Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Better 7-Minute Workout

In the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, a 7 minute workout was published. It also appeared in The NY Times Magazine and spread all over the internet.

The good? No exercise equipment was needed, just a chair and a wall and the creators of the workout stress working at a high intensity. (Regardless of TV infomercial hawkers and other snake oil salesman, if you think you can do 7 minutes of fluff and call it a workout, you’re kidding yourself.)

Each exercise should be done back to back and performed for 30 seconds at a difficulty level of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. You take 10 seconds between exercises to transition and rest. In describing the intensity, the author says the 7 minutes should be ”unpleasant”.  But, hey, after 7 minutes, you’re done, right? Well, kinda sorta.


The not-so-good? The exercise selection. While I would not categorize it as horrible,  there is definitely room for improvement. My 2 biggest criticisms:

1. If you only have 7 minutes to exercise, you should not be wasting ANY of it doing Ab Crunches. There are lots of better exercises for your abdominals that actually work your entire core. 

2. For many people, Tricep Bench Dips are an invitation to shoulder problems. I stopped having my clients do them years ago.

Below is a better alternative. Remember, work hard but use good form. Rest. Repeat 2-3 times, if desired.

If you are not a regular exerciser, pace yourself. As you get more fit, go faster (but always with good form).

1.    Total Body Extension
2.    Side Plank Reach Through OR Side Plank - L side
3.    Side Plank Reach Through OR Side Plank - R side
4.    Lying Hip Bridge
5.    Pushup
6.    Speed Skater   
7.    Bodyweight Renegade Row
8.    Stationary Prisoner Lunge - L side
9.    Stationary Prisoner Lunge - R side
10.  Spiderman Climb
11.  Prisoner Squats

Exercising just 7 minutes is not something you want to do on a regular basis but, if you push yourself, you can get a challenging workout with just 1 round of the above workout.  

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1 comment:

Melanie Bowen said...

Hey there!

I have a quick question about your blog, could you email me please? Thanks!!

Melanie : )