Let's face it, even the most dedicated of fitness addicts, on occasion, will find it a struggle to find time to workout. Best-laid plans can quickly go up in flames due to work deadlines, weather, travel, or that unexpected call from the school nurse that your kiddo needs to be picked up NOW.
What's a gal (or guy!) to do when they're going crazy, trying to fit a workout in to a hectic schedule? Insert the Scientific 7-Minute Workout.
What is the 7-Minute Workout?
The Scientific 7-Minute Workout blew up a few years ago. In a nutshell it's a HIIT, bodyweight workout that has been scientifically proven to burn fat, build strength, and increase cardiovascular function - all in just seven minutes. Sign us up!
Wait, it gets better. Another study revealed exactly how to get the maximum results in the minimum amount of time from the workout. The secret lies in a strategically ordering the exercises so you're working different major muscles groups each time. Active recovery allows for each major muscle group to rest while you target another area. Here's how to do it.
The 7-Minute, HIIT Workout
Perform each exercise in rapid succession (aim for exhaustion) for 30 seconds. For static exercises such as the wall sit, hold the position for 30 seconds. For exercises that target two sides (such as your legs), alternate each side for 30 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds between each exercise to reset. The key here is to really push. Those seven minutes should be, well, unpleasant.
- Jumping Jacks. Jumping jacks aren't child's play, they're the ultimate cardio workout. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Jump feet open as you raise arms up. Jump feet back together as you lower arms to sides. Complete the exercise as fast as possible.
- Wall Sit. Ready to feel the burn? Stand with back to wall. Walk feet away from wall, sliding your back down the wall, until hips, knees, and ankles are at 90-degree angles. Now, engage your core and hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Push-Up. Push-ups have been called the world's greatest exercise, and for good reason. Excellent for muscular balance and whole body strength - push-ups get results. Start in high plank (wrists under shoulders, core engaged). Lower chest to floor, keeping legs, hips, and back in a straight line. Return to high plank position. If you’re not quite ready for a pushup, there’s no shame in taking a step back. Modify the movement by working form your knees.
- Crunch. Lie on floor with knees bent and arms reaching straight out. Press low back into floor and engage core to lift shoulder blades up off the floor and slightly forward. Make sure to breathe and engage core while executing the movement.
- Step-Up. Grab a chair (or stool) and lift right foot onto seat. Press into heel of right foot to lift your body weight onto chair, balancing on right leg. Slowly lower back down to floor. Alternate legs and repeat for 30 seconds.
- Air Squat. We love us a good squat! Stand with feet just wider than hip width, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles. Hinge at hips, sending hips back and bend knees to lower body. Tip: make sure to keep chest lifted and lower to at least 90 degrees (shallow squats don't count!). Stand and repeat.
- High Knees. Begin with your your feet hip width apart and run in place, pulling each knee up towards your chest. Engage your abs as your bring your knees up. Pump your arms for increased calorie burn.
- Lunge. Standing tall, take a big step forward with right leg and lower body until right thigh is parallel to floor (don't let knee go past right toe!). Press into right heel and stand back up to starting position. Repeat, alternating legs.
- Push-Up With Rotation. You didn't think you were done with push-ups, did you? Perform normal push-up movement. When returning to high plank position, shift weight to left arm and rotate body to left side. Hold side plank for one count. Return to starting position, perform push-up, and repeat on right side. Need a visual? POPSUGAR demonstrates the movement perfectly, below.
- Side Plank. Lie on one side with legs and feet stacked on top of one another. Lift hips to prop body up on elbow, keeping feet stacked. Press forearm into ground to keep torso and hips in a straight line. Hold for 30 seconds each side.
Remember, to get results you need to go all out. The rest period provides just enough recovery to perform another 30 seconds of maximum effort. Make it your goal to perform AMRAP in each 30-second block. Pin now, workout later!
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