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The demands of life can make it difficult to fit a workout into a person’s day. Many individuals probably only have 10 to 15 minutes to spare, and even then, some would rather use parts of it to rest or relax. If you’re one of those busy people who want to exercise even with a hectic daily life, there’s a full-body workout that you can do and it won’t even take you 30 minutes to complete it.
The 7-minute high-intensity interval training workout (HIIT) is a solution invented to solve the problem of not having enough time to exercise. You read that right, this workout only takes about 7 minutes of your day and it helps to get your heart rate going, improve your strength, help you lose weight, and increase your cardiorespiratory fitness. Read on to know more about the fascinating 7-minute HIIT workout and how it can help you stay on top of your fitness game!
What is the 7-Minute Workout?
First published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal in 2013, the scientific 7-minute workout is a high-intensity workout that’s been proven to increase essential fitness and procure major health benefits. Just as the name of this exercise regimen implies, it only takes about seven minutes to complete it.
Based on the principle of muscle engagement across major groups, the 7-minute workout alternates movements between the upper body and lower body. It makes use of high-intensity interval training or HIIT that’s become highly popular and common in the fitness scene. If you’ve ever taken part in circuit training, you’ve surely done a couple of high-intensity exercise movements.
The 7-minute workout involves 12 exercises that use only your body weight, a chair, and a wall. Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida, and co-author of the 7-minute workout article said that “There’s very good evidence that doing a HIIT workout provides many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time.”
In the study, the 7-minute workout program outlined that intense activity must be intermingled with brief periods of rest. The workout is also accomplished by alternating an exercise that emphasizes the large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body. The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 20 seconds for each, and then resting for 10 seconds between.
Are 7 Minutes of HIIT Enough?
Understandably, the 7-minute workout has gained some substantial criticism, mainly from trainers and health practitioners who suggest that a workout under seven minutes may not be long enough to stimulate muscle growth and fat loss. However, the 7-minute HIIT workout has been tested in various scientific studies and has shown results that it helps support weight loss, strengthen the heart and lungs, and increase muscular strength.
Moreover, if you have the time to perform the 7-minute workout at least 2 to 3 times, you can reap the most benefits. If you can, it’s ideal to do a few rounds. But if you’re someone who can only spare 10 minutes a day to work out, then doing just one round can be good enough. After all, any form of exercise counts and can lay the bricks down for your fitness journey.
How Many Calories Are Burned in 7 Minutes of High-Intensity Interval Training?
The 7-minute workout is pretty much a full-body routine. Research done by the University of Wisconsin involved exercisers completing a 20-minute bodyweight high-intensity circuit training using the 20-seconds on, 10-seconds off setup used in the 7-minute workout. Their results showed the participants burned an average of 15 calories per minute, translating to 105 calories for 7 minutes.
Simply put, you can burn about 105 calories during the 7-minute workout. However, this is a general figure and may not apply across the board. How many calories you’ll burn can depend on several factors including your weight, intensity of the exercise, age, and gender.
Does the 7-Minute Scientific Workout Work?
The 7-minute workout allows you to get a pretty good workout in little time, making it quick and convenient for a lot of busy people. While it’s ideal to perform it in 2 to 3 circuits, you can do it just once and it can still get your heart rate up. If you’re not yet convinced, another study from McMaster University in Canada found that six weeks of low-volume interval cycling produced metabolic changes in muscles comparable to those seen with a traditional cycling routine.
Do note that if you’re using the 7-minute workout to lose weight, remember to combine it with a healthy diet to reduce body fat.
How Often Should I Do the 7-Minute Workout?
If you’re a beginner or if you’re just getting back to exercising, aim to complete the 7-minute workout at least once every day. If you’re a fitness enthusiast and used to challenging workouts, you can do it 2-3 times a day to maximize the benefits.
How To Do the 7-Minute Body Weight HIIT Workout
Get a full workout in just seven minutes with this routine! Best of all, aside from a chair and a wall, there’s no other equipment required. You can do this workout at home, in the office, in the park, at a hotel during vacation, and more! As this workout condenses an entire exercise program into 7 minutes, do expect its intensity level is pretty high.
A workout like HIIT requires the movement of all the major muscle groups in the body, so remember to warm up your body before diving into this exercise to avoid injury.
Jumping jacks are great to get the blood flowing. For your starting position, stand upright with your legs together, and arms at your sides. Bend your knees slightly and jump into the air. As you jump, spread your legs about shoulder-width apart. Stretch your arms out and over your head. Jump back to the starting position. Repeat.
