  The focus when doing jumping jacks is to think proper form and to be light on your feet.  Concentrate on staying on the balls of your feet and popping in and out of the jumping jack.  Do these until you are breathing heavily…remember listen to your body.

5. Squat Jumps

Squat jumps are great for all your major leg muscles.  You want to concentrate on landing softly on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent so that all of the muscles can share in absorbing the impact.  Place your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and then explode towards the sky using your quads and calves to propel you off the ground.  When you take off use your arms to gain momentum and reach your hands to the sky.  When you land remember to stay under control and slowly let your body sink back down into the squat position.  Then immediately explode back towards the sky.  Do these rapidly while staying under control.  Keep going until you cannot keep good form and you are too tired to keep doing that exercise.

6. Leg Lifts

Lay on your back and place your hands by your side.  Using just your abdominal muscles lift your legs off the ground and hold it there until you simply cannot keep your feet off the ground any longer.  You can modify this exercise too by lifting you legs until your entire body is at a right angle and do as many repetitions of that motion as possible.

7. Pushups and Plank Again

Here we will repeat the same pushup and plank routine you did before but try to do as many pushups as you can this time before holding your plank position.

8. Pullups

If you have a pullup bar then simply do as many pullups (also called chinups) as possible.  You can use a chair to give you a little help too if you need.  The key here is you want to do at least 10 but you want your muscles to be exhausted by the final pullup.  If you can do more then that is great…keep going until you are exhausted.

9. Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers are great for stamina which is why we saved them for last.  Get in a plank position, almost like you are about to do a pushup, and then basically run in place.  You will bring your left foot up toward your left hand and then make a running motion back.  You are basically running while in the plank position.  This is your last exercise so push yourself and go until you just can’t go anymore.

Remember, the key in this entire workout is rapidity.  You want to do the exercises quickly, while remaining under control, and with purpose.  And do not take breaks…if you can only do 5 minutes on day 1 then just do 5 minutes but make sure you are pushing yourself.  Eventually you may be able to start cycling through this routine two or maybe even 3 times for a really killer workout.

Something that will help you push yourself is this fact…the last few repetitions of each exercise are the absolute most important.  That last 2 or 3 when your muscles are completely fatigued and you are pushing yourself the hardest is where real muscle work and fat burning will occur.

And when you are done, reward yourself with a delicious whey protein smoothie so that you can refuel those fatigued muscles with high quality amino acids.  This will cut down your soreness and help you build those muscles back quicker.

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