In less than the time it takes you to read this article, you could be finished with your workout for the day. The 7 Minute Workout, developed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), is designed to give you both cardio and strength training for your large muscle groups in a minimal amount of time.
If you’re training for the Olympic games in Sochi, this workout won’t replace your fitness schedule (though you could use it while you’re waiting in the airport lounge for your flight to Russia). But if you want to get the maximum results in the minimum time, the 7 Minute workout is a great place to start.
What Is the 7 Minute Workout?
The 7 Minute Workout is a high intensity circuit training using your body weight for maximal results in a minimal amount of time, according to the ACSM website. The workout is a series of 12 different exercises performed in order for 30 seconds each with a 10 second break between each exercise. You are supposed to work out intensely for 30 seconds then give your body a 10 second rest so you’ll be ready for the next exercise.
The exercises and target muscle groups include:
- Jumping Jacks – total body
- Wall Sit – lower body
- Push-ups – upper body
- Abdominal Crunch – core
- Chair Step-ups – total body
- Squats – lower body
- Chair Tricep Dips – upper body
- Plank – core
- Running in Place/High Knees – total body
- Lunges – lower body
- Rotating Push-ups – upper body
- Side Planks – core
What You Need
You don’t need much for the 7 Minute Workout. All you need is:
- Your body
- A wall
- A chair
- 7 minutes of your time
What You Don’t Need
Things you don’t need for the 7 Minute Workout:
- Exercise equipment
- A gym membership
- Fancy-schmancy workout clothes
You’re only spending 7 minutes doing this program so you’re supposed to make it count. No free ride here, if you’re lollygagging during those 7 minutes you won’t see results. It’s not supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be intense.
From the ACSM website: “Proper execution requires a willing and able participant who can handle a great degree of discomfort for a relatively short duration. It is also essential that participants in an HICT understand proper exercise form and technique. As with all exercise programs, prior medical clearance from a physician is recommended.”
7 Minutes? Really?
Hey, if 7 minutes is all you have then this workout will be an efficient way to use your time. Of course, a longer workout will produce better results.
ACSM recommends at least 20 minutes of workout time to achieve the best results, so try to do three sets of these exercises if you have the time. If 7 minutes is all you can spare then this workout will make the most of those 7 minutes.
How Tech Can Help
After the ACSM article was published last year, plenty of folks got busy not just with the 7 Minute Workout but with bringing that workout to you via videos and apps. You can use tech to:
- Learn the exercises
- See the proper form for the exercises
- Alert you when it’s time to take a break or start a new exercise
- Remind you to do the workout
If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can grab apps for the 7 Minute Workout. Plenty of apps are available for the workout, you can read the reviews and descriptions to see which ones fit best for you. Most are free so you can try them out to discover whether you want music, a countdown, reminders or other features.
Here are some highly rated 7 Minute Workout apps available for mobile devices:
Don’t have a smartphone? You can still do the 7 Minute Workout. Check out this YouTube video from Lifehacker that will guide you through the 7 Minute Workout:
Have you tried the 7 Minute Workout? Do you like the idea of maximum fitness results in a minimum amount of time? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
This article is the 4th in The Wonder of Tech series Tech + Fitness to show you how tech can help you achieve your fitness goals. Be sure to check out the other articles in the series: