If you’ve already given a few of our 7-minute workouts a try — and maybe those 7-minutes of you time working out have become a bona fide habit — remember that you can always extend it. If time becomes more available, you can tack a 7-minute arm workout onto that 7-minute leg workout, and you’ll still be coming in at 14 minutes. (If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can knock out all three of our targeted 7-minute workouts (get your core-work on!) at once—and spend a whopping 21 minutes doing it.)
The point isn’t to meet some goal or live up to some expectation — it’s to feel like you’re getting what you want out of your exercise routine. If those 7 minutes do it for you, cap your workout there and go treat yourself to something hydrating or delicious and get your post-workout recovery self-care on. If your goal is to spend more time exercising, keep at it (and, as always, be kind to yourself when life gets in the way.)
Mix and match these five foundational moves based on what your goals are and how you’re feeling today.
Start in a standard plank. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, and your feet should be stretched straight behind you, about hip-width apart. Then, engage your core, your chest, and your upper back, as you bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the floor. (Your goal is to get as close to the floor as you can without actually touching it.) Try to keep your elbows parallel to your body (rather than letting them bow out). Once you’ve gotten as low as you can go, engage your core, your chest, and your upper back to press back up to your plank. (When in doubt, you can modify as needed to make your push-ups give you the resistance you want and need!)
Do 10 push-ups to complete a set.
Start in a seat. Your legs should be bent, and your feet should be pressing into the floor, about hip-width apart. Then, stretch your arms behind you and place them on the floor. Your fingers should be facing forward (so your fingers are closer to your feet than your forearms are.) Once you’re there, press into your hands and feet to lift your butt off the ground. Then, bend your elbows to lower your butt toward the ground. (Your goal is to get as close to the floor as you can without actually touching it.)
Then, press into your hands to straighten your arms and lift your butt back up again. (If this position isn’t great for you, try starting on a chair or some other (steady!) piece of furniture. Put your hands on the piece of furniture, but keep your feet on the ground.)
Do 20 tricep dips to complete a set.
Start by standing up. Then, bend over until your hands touch the ground. (You can bend your knees to do this.) Then, walk your hands forward until you’re in a plank position. Once you’re there, do a push-up. (You can swap this out with a plank static hold, if you’d prefer.) Then, walk your hands back in toward your feet, and work your way back up to your starting position.
Do 10 inchworms to complete a set.
Start in a standard plank position. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, and your feet should be stretched behind you, about hip-width apart. Be sure your core is engaged and your back is straight, and make sure to tuck your chin so you’re not putting undue pressure on your neck. Once you’re there, lower your right arm so that your right elbow is where your right hand used to be. Then, lower your left arm so that your left elbow is where your left hand used to be. Check to make sure your core is engaged and your back is still in a straight line. (Sometimes, our back doesn’t lower with us when we shift from a standard plank to a forearm plank.)
Once you’re in your forearm plank, press back up into a standard plank.
Do 10 plank-ups to complete a set, and be sure to alternate which elbow you’re dropping to the ground first.
Start in a tabletop position. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, and your knees should be hip-width apart. Then, engage your core to lift your knees off the ground (like you did in your tabletop hovers). Once there, step your left foot and your right hand forward. Then, step your right foot and your left hand forward. (If you don’t have a ton of room to move around, return to your original tabletop position after each step.) This is one rep.
Do 9 more reps to complete the set. Or set a timer, and bear crawl for 30-60 seconds.
And don’t forget, once you’ve hit your 7-minutes, make sure to do a good check in with your body to make sure you’re feeling your best!
A version of this story was published July 2021.
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