The Best 15 Minute Workouts for Strength, Conditioning, and More

From gaining muscle to building endurance and increasing mobility, 15 minute workouts have got your back.

Expert Verified By: Angelo Gingerelli, CSCS

You might love a long workout as much as the next gym nerd. But sometimes you can’t spend hours in the gym. You might be traveling, working hard at that new job, or just need to squeeze in an extra training session at home. The good news is, 15-minute workouts can help you stay on track with your goals, improve your conditioning, and even make you stronger.

If you’re used to working out for much longer periods of time, the idea of training for only 15 minutes might seem ridiculous. But 15-minute workouts can help you target your weak spots as an athlete. If you don’t have the space in your programming to focus on building endurance, peppering in 15-minute workouts throughout your week can help you do that efficiently. Because such short workouts should generally be intense, they’ll build multiple benefits at once — strength and endurance, for example.

A person performs incline pushups outside.
Credit: Sarayut Sridee / Shutterstock

This article will take you through five of the best 15-minute workouts according to your goals, and you’ll learn about why they’re so good to integrate into your program. You’ll also learn how to incorporate these short workouts into your training and how to warm up for them.

Best 15 Minute Workouts

15 Minute Workout for Strength

Yes, you can get stronger while working out for only 15 minutes at a time. You need more than 15-minute sessions to train for a max deadlift, for example — but that doesn’t mean a short workout can’t make you stronger. Use your 15-minute sessions to focus on movement patterns you might normally breeze through to make the most of your training.

The Workout

Instead of aiming for maximum reps, you’ll aim to perform each movement with slow control. To build strength, you’ll perform 1 ½ reps with most of your exercises. Doing your reps this way will increase your time under tension, which is key for getting you a lot stronger. You can perform this workout two to four times a week.

Round 1 (8 minutes)

  • 1 ½ Push-Up: 1 minute
  • Rest 30 seconds.
  • 1 ½ Bulgarian Split Squat: 30 seconds per side
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Superman: 1 minute
  • Repeat round once

Round 2 (7 minutes)

  • Bodyweight Squat: 1 minute
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • 1 ½ Close-Grip Push-Up: 1 minute
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Reverse Snow Angel: 30 seconds
  • Repeat round once

15 Minute Workout for Muscle Growth

Because you’ll only be working for 15 minutes total, you’ll pack as many reps as possible (AMRAP) into the time you have to work out. You also won’t be resting all that much. That means that you’ll be placing your muscles under a lot of mechanical stress. That kind of stress is exactly what you need to help stimulate hypertrophy.

The Workout

You’ll be minimizing rest time with the structure of this workout, but make sure you are actually taking the rest that is prescribed. You want to be able to maintain effectiveness and excellent form, even as you push yourself. Try this workout two or three times a week.

Round 1 (10 minutes)

  • Pushup: 1-minute AMRAP
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Alternating Bodyweight Lunge: 2-minute AMRAP
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Bodyweight Skull Crusher: 1-minute AMRAP
  • Repeat round once

Round 2 (5 minutes)

  • Alternating Jumping Lunge: 45 seconds
  • Rest 15 seconds
  • Archer Push-Up: 45 seconds per side
  • Repeat round once

15 Minute Workout for Conditioning

The great thing about 15-minute workouts is that they’re designed to be intense by nature of how short they are. Because of this intensity, you’ll likely boost your conditioning even if your main focus is hypertrophy. That said, having a short workout focused solely on conditioning will allow you to go through exercises that are designed to get your heart rate up while making you stronger.

The Workout

Especially if you’re not used to intensive conditioning work, take it easy on your frequency. Even performing this workout once a week will be helpful for someone who might lift regularly, but is unused to rigorous conditioning training. That said, feel free to perform it up to three or four times a week if you are more practiced in this area.

