Sweat app trainer Kayla Itsines believes you don't need to work out for long periods of time or strain yourself with high-impact workouts that can strain your joints. That's why she created this 15-minute express strength workout for day one of Sweat's Two Weeks to Strong Workout Plan. This workout requires no equipment and is low-impact, but high intensity, and aims to build full-body strength with a focus on core and hip stabilization without placing stress and pressure on your joints with low-impact exercises.
Watch the full workout above, and keep reading for more information on how to perform each workout, including a warmup and cooldown.
15-Minute Low-Impact Workout With Kayla Itsines
Equipment needed: yoga mat (optional), or a comfortable, flat surface
Directions: Start with the warmup listed below. Itsines said you can also warm up before the workout with three to five minutes of cardio, such as jogging in place or skipping. Complete the warmup listed below two times through for two minutes total, followed by the circuit. Complete each move back-to-back in the circuit for 30 seconds each for three rounds total. Rest for 30 seconds in between each round. Follow the cooldown listed below. Additionally, you can cool down with some additional static stretches.
Warmup: 2 Rounds
|Lunge and Twist||30 seconds|
|Rocking Chair||30 seconds|
Lunge and Twist:
- With your forearms stacked directly in front of your chest, plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.
- Take a big step forward with your left foot. As you plant your left foot on the floor, bend both knees to about 90 degrees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed between both legs. Your front knee should be aligned with your ankle, with your back knee hovering just off the floor.
- From the lunge position, twist your torso to bring your forearms over your left leg, ensuring that your knee remains in line with your middle toe. Untwist your torso to bring your forearms in front of your chest.
- Extend both knees and transfer your weight completely onto your right foot. Step your left foot backward to return to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep. Repeat on the other leg, continuing for 30 seconds while alternating legs.
- Place both hands on the mat slightly further than shoulder-width apart, with feet apart on the mat behind you, while resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.
- Bend at the hips and knees to shift your glutes over your heels and lower your torso towards the mat. Extend your arms along the mat, sinking your chest into the position and keeping your shoulders down and back.
- Press through your feet to extend your legs and return to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Circuit: 3 Rounds
|Kneel to Squat||30 seconds|
|Glute Bridge||30 seconds|
|Plank and Leg Lift||30 seconds|
|Side Plank and Hip Lift (right)||30 seconds|
|Side Plank and Hip Lift (left)||30 seconds|
|Ab Bikes||30 seconds|
|Alternating Reverse Lunge||30 seconds|
|Modified Burpee||30 seconds|
|Standing Oblique Crunch||30 seconds|
Kneel to Squat:
- Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
- With control, bend at your knees and lower down into a squat. Be sure to keep your bodyweight shifted back on your heels and both of your feet firmly on the ground.
- Maintaining an upright position, lower your right knee down to the ground. Be sure not to hinge (bend) at the hips. You should still have full hip extension. Next, lower your left knee down to the ground.
- With control, lift your right shin off the ground by driving your right knee up, and place your right foot on the ground in front of you; your knee should be at a 90-degree angle. You should be in a half-kneeling position. Next, drive your left knee up, and place your left foot on the ground in front of you; your knee should be at a 90-degree angle.
- From here, stand all the way up, returning to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep. Repeat for 30 seconds.
- On your mat, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Be sure to keep your feet underneath your knees, not in front. Plant your palms by each side, facing down.
- Press through your heels to raise your hips up to the ceiling, tensing your abs and squeezing your butt as you do. You should be making a long diagonal line with your body, from shoulders to knees.
- Hold for a few seconds, making sure your spine doesn't round and your hips don't sag. Keep your abs and butt muscles engaged.
- Lower down to the ground; this is considered one rep. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Plank and Leg Lift:
- Start by placing your forearms (wrist to elbow) firmly on the mat. Extend both legs behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Brace your abdominals and maintain a straight back, ensuring that your elbows are directly below your shoulders. This is your starting position.
- While keeping your upper body as still as possible, elevate your right toe slightly off the mat. Lower your right toe and place it back on the mat, next to your left foot.
- While keeping your upper body as still as possible, elevate your left toe slightly off the mat. Lower your left toe and place it back on the mat, next to your right foot. Continue alternating between sides for 30 seconds.
Side Plank and Hip Lift:
- Start by lying lengthways along a yoga mat. Place your right forearm firmly on the floor, ensuring
that your elbow is directly below your shoulder and that your forearm is parallel to (in line with) the
short edge of your mat.
- Extend both legs and, using your obliques, gently raise your hips off the mat. Position your feet one
on top of each other or place your left foot on the mat in front of your right — whichever is most comfortable. Gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core. This is your starting position.
- Inhale. Gently lower your hips towards the mat slightly.
- Exhale. Using your obliques, elevate your hips to return to the starting position.
- Repeat this movement for 30 seconds on the right side. Switch side and repeat for 30 seconds on the left side.
- Start by lying straight on your back on a yoga mat with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend
your elbows and place your hands behind your earlobes. Gently raise both legs and your head and shoulders off the mat. This is your starting position.
- While keeping your right leg extended, bend your left knee and draw it in towards your chest. At the same time, rotate your torso to the left to bring your right elbow to your knee.
- Untwist your torso and extend your left knee to return to the starting position. Immediately bend your right knee and draw it in towards your chest and rotate your torso to the right to bring your left elbow to your knee.
- Untwist your torso and extend your right knee to return to the starting position. Continue alternating
between left and right for 30 seconds.
Alternating Reverse Lunge:
- Stand with feet together. Take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your left foot.
- Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor and your right knee is positioned directly over your ankle. Keep your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor. Your left heel should be lifted.
- Step the left foot in, and lunge back with the right foot.
- Continue alternating for 30 seconds.
- Plant both feet on the mat shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.
- Bend at both the hips and knees to place your hands on the mat, gently draw your ribs to your hips
to engage your core ensuring your spine remains in a neutral position.
- Inhale. Step your feet backwards, one at a time, so that your legs are completely extended behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Your body should be in one straight line from your head to your heels.
- Step both of your feet forwards one at a time, once again, ensuring that your feet remain
- Exhale. Extend your legs to stand up tall and reach your arms above your head. As you reach the top of your stance, press into the balls of your feet to raise your heels off the ground.
Standing Oblique Crunch:
- Begin standing with both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Place both hands behind your head. Gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core. This is your starting position.
- While keeping your right leg extended, bend your left knee and draw it in towards your chest. At the same time, rotate your torso to the left to bring your right elbow to your knee. Untwist your torso and extend your left knee to return to the starting position. Immediately bend your right knee and draw it in towards your chest and rotate your torso to the right to bring your left elbow to your knee.
- Untwist your torso and extend your right knee to return to the starting position. You should feel
tension in your core and obliques throughout this exercise. Continue alternating between sides for 30 seconds.
Cooldown: 1 Round
- While seated on a yoga mat, extend both legs out in front of you.
- Bending from the hips, reach for your feet (or as far as you can). If you can reach your toes, gently pull them back towards you or rest your hands on your ankles or shins — whichever is most comfortable.
- Hold this position for 60 seconds, breathing deeply throughout. Each time that you exhale, lower your torso further towards your legs, ensuring that you are bending from the hips and not rounding through your spine.
- Kneel on your mat with your knees hips-width distance apart and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lie your torso over your thighs. Try to lengthen your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
- Rest your arms beside your legs with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you.
- Stay here for 60 seconds.