A wall sit is a bodyweight exercise that builds your core muscles and increases the strength of the large muscle groups in your body. To do this, flatten your back against the wall for a start. Set your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees 90 degrees from the wall. Position your knees directly above your ankles but no more forward than that. Hold your position as you engage your abs.
A push-up works the major muscle groups in the body, making it a highly popular and great bodyweight movement. Start by positioning yourself on the floor with your arms slightly wider than shoulder width. Place your arms directly under the shoulder, and keep your elbows soft.
Push through the palms of your hands, keeping a neutral position. Straighten your arms. Slowly lower your body by bending through the elbows and keeping a neutral alignment until your chest nearly touches the ground.
An abdominal crunch is critical to the 7-minute workout as it builds strength in the central part of the body, resulting in better stability and overall health. To perform this movement correctly, lie on your back on the floor or in front of a bench. Set your heels atop the bench or chair and make sure your knees and hips are positioned at 90 degrees. Cross your arms at your chest.
Next, flex your waist to raise your shoulders and scapulas off the floor. Crunch straight up toward the ceiling as high as you can while keeping your lower body on the ground. Slowly lower your shoulders back to the floor and immediately do the next rep.
The step-up is a favorite of aerobics workouts as it works both the core and the lower body muscles. For this one, you’ll need a chair or a platform with a height around your knee level. Start by putting the chair or platform in front of you. Step onto the platform with one foot, and then drive through with your other foot, raising your knee as high as you can. Lower your knee and step back to the floor. Switch to the other foot, and repeat.
Squats are an important part of any strength training routine. Considered one of the basic exercises, doing squats can help correct your posture and form. To do this, start by putting your arms straight out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Make sure that your chest is up and your spine is in a neutral position.
Keep your entire body engaged the entire time. Inhale and break at your hip, pushing your butt back. Send your hips backward as your knees bend. Lower yourself down, keeping your knees in line with your feet.
A triceps dip is a compound weight training move that is effective in building strength in your core, triceps, and chest. You’ll be needing a chair to do complete triceps dips. To perform this move, start by getting two chairs and position them facing each other, slightly wider than leg-width apart.
Hold the top of the back area with both hands. Next, slowly bend your arms and sink your upper body towards the ground. Keep yourself from touching the ground and bring yourself back up in a controlled motion. Keep your back straight as you do this.
This challenging move is highly effective in increasing strength and stamina. To do an effective plank, start in a pushup position and put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders and your toes on the ground. Next, squeeze your glutes and engage your abdominals as you keep a neutral neck and spine. Create a strong line from the head to your toes. Hold the position.
This cardio movement will get your blood flowing and your heart rate up. High knees are pretty easy to do. Start by running in place. Then, place your hands out in front of your torso, with your elbows positioned at 90 degrees. Alternate in raising your knees as high as you can, touching your hands.
Doing lunges can help improve your balance, stamina, and core strength. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core as you take a long step forward with your right leg. Shift your weight forward so that your heel touches the floor first. Next, lower yourself until the right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical. Press into your right heel to drive back up to the initial position. Repeat on the other side.
Push-Up with Rotation
Take your push-ups to the next level by adding a rotation. This allows you to practice and build balance, stability, and flexibility. For starters, place yourself in a push-up position with your feet together and toes on the floor. Your hands should be placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Draw in your navel and contract your glutes.
With a flat back, slowly lower yourself toward the ground while contracting your shoulder blades. Push yourself back up to the initial position and then rotate your body 90 degrees from the floor, fully extending both arms, one in the air and one on the floor. Reverse the movement of the rotation and return to the original position and repeat, alternating the direction of the rotation.
This move is a great way to build up your obliques, allowing you to look and feel more healthy as time goes on. To perform this, start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line. Hold the position without letting your hips drop for the allotted time for each set. Repeat on the other side.
Increase your strength, lose weight, build stamina, improve your balance, and become healthier overall with this HIIT workout! The 7-minute workout may seem short but, thanks to the help of science, it’s been proven that this allows you to get the same benefits of a traditional workout in a shorter amount of time.
Doing bodyweight exercises along with the use of a chair and a wall, the 7-minute workout fulfills the mandates for a high-intensity effort and can help set the foundations for fitness management and basic health that you may need. If you have a health condition or if you experience any discomfort during the workout, it’s best to seek expert advice.