Round 1 (6 minutes)

  • Burpee: 1-minute AMRAP
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • Repeat round twice

Round 2 (5 minutes)

Round 3 (4 minutes)

  • Clapping Push-Up: 30 seconds AMRAP
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Bodyweight Glute Bridge Hold: 60 seconds
  • Repeat round once

15 Minute Workout for Endurance

All well-designed 15-minute workouts will likely build your endurance — especially if you’re not used to short, intense bursts of work. But there are some that specifically target endurance more than others. Focus on form throughout this workout especially. It takes a lot of mental effort to improve your endurance, and you’ll have to channel a lot of that effort into maintaining good form while you’re fatigued.

The Workout

In this workout, you’ll either be working longer or minimizing your rest periods even more in each round. Especially at first, this might not actually translate into performing more total reps. Because you’re pushing yourself to have so little rest, your body might actually hit failure sooner. That’s okay — log your numbers and keep pressing on.

Round 1 (7 minutes)

  • Push-Up: 90-second AMRAP
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Bodyweight Squat: 90-second AMRAP
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Marching Glute Bridge: 90-second AMRAP
  • Repeat round twice

Round 2 (5 minutes)

  • Left Side Plank: 1-minute AMRAP
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Right Side Plank: 1-minute AMRAP
  • Repeat round once

Round 2 (3 minutes)

  • Burpee: 30 seconds AMRAP
  • Rest 15 seconds
  • Repeat round three times

15 Minute Workout for Mobility

Improving your mobility is going to help you get stronger — period. Even if your primary goal in typical training is strength or hypertrophy, focusing on mobility during your shorter sessions is a great idea. The more mobile you are, the more successful your lifts will be. After all, overhead lifts, squats, and deadlifts all require solid top-to-bottom mobility.

The Workout

This workout might feel less intense than the others — you won’t be jumping around as much, for example. But if you’re not used to mobility work, this short mobility session might feel extremely draining. That’s okay — pushing yourself to improve strength at your end ranges of motion is demanding work. Even so, you might want to perform this workout every day. It won’t require a lot of you in terms of recovery, and it’ll give you ample benefits on the lifting platform.

Round 1 (6 minutes)

  • Scapular Wall Slides: 1 minute
  • Bodyweight Windmill: 30 seconds per side
  • Alternating Crab Reach: 1 minute
  • Repeat round once

Round 2 (5 minutes)

  • Frog Pump: 1 minute
  • Glute Bridge: 30 seconds
  • World’s Greatest Stretch: 1 minute
  • Repeat round once

Round 3 (4 minutes)

  • Scapular Pushup: 1 minute
  • Deep Lateral Lunge: 1 minute
  • Repeat round once

Benefits of 15 Minute Workouts

For athletes who love lifting, 15-minute workouts can be tough to swallow. Fifteen minutes is just enough time to warm up for a decent workout — what could you possibly get from exercising for just 15 minutes before calling it a day? You can get quite a lot, actually.

Time Savers

Maybe you don’t have time to add a full-out conditioning session to your program. Or maybe you don’t have time to hit the gym at all. Whether you’re using 15-minute workouts to supplement your training program or your program consists entirely of 15-minute sessions right now, these short workouts save a lot of time.

Cardio and Conditioning Benefits

Fifteen minutes of jogging can help improve your cardiovascular health — but a 15-minute workout can also improve your conditioning. The great thing about using your body weight (or actual weights) for cardio is that your heart rate and muscles will get a strenuous workout. This type of conditioning training can get you stronger while you’re getting your cardio in.

A person wearing their hair naturally performs bodyweight squats outside.
Credit: Shopping King Louie / Shutterstock

Why is it important for lifters to incorporate conditioning into their training? The more you improve your work capacity, the easier it will be for you to train longer and harder on the platform. Winded after a heavy set of four reps? Even short conditioning workouts like these can boost your work capacity so that you can recover faster and therefore lift heavier.

Target Your Weaknesses

Especially if you use 15-minute workouts to strategically target your weak points or secondary goals, you can get a whole lot out of them. If your main goal is to get strong but you also want to get better at cardio, try a 15-minute conditioning workout. It’ll focus on both strength and cardio — so you’ll still be getting stronger, but it’ll give you a moment to specifically train for your secondary cardio goal.

