For some people, finding 30 to 60 minutes in the day to squeeze in a workout can seem like an insurmountable task, which can put a real damper on plans to get healthy and active. However, just because you may not have a window in your day for a full workout routine, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. There are plenty of workouts designed for busy people like you that can get your heart pumping, help you burn calories and build muscle, and spur you toward your fitness goals.
Get your workout in just 7 minutes
Last year, the Internet and the media were abuzz with an exercise craze – the seven-minute workout. By combining a handful of high-intensity cardio and aerobic exercises, this routine is designed to burn calories and build muscle in a very short period of time. It’ll likely take you longer to shower and change than it will to actually complete the circuit. A study published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal found evidence to support the effectiveness of this program.
Over the course of seven minutes, you will complete 12 different exercises for about 30 seconds each with 10-second breaks between every move. All you’ll need is a chair and a wall. If you have 14 minutes to spare, you can do the circuit twice for added benefits.
The routine is as follows:
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sit
- Abdominal crunches
- Step-up onto chair
- Tricep dip
- High knees (or running in place)
- Pushups with rotation
- Side plank
Spare 10 minutes for a cardio workout
- If cardio is what you’re looking for, this 10-minute routine recommended by Shape magazine will bring your pulse up to fat-burning levels in no time. There are only five moves in this sequence, so you’ll be done before you know it.
- After a quick warm-up to get your muscles ready, start with the “scissor skier.” To do this exercise, start standing with your feet together, then jump, kicking one leg behind you and one in front. At the same time, your arms should swing in opposite directions (one goes up and forward, the other down and back) with palms facing in. Jump back into position and switch directions on the next jump. Do this 20 times.
- Next, you will do a kinetic plank exercise. The “Up, Up, Down, Down Plank” involves starting in a modified plank position with your forearms resting on the ground. Then, you will walk your left hand in to below your shoulder and straightening the arm. repeat this move with the right, so you are in a full plank. Then, bring your elbows one at a time back to the floor and the modified plank position. Shape magazine suggested doing five reps starting with the left arm, and then another five reps starting with the right.
- The third move is a modified squat jump that adds a chopping motion to get the arms involved. Clasp your hands above your head while standing, jump into the squat while bringing your arms down in a chopping motion. Swing them back up as you jump back to the standing position. Do 20 reps as fast as you can.
- Now, it’s back to planks. Get into full plank position and jump your feet up and to one side of your body, so your knees point out toward your elbow. Then jump back to the plank and repeat on the other side. Do this 20 times, alternating direction.
- The final move is called the “Running Boat.” Sit on a flat, hard surface with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Slowly lift your feet off the ground and allow yourself to balance on your glutes. At the same time, bend your arms, keeping your elbows at your sides. Engaging your core, extend your left leg forward and let the arm reach forward toward the left foot. Bring them back to the starting position and alternate this move for 20 reps.