15 Minutes to Tone

Get a Full-body Workout — Fast
Get a Full-body Workout — Fast

Photo by Terri Smith Photography

Even the busiest schedule has 15 minutes available somewhere. Maybe it’s the time you spent pinning your favorite site, or checking your “Likes” or even crashing on the couch for a little CW time with Paul Wesley. It doesn’t take a gym, or even money, to get started, just a little self will and the desire to get moving. We challenge you to spend 15 minutes creating a new you — learn to maximize, and you’ll be in your favorite skinnies in no time! // LAURA PATRICK


Do one set of the recommended number of reps for each move back-to-back. Once you finish the last move, rest for a minute and then repeat the full circuit two more times (three circuits total). For best results, alternate upper, core and lower circuits each day of the week.


1. Triceps Dips 2. Bicep Curls 3. Shoulder Press 4. Lying Chest Press These four fantastic exercises will strengthen and lengthen your arms in a matter of weeks. After just the first few times, you’ll notice a difference in your strength.


Incorporate the four exercises doing 25 reps of each, back-to-back. Rest for one minute, then start the next circuit completing three circuits total for 15 minutes.


A set of dumbbells (5 to 8 pounds, depending on your fitness level). Or two full 16-ounce water bottles or two cans of soup or beans)


Keep a straight back and slightly bent knees when doing the shoulder press and bicep curls. Make sure your elbows don’t dip below your shoulders when doing the lying chest press and shoulder press.

Tricep Dips — Sit on the side of your tub or in a sturdy chair. Begin with the hands next to or slightly under the hips. Lift up onto the hands and bring the hips forward. Bend the elbows (no lower than 90 degrees) and lower the hips down, keeping them very close to the chair. Keep the shoulders down. Push back up without locking the elbows.

Bicep Curls — Stand up straight with a water bottle/dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. Keep your elbows close to your body and rotate the palms of your hands until they face forward. Keeping the upper arms stationary, exhale and curl the water bottles/dumbbells until the they are at shoulder level. Lower the weights back to the starting position.

Shoulder Press — Hold each weight at shoulder height, palms facing forward. Press weight straight up and at arm’s length overhead. Lower the weights slowly back to the starting position. Hold and repeat.

Lying Chest Press — Lie on your back with arms extended over your chest, weights in your hands with palms facing forward. While inhaling, lower the weights; elbows bending in line with your chest. Hold, then repeat.



1. Wood choppers 2. Bicycles 3. Planks 4. Side Planks 5. Mountain Climbers Otherwise known as the fab five, these exercises will instantly start to melt off your middle and tone up your core.


Incorporate the five exercises doing 25 reps of each, back-to-back. Rest for one minute, then start the next circuit, completing three circuits total for 15 minutes.


With planks and hip lifts, keeping a straight back and engaged core will help protect your body. Rest when you need to and maintain recommended form.

Wood choppers — Standing with the left foot in front of the right foot, hold one weight with both hands, arms extended so the weight is by your right hip. Rotate arms up and across the body, as shown (don’t twist torso). Hold, then repeat. Do 10–12 reps; switch sides, then repeat.

Bicycles — Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and both feet off the ground. Keep one leg extended and bring your other knee up and in towards your chest. Curl your opposite shoulder off the ground, and bring that elbow across your body until it touches the raised knee. Now repeat with your other knee and elbow in slow, deliberate movements.

Planks — Start on elbows and knees, locking hands together. Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart. Face the floor, being careful not to arch your back or stick your bottom in the air. Hold this position for 45 seconds to begin with, extending the time as you get stronger.

Mountain Climbers — Place hands on floor, slightly wider than shoulder width. On forefeet, position one leg forward bent under body and extend other leg back. While holding upper body in place, alternate leg positions by pushing hips up while immediately extending forward leg back and pulling rear leg forward under body, landing on both forefeet at the same time.

Side Planks — Lie on your right side, propped up on your elbow. Let your left foot rest on top of your right, and then push up so that your body forms a perfect triangle with the floor. Don’t let your left shoulder roll forward or back. Hold the position for as long as you can, then repeat on the other side.



1. Squats 2. Lunges 3. Glute Bridges May sound intense, but these three basic exercises will move your legs and gluteus into toner territory.


Incorporate the three exercises doing 20 reps of each, back-to-back for a total of 15 minutes.


With both squats and lunges, make sure the knee never goes over your toes. A straight back and engaged core helps protect your weaker points. For a more advanced workout, incorporate your weights into the squat and lunge exercises.

Glute Bridges — Lie on your back on an exercise mat or the floor in a bent-knee position with your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet hip-width apart with the toes facing away from you. Keep the abdominals engaged and lift your hips up off the floor making a straight line from the hips to the knees. Slowly lower yourself back to your starting position.

Lunges — Stand upright. Step forward with one foot. The toes of both feet should be facing straight ahead. Be sure your legs are aligned, your front knee should be aligned with the foot. Lower your back knee towards the floor. Push back up to the starting position. Concentrate on squeezing your buttocks to push yourself up, and keep the abdominals tight and the lower back in a neutral position. Throughout the exercise, maintain the body in an upright position and avoid leaning forward. Do 20 lunges on the left leg, then repeat the exercise with the right leg.

Squats — Position your feet slightly wider then hip-width apart with your toes slightly turned out. Put your hands on your hips or hold them out in front of you at shoulder height to counter-balance your weight and help you keep your balance. Slowly and under control bend your knees and lower yourself down as far as you can without lifting your heels off the floor. After a brief pause at the bottom, push your weight back up until you are back at the starting position.



15 Tracks to Fuel Your Workout

Whether it’s music or a new pair of kicks, find what makes you move. Our model, Sara Noel, gets motivated with music. Check out what’s on her workout playlist.

►    That’s What’s Up – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
►    Countdown – Beyoncé
►    Indestructible – Robyn
►    Carried Away – Passion Pit
►    Be a Body – Grimes
►    Only If For A Night – Florence + The Machine
►    Bad Girls – M.I.A.
►    Climax – Usher
►    Hard In Da Paint – Waka Flocka Flame
►    I’ve Seen Footage – Death Grips
►    Where Have You Been – Rihanna
►    Her Fantasy – Matthew Dear
►    Harder Better Faster Stronger – Daft Punk
►    I Am the Best – 2NE1
►    Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsystem


Stefanie Faircloth is a certified personal trainer with more than 20 years of training experience in Tallahassee. She is an independent contractor who trains clients at the Gold’s Gym Capital Circle location and is a training coach at American Fitness 24/7.

If you find yourself with MORE time in the day to kick it into gear, try incorporating these additional exercises into your routine.

For additional PLAYLISTS to get you up and moving, click here.

For 2013's hottest workout gear, click here.




Categories: Fitness