By now you’ve probably heard about the Scientific 7-Minute Workout that blew up a few years ago. If not, allow us to fill you in.
A recent study laid out exactly how to work out to get the maximum results in the minimum amount of time with just your body weight, a chair, and a wall. The trick is to strategically order the exercises so you’re working different major muscles groups (upper body, lower body, core) each time. This allows for one major muscle group to rest while you work the next muscle group, resulting in a super-efficient, super-effective routine. The workout takes just seven minutes, can be done in the comfort of your own home, and can improve your health and decrease body fat—according to science.
Although this is a great way to work out fast, the routine isn’t a miracle worker. High-intensity interval training is not designed to be done every day, so be sure to allow for at least one rest day between workouts. Exercising for seven minutes a few times a week is not going to totally transform your body, but when done correctly, it’s better than zero minutes (duh!), and you’ll likely see some health benefits—for example, being able to run up the stairs without getting winded. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any high-intensity exercise routine.
How to use this list: Perform each exercise below at a high-intensity effort for 30 seconds. For static exercises such as Wall Sit and Plank, 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. This circuit can be repeated 2-3 times if desired.
1. Jumping Jack
It’s a gym classic—but you’ve gotta move fast! Stand with feet hip-width apart. Jump feet open as you raise arms up to form an X. Jump feet back together as you lower arms to sides.
2. Wall Sit
Stand with back to wall. Walk feet away from wall as you slide back down wall, lowering body until hips, knees, and ankles are at 90-degree angles. Engage core to keep low back pressed against wall.
Start in high plank, wrists under shoulders, core engaged. Lower chest to floor, keeping legs, hips, and back in a straight line. Press into palms to lift back up. For more details on how to do a push-up, click here.
Lie faceup 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.
Stand facing 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. Switch legs and repeat. Continue to alternate.
Stand with feet just wider than hip width, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles. Hinge at hips then send hips back and bend knees to lower body. Keep chest lifted and lower to at least 90 degrees. Rise and repeat. For more details on how to squat, click here.
7. Triceps Dip
Sit on edge of chair and place hands on edge just outside of hips. Walk feet out a few steps, slide butt off chair, and straighten arms. Bend elbows and lower body until arms are bent at about 90 degrees. Press down into chair to return to starting position.
Place hands directly under shoulders. Engage core and squeeze glutes to stabilize body. Keep neck and spine neutral. Head should be in line with back. Hold position. For more details on how to plank like a pro, click here.
9. High Knees
Stand tall with feet hip width. Engage core and use lower abs to lift and lower one knee at a time as if running in place. Bringknees to same height as hips, thighs parallel to floor, and try not to lean back. Stay on balls of feet and alternate legs as fast as possible.
Stand tall. Take a big step forward with right leg and lower body until right thigh is parallel to floor and right shin is vertical (don’t let knee go past right toe). Press into right heel to drive back up to starting position. Repeat on other side. Continue to alternate legs. For more details, click here.
11. Push-Up With Rotation
Start in high plank and lower body then press back up to perform a push-up. From high plank, shift weight to left arm and rotate body to left side. Hold side plank for one count keeping hips high. Return to starting position, perform push-up, and repeat on right side. Continue to alternate.
12. 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.