Tag Archives: 7 Minute Workout

Scientific 7 Minute Workout

Think you don’t have time to exercise?  Think again!

Here’s the original “Scientific 7 Minute Workout”  from Brett Klika and Chris Jordan as published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal. To be honest, I’m not sure why it is called the “7 minute” workout because it is more like 8 ½ minutes.  This is a body weight exercise workout, which means you can do it just about anywhere.

Here’s how it works.  Complete each exercise in order.  Exercises are performed for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of transition time between exercises.

The original study calls for you to perform each exercise at the highest intensity you can safely sustain, though you can tailor it to meet your individual needs.  Just don’t cheat yourself by not giving it the effort you deserve!  For maximum benefit repeat the circuit 2-3 times.

To show that this workout can be done just about anywhere, I did it in my office in my street clothes.  (No, I didn’t give it full intensity, but it was invigorating and got me moving.)  The workout is below.  If you’d like a follow-along video to work out with I recommend this one from Fitness Blender.

The workout does not include a warm up or cool down, which are recommended.  Even a few minutes can help avoid injuries and sore muscles.

Now, without further ado, I give you the “Scientific 7 Minute Workout”.  (Complete with pictures of a nameless, somewhat handsome guy, that you are free to ignore if you like.)

Jumping Jacks

 

Jumping Jacks

Most people know how to do jumping jacks
(okay, with the exception of a couple of kids on the youth basketball
team I coach), but just in case, here’s how to do it.

1. Stand straight, with feet together and arms at your side.

2. Slightly bend your knees, and jump a few inches into the air.

3. While in air, bring your legs out to the side about shoulder width or slightly wider.  At the same time raise your arms over your head.  Keep arms stiff and slightly bent (Don’t flop around).

4. Quickly jump back to step 1 and repeat.

Wall Sit

Wall Sit

The wall sit is the first static exercise in this circuit.

1.  Sit in the air with your back against a wall and think square!  Legs should be bent to 90 degrees, knees directly over your ankles and thighs pointing out perpendicular to the wall, as if you are sitting on a square box the exact dimensions of your body.   You may find it simplest to lean back against the wall and then slide down until you are in the proper position.

2. Hold that position for the entire 30 seconds.

Push Up

Push Up

Here’s one that everyone knows about but is so easy to get wrong.  For some tips on proper form, there is a great post here.

1. Start with your arms straight, core tight, holding your body in a plank (straight head to toe) position.

2. Hands and arms should be positioned below your shoulders with fingers pointed forwards (towards your head). Shoulders are pushed down away from your ears.

3. Lower your body until your chest is an inch or two above the floor, elbows pulling back (not out) at roughly a 45
degree angle.

4. Push  away from the ground, keeping your body straight, until your arms lock, then repeat.

Crunches

Crunches

I’m not a fan of traditional crunches because they are not as effective as once thought and are potentially
bad for your back, but they are part of the original workout, so here they are.   (The following description is from Livestrong.com.)

“Begin flat on your back with your knees bent and the heels of your feet only a few inches from your buttocks. Bring your hands to your temples with palms out, and elbows out from the body at about thirty to forty-five degrees. While exhaling, bring your shoulder blades off the ground fairly quickly, until you feel an intense pressure in the rectus
abdominus muscles. Hold for a one to two second count, then slowly release, beginning the next repetition when the head and shoulders are just about to touch the ground.”

Step Up

Step up

You can use a  sturdy chair, box, retaining wall, etc. to do these.

1.  Alternating each leg, step up on to an elevated surface .   I like to throw in a high knee up top with the non-weight-bearing leg.

2. Step back down again.  Repeat, leading with the opposite leg.

You can very intensity by adjusting the speed and/or height.

Squat

Squat

Hinge your hips so that your butt moves backwards as you go down.

Toes should be turned slightly out.  Knees should not extend past your toes as you go down.

At the bottom of the squat your hamstrings should be roughly parallel to the floor.

Keep your head straight, chest forward, shoulders back. and your back flat to slightly arched.

Inhale down, exhale up.

Triceps Dips

Dips

Use a stable chair, bench, low wall, deck etc.  If you don’t have any of these you can also do your dips on the floor.

Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair.

Extend your legs out in front of you.

Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.

Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Try to keep your body as close to the bench/chair as possible.

Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press your body up, returning to the starting position.

Keep your shoulders down – don’t let them sneak up to your ears.

Bend your legs and bring them in closer to make it easier.  To increase the difficulty try doing the dips on a stability ball.

Plank

Plank

Variation 1: Assume the high push up position and hold it.  Keep your arms directly under the shoulders and
maintain a flat back.

Variation 2. Drop down to your elbows rather than using straight arms.

Hold this position for the entire 30 seconds.  If you need to make this easier,  Perform this on your knees rather than your toes.  This will still give you a good workout.

High Knees

High Knees

Jog in place, raising your knees up to about waist level.  Use your core to help lift your legs.  If you are not
sure if you are raising your legs high enough (or to force yourself to do so) put your hands out about waist level and strike them with your knees.

Lunges

Step forward and drop your body straight down.  Keep your front knee directly over the ankle.

Keep your torso straight; do not lean forward.

Allow the heel of the rear leg to lift off the floor.

Bend the rear knee enough to form a straight line from shoulder to hip to knee.

