Combine these core, glute and quad exercises over the course of a week, no more than 15 minutes a day (by all means do further sets to really push yourself) and you’ll start seeing the benefits within a month. Keep up the routine for a 3-month period and you’ll really be flying.
Sound good? Of course it does! And who, in all honesty, can’t spare 15 minutes of their time a day – especially when it could mean the difference between you now and a you that benefits from better core strength, suppleness and definition across the mid to lower body.
If you have a cheap gym membership, add these to your gym routine as a matter of habit and you’ll be ensuring yourself a fantastic global workout. If you prefer to do your exercise at home or in the park, you’ll help yourself achieve a fantastic all-round level of core and lower-body health with these two 15-minute exercises:
1. 15-minute scrunches
15 minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, does it? Except when you’re only 30 seconds into those 15 minutes and you’re doing scrunches.
- Assume the classic position and begin with 30 scrunches to punish your core, pulling your knees up as you raise your chin up towards your chest. No need to go in too hard or might strain your back. Do 30 reps and rest for 30 seconds.
- Now work your laterals doing left-right-left scrunches, extending your arm down your side each time as your keep your feet planted and knees raised: 30 reps and rest for 30 seconds.
- Now, still on your back, head slightly raised, stretch out your legs and lift them up to a 90-degree angle, raising your arms to meet hands and feet. Do 30 reps. Have another 30 second break – you deserve it.
Now repeat these routines 3 times. That’s a hard 15 minutes and you’ll be feeling your stomach muscles tomorrow – but it’s fantastic for your core strength and abdominal definition.
2. 15-minute squats
The secret to a good squat, like so many things, is all in the mind. Focus your attention on the key areas you wish to work with your squats – your quads and glutes, as well as your hamstrings and hips – and maintain exactly the correct posture from start to finish. If you can’t complete as many squats as you wanted or finish the full 15 minutes, better that than drift out of your perfect posture.
Start with the classic squat: feet at shoulder-width apart, straight back, and sink into the sitting position with hips back, knees bent, ensuring that your knees never come over the top of your feet. Try to look ahead as you do it, and keeping a steady rhythm, do 30 reps before taking a 30 second break.
Now 30 jump squats. Hands behind your head, elbows back so that your forearms are facing out and are at a 90-degree position in relation to the rest of your body. Go as high as you can with each of your 30 reps, no pausing for breath. Your balance will soon improve as you get the hang of it.
Now rest for 30 seconds before completing 30 pistol squats. Stretch your arms out in front of you, hold your right leg up, hold, and sink down on your left leg as far as you can go, and go up again. Switch legs and repeat. Once you’re strong enough, complete 10 reps on each leg before switching.
Now repeat the full routine 3 times. Good luck!