Or, maybe you know that mobility is a general weakness for you. Instead of using your 15-minute workouts to try and build muscle, try performing short workouts to improve your mobility. This way, you can maximize your time and not feel like you’re leaving gains on the table by working out so quickly.


Your schedule might not allow you to log hours at the gym every week. Knowing that 15-minute workouts are all you need to stay on task can help you maintain a consistent training schedule, even when you’re stressed out or pressed for time.

Taking time off from training completely might be a good option for you if you need to prioritize other things in your life — but if you enjoy working out, total time off can be emotionally difficult. Enter 15-minute workouts. They’ll keep you on track with your goals but won’t eat into your schedule.

Who Should Try 15 Minute Workouts

Fifteen-minute workouts can benefit a wide range of strength athletes and casual gym-goers alike. If you’re looking to improve your conditioning, your confidence, or your gym-related time management, 15 minute workouts can help you out.

Athletes Looking to Improve Conditioning

Athletes from any strength sport can benefit from better conditioning. The ability to work harder for longer without getting overly winded can help powerlifters, weightlifters, and Strongman athletes lift heavier. CrossFitters who are better conditioned can improve their time and efficiency in their next session, and bodybuilders with higher work capacities can lift more efficiently. And the more efficiently you lift, the less energy you waste — thereby giving you more of an opportunity to train hard.

Athletes Who Want to Build Their Confidence

It can be intimidating to watch people bang out burpee after burpee at the gym. Sure, you can squat well over your body weight, but there’s something about being able to exercise sustainably with your own body as resistance. Fifteen-minute workouts can be a great confidence booster for strength athletes who want to feel — and be — more athletic.

And if you’re just trying to get into the habit of working out, 15-minute workouts can feel a lot more accessible than going to the gym for an hour or so. The more complete 15-minute sessions you can tick off your list, the more confidence you’ll gain — and the more sustainable your training will become.

Athletes Without a Lot of Time

No time to train for the next couple of months? You might not have the same amount of time you’ve had in the past, but you do probably have 15 minutes at least a few times a week. It can be a great asset to your workout consistency to know that you can get a full, satisfying workout so quickly. Even if you don’t get to do everything you want to do within 15 minutes, keeping up with your training when you’re pressed for time will make it much easier when you do have more time.

How to Program 15 Minute Workouts

Sometimes, you want to use 15-minute workouts as supplements to your lifting routine. Maybe you want some bodyweight work on an active recovery day or to add a finisher to the end of a lifting session. Or you might want to slip some conditioning into your training routine.

In that case, program your 15-minute workouts around your recovery and other training needs. You probably don’t want to do a push-up-heavy 15-minute session the day before heavy bench pressing, for example. But you might want to do a leg-intensive conditioning workout the day after heavy squats or deadlifts to help you recover.

On the other hand, you may use 15-minute workouts as your primary or only form of working out for a microcycle. In that case, perform your chosen workouts a few times a week, depending on your training experience and recovery needs. You still have to recover from bodyweight work. Short workouts are intense, so don’t come out swinging every day until you’re used to conditioning work.

The exception here is mobility work. You probably do want to aim to do some sort of mobility workout every day. It’ll help you lift heavier and safer, and the more mobility workouts you do, the stronger you’ll get in your end ranges of motion.

How to Warm Up for 15 Minute Workouts

If you’re doing 15-minute workouts, it’s likely that you don’t have a whole lot of time to commit to your sessions right now. But don’t let that stop you from warming up properly. To make the most of your 15 minutes, commit to warming up for just a few minutes beforehand. 

This short but effective warmup routine can help you reduce your injury risk and make your training more efficient.

  • Cat-Cow: 2 x 30 seconds
  • World’s Greatest Stretch: 1 minute
  • Inchworm with Pushup: 1 minute

More on Intense Training

Want to get started on incorporating 15-minute workouts into your training? Fantastic — you’re in for an effective, efficient, and intense ride. Check out these articles on other forms of intense training if you’re ready to take your workout game to the next level.

Featured Image: Sarayut Sridee / Shutterstock