Shoulders and hips are even and pointed forward; do not twist.

Keep core muscles tight

Step back to the upright position.  Repeat, leading with the opposite foot.
To increase intensity try it while holding dumbbells.

Push Up w/ Rotation (a.k.a.T Push Up) 

T Push Up

Perform the standard pushup, only when you push to the high position lift one arm and rotate your torso so that
your arms are stacked over each other, forming a T.  Keep your core tight.  Alternate left and right.  If you start left, on the next rep rotate right.

Side Plank (Repeat each side) 

Side Plank

Yep, this is just like the standard plank, only on your side.

 

That’s it!  Give it a try!

Body Weight Blast Workout

Photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net Photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Here’s the next workout in the Fit in 7 series. Once again, this is body weight only, so no equipment is needed. You don’t even need a step or a chair – just a space with enough room for you to perform the exercises.

As with the original 7 Minute Workout, perform each exercise for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest in between.

High Knees Jumping Jacks

High Knees Jacks

 

 

 

One-Legged Romanian Dead Lifts (alternate legs)

Romanian Dead Lift

Burpees

Burpees

Russian Twist

(Ignore the back roll at the end of the clip – that was just for fun)

Russian Twist

Lateral Jump Overs

Lateral Jump Overs

Hindu Squat

Hindu Squat

Diamond/Triangle Push Ups

Triangle Pushups

Plank Jacks

Plank Jacks

Knee Strikes

Knee Strikes

Reverse Lunge w/Rotation

Reverse Lunge w Twist

Side Bridges (left side)

Try with hand on hip or lifted up.

Side Bridges

 

Spider Man Push Ups

Spider Man Pushups

Side Bridges (right side)

 
 

 

Mix it Up

Photo by Dave B, Flickr

This Fit in 7 workout will introduce you to some exercises you may not have seen before, along with some perennial favorites.  This is another body weight only workout for you.

As usual, perform each exercise for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds rest between each exercise.  Rest for 30 seconds between circuits.

The Circuit

Star Jumps
Camels
Hindu Push Ups
Single Leg Dips
Plank Thrusters
Rear Foot Elevated Squat (both sides)
Reverse Plank
Low to High Plank
Butt Kicks
Lateral Lunge (Side Lunge)
Inchworm
Hip Dips

How To Do it.

Star Jumps
Start with feet together.  Squat down, bringing your arms into your chest.  From this position, launch yourself into the air, spreading your arms and legs out wide.  Land with your feet close together and repeat.

Camels

Great for the legs and glutes.  Start on your knees, with an erect posture so that your legs are at 90 degrees.  You should have a straight line from knees to head.  Lift your arms straight out in front of you.  From this position, keeping your upper body straight and using only your legs and glutes, lean your body backward.  Reach one arm back to touch your heel (i.e. right hand touches right heel).  Return to the upright position, keeping the upper body straight throughout.  Repeat, reaching back with the opposite arm.

Hindu Push Ups

Start with your tail in the air, legs wide apart and your hands placed on the floor in front of you so as to form a V shape (this is known as the downward dog position).  Ideally you will have a straight line from wrist to hip.   Bend your arms, lowering your body toward the floor, and in a swooping motion move your body down so that your hips move toward the floor and your head and chest move upward. Keep your motion fluid and controlled.  You will end with your hips near or touching the floor and your chest and head raised.  Return to the downward dog position, keeping your arms straight and shifting your hips up.

Single Leg Dips

Start seated with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands just behind your hips, fingertips facing forward. Draw your abs in tight as you lift your hips up off the floor, pressing down through your hands. Lift one leg and extend it straight up towards the ceiling. Bend your elbows and lower yourself to just above the floor. Quickly press back up. Switch legs and repeat.

Plank Thrusters

Start in the high plank position.  Using your core, bring your legs and feet in underneath you.  From this position thrust your feet back out to return to the plank position.  Repeat.  Be sure to keep your core and glutes tight as you perform this exercise.

Rear Foot Elevated Squat

This exercise works the same muscles as a regular squat, but is performed on one leg (making it a wee bit harder). Stand a few inches in front of a chair, couch, plyo-box, etc. that is about knee-height.  Step forward and place one foot on the chair. Keep the foot resting on the chair throughout. Keep your back straight and chest up as you lower into a single leg squat. Once the thigh of your front leg reaches parallel to the floor, push back up to the standing position.

Low to High Plank

Start in the low plank position, resting on your elbows and forearms.  Moving one arm at a time, push yourself up into a high plank position.  Reverse the process to return to a low plank position.  Repeat, alternating which arm you start with each time.

Butt Kicks

You know ‘em and love ‘em.  Jog in place, bringing your heels up to your tush.

Lateral Lunge

Starting with feet about shoulder width apart, take a large step to one side, landing in a side lunge position.  Be sure to keep your back straight and knee behind the toes.  Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Inchworm

Start in a standing position.  Bend over until your hands touch the floor.  Keep your core tight to support your lower back.  Slowly walk your hands forward until you are in a plank position.  Perform a push up and then walk your hands back until you can return to a standing position.  Repeat.

Hip Dips

From a plank position, dip one hip down towards the floor.  Return to the plank position and repeat on the other side.  This can be performed from the low or high plank position.  Beginners should start in the low plank position.