Looking for a quick, low-tech workout that you can take with you wherever you go? Science has the answer … in only 7 minutes.
You don’t always have time for a full workout, especially when you are traveling. But, says Science, you can still work hard and stay fit. All you need is a chair, a wall, your own body weight … and 7 glorious minutes of high-intensity effort.
This highly efficient exercise sequence, published in ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal, is based on the concept of high-intensity circuit training, also known as interval training . This type of workout provides both aerobic and resistance training by alternating between intense bursts of exercise and short periods of rest.
Even with its shorter overall length, high-intensity circuit training has similar benefits to traditional workouts—fat and weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, and decreased insulin resistance (a risk factor for type II diabetes).
Effective Workout for Busy People
To come up with an effective workout for busy people, the exercise professionals from the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., included exercises that could be done at home, in the office or while on the go. The exercises use your own body weight for resistance, so the only equipment needed is a chair and a wall.
This brief exercise program also alternates between working the major muscles of the upper and lower body, giving the muscles on one half of your body time to rest while you focus on other areas.
As with any exercise program, you should check with your doctor first before starting. The intense nature of this workout, however, means that you should be extra careful if you are overweight, haven’t exercised in a while, are dealing with a previous injury or have other medical conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure.
The 7-Minute Workout
The 7-minute workout includes 12 stations, with 10 seconds rest in between. Each exercise should be done 15-20 times. As for intensity, you need to work at about an 8, on a scale of 1 to 10, which puts it right around … unpleasant (don’t worry, it will be over soon).
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you exercise at least 20 minutes to receive the full benefits of high-intensity circuit training. This workout can be repeated two or three times in a row to reach that goal. If you are pressed for time, however, you will still feel the burn even with just one time through.
- Jumping jacks (Total body)
- Wall sit (Lower body)
- Push-up (Upper body)
- Abdominal crunch (Core)
- Step-up onto chair (Total body)
- Squat (Lower body)
- Triceps dip on chair (Upper body)
- Plank (Core)
- High knees/running in place (Total body)
- Lunge (Lower body)
- Push-up and rotation (Upper body)
- Side plank (Core)
Originally published on The Health Journal
Klika B, & Jordan C (2013). HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal, 17 (3), 8-13 : 10.1249/FIT.0b013e31828cb1e8
- Workout photo by ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal
- Man doing pushup in air, Some rights reserved by www.guigo.eu