No time to hit the gym? Try this 12-move exercise regime that requires no equipment and about seven minutes. The abbreviated workout, published in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, also includes lunges, push-ups and triceps dips. The researchers believe it’s an efficient way to get aerobic and strength training in one.
Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fl. and one of the authors of the article, says his abbreviated workout uses simple but challenging moves that create high-intensity intervals.
He says that for years, a growing body of research has expanded on the benefits of this “highly efficient” mode of training.
Established research has proven that it works, says Jordan. We know that high intensity interval training is just as effective as longer endurance training, usually in a shorter time.
“Yes, there likely some cardio enhancement with the program”, he says, which would help a large part of the population. But he says it wouldn’t likely compare to someone doing significant amounts of aerobic exercise, such as biking.
Jordan says high-intensity circuit training (HICT) has been around since 1953, but it is being embraced again as a way of saving on expensive gyms and equipment, as well as time.
“A lot of business people use it or people who just can’t afford to get to a gym,” he said. “It’s for people who are on the go and maybe just can get to a gym.”
He says with all the emphasis on emotional health and the stress that has consumed our society these past years, it’s good to know that his circuit can act as a quick and simple “fixer upper” that doesn’t require leaving the house or even the hotel room.
He says one of the most important components of the scheme is the actual interval — the five to 10 second rest after extremely strenuous activity — which helps people keep up their intensity.
As well, Jordan said the exercises use the larger lower muscles then the smaller upper muscles, which helps reduce muscle fatigue.
With the combination of aerobic and resistance training in a high-intensity, limited rest design, participants can really feel the burn.
Jordan says the “limited rest” design can deliver numerous health benefits in much less time than traditional programs. When body weight is used as resistance, it eliminates the limiting factors of access to equipment and facilities.
As far as weight is concerned, the report says HICT “can be a fast and efficient way to lose excess body weight and body fat.”
The seven-minute workout
The 12 station regime should see each exercise conducted 15 to 20 times, in 30 seconds, with only five to 10 seconds “rest” between each one. The whole circuit (which can be repeated two to three times) should take about seven minutes and Jordan says to do it no more than three or four times a week.
|1. Jumping jacks||Total body|
|2. Wall sit||Lower body|
|3. Push-up||Upper body|
|4. Abdominal crunch||Core|
|5. Step-up onto chair||Total body|
|6. Squat||Lower body|
|7. Triceps dip on chair||Upper body|
|9. High knees running in place||Total body|
|10. Lunge||Lower body|
|11. Push-up and rotation||Upper body|
|12. Side plank||Core|