7 minute indoor workout
Studies have shown that quick workouts like this one provide similar health and wellness benefits to longer bouts of physical activity. You just need to tick off these two tricks for the best results:
1. The activity needs to move your entire body. That’s easily done by working large muscle groups efficiently so that one area gets a rest while the other is activated.
2. You need to turn up the intensity – that means giving it your all for those seven minutes. When you move at a higher intensity, you use more energy throughout the session and that increases your metabolic rate afterwards. Plus, moves like these build lean muscle mass and bone density.
If you do this workout regularly (think three or four times a week), you can boost your energy levels, metabolism and reduce the risk of long-term illness. Not bad for seven minutes!
How to do it
You can do this speedy workout on its own or add it to your regular movement routine. If you’re doing it as a standalone workout, make sure you start with a quick warm-up such as a three-minute brisk walk or some star jumps and running or marching on the spot. Read through the exercises and try them out slowly before you begin to make sure you’re ready once the timer starts. It’s important that you complete the moves back to back, trying to only rest where indicated. This means you’ll be working hard for just under two minutes followed by a short 10-second rest, then you’re straight back into it.
Do each move listed below for 35 seconds back to back in the order shown, resting for 10 seconds after you’ve completed three moves. Do the whole workout twice, then you’re done!
- Push-ups on knees
- Hip Raises
- 10-second rest
- Pulsing lunges
- 10-second rest
Squats - 35 seconds
Push-ups on knees 35 seconds
Hip raises - 35 seconds
Rest - 10 seconds
Lunges -35 seconds
Plank - 35 seconds
Superman - 35 seconds
Rest - 10 seconds
1. Push-ups on knees
How to: Start in a plank position with your elbows straight (but not locked), hands directly below your shoulders and knees on the ground. Engage your core and keep your hips slightly bent. Slowly lower down as far as you comfortably can, stopping just above the floor, making sure you keep a straight spine. Pause for a second at the bottom then push back up to the start position. Repeat for 35 seconds.
Beginner: Place your hands on a step or the base of your couch.
Advanced: Try doing full push-ups on your hands and toes.
How to: Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, knees soft and arms by your sides. Engage your core and bend at your hips and knees to squat back and down as though you’re lowering into a chair, ensuring that your knees don’t go past your toes. Bring your arms out in front of you for balance. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or as low as you can comfortably go. Pause at the bottom of the movement then push through your heels to come back to the starting position. Your knees should be slightly bent at the top of the movement. Repeat for 35 seconds.
Beginner: You can start with a chair behind you – simply sit back onto the edge of the chair and stand up again following the proper squat technique.
Advanced: Try jump squats – at the bottom of your squat, jump up explosively, making sure you land softly with knees bent and slowly move into your next squat with control.
3. Hip Raises
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, about 30cm from your bottom. Engage your core and lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold and squeeze your bottom for a second, slowly lower until your butt is hovering just above the floor, then push through your heels to go into the next rep. Repeat for 35 seconds.
Beginner: Hold each repetition for a few seconds at the top then rest for a second on the floor at the bottom of each movement.
Advanced: Complete the first round of hip raises with one leg raised, and then the other leg on the second set.
How to: Start by lying on your tummy on the floor with your arms outstretched. Keeping your forehead on the ground, start to draw your shoulder blades back and down so that your chest, head and arms start to lift off the ground; at the same time, keeping your legs straight, lift your feet and knees off the ground. Hold at the top for two seconds then slowly lower until your head, chest, arms, knees and toes touch the ground. Repeat for 35 seconds.
Beginner: To make this easier, take a rest between every rep and slowly decrease your rests as you improve.
Advanced: At the top of the move bring your arms back to your sides (like a reverse snow angel), keeping your thumbs pointed up to the sky, then return them to overhead and lower for one repetition.
5. Pulsing lunges
How to: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Maintaining good posture, step your right leg forward about a metre and pause. Lift the heel of your left foot; this is the starting position. Slowly lower straight down until your left knee is just off the ground and your right knee is directly over the middle of your right foot, ensuring your knee doesn't extend over your toes. Slowly push straight up, but only halfway, then back down. Think of doing only the bottom 50 per cent of the movement – this is your pulse. Repeat this pulsing motion for 35 seconds. On your second set, step your left foot forward.
Beginner: Hold onto a chair for balance or if you feel any pain in your knees switch to regular static lunges.
Advanced: Hold a lightweight (less than 5kg) or water bottle in both hands by your sides.
How to: Start lying on your stomach with your forearms on the floor and elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Activate your core by drawing in your bellybutton, slightly tuck in your tailbone and push through your elbows and lift your hips so that your bottom is at the same height or just below your shoulders. Keeping your core activated, hold this position for 35 seconds.
Beginner: Add a break to make it easier: take a five-second rest midway through the hold.
Advanced: Do this on your elbows and toes for a tough core challenge!