Can you burn fat, get in shape, and improve health in just seven minutes?
Since its debut in a 2013 New York Times article, the seven-minute workout has taken the fitness world by storm. Originally published by the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal, the seven-minute workout was described in an article titled: “High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment.”
Perhaps you’re one of the millions around the world who have downloaded seven-minute fitness apps on their smartphones. Regardless of whether you’ve heard of a seven-minute workout or not, here are the basics.
What’s the Goal?
By incorporating high-intensity circuit training into your workout you can achieve maximum results in less time, boost your metabolism, burn more calories, and push yourself to new fitness levels. The exercises in the seven-minute workout were chosen specifically to develop strength in all major muscle groups and ensure that strength is balanced. The workout can be tailored by each individual’s fitness level by increasing or decreasing the intensity based on the speed and number of exercises done.
The seven-minute workout was also designed to be easily accessible. It requires little to no equipment (just a chair or bench and a wall), can be done at home, in the gym, outdoors, or while staying at a hotel on business, costs nothing, and takes up a short amount of time.
How Does It Work?
The seven-minute workout uses a total of 12 simple bodyweight exercises, carried out in quick succession. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds with a 10-second rest-and-recovery period between each exercise. The 10-second rest may not seem long, but the order of the exercises provides a chance for your muscles to rest as well because the order alternates between exercises that work the large muscles of your upper body (a push-up), those of your lower body (a squat), and your core (a plank).
While seven minutes is how long the workout takes, the American College of Sports Medicine and other fitness experts recommend repeating the workout two or three more times to gain maximum health benefits.
What Are the Exercises?
A sample of the seven-minute workout includes the following order of exercises: jumping jacks, wall sit, push-ups, abdominal crunches, step-ups onto a chair, squats, triceps dips using a chair, a plank, running in place with high knees, lunges, push-ups with rotation, and a side plank.
As you can see, each exercise targets different major muscle groups and alternates between total body, lower body, upper body, and core workouts.
What to Expect
The seven-minute workout isn’t meant to be short and sweet. Short, yes, but not easy. Because of the intensity and fast pace, those seven minutes should be tough and challenging. Near the end of the workout you should be out of breath and eager for the end.
The nature of the workout requires knowledge of proper form for each exercise in order to reap maximum benefit and prevent injury.
While seven minutes doesn’t seem like long when it comes to exercise, a little is better than nothing. For those new to the world of exercise, the seven-minute workout can be a simple yet challenging place to start. The seven-minute routine can also provide a quick pick-me-up when your energy levels are dropping in the middle of the day. But for those seeking to shed pounds and build a better body, it will likely take more than a few minutes of exercise each day to see results.
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