7-Minute Workout

One way or another, the next few weeks are going to be busy. And you know it.

There are the holidays to think about, and even if you’re doing all your shopping on Amazon, you still have to, well, sit there and do it. There may be travel on the horizon, and there’s plenty of party planning coming up, whether in-person Christmas parties or online Zoom sessions. And on top of all that, you just may be home-schooling your kids into the holidays.

That doesn’t leave a lot of time to work out, and that’s why this month’s workout is unique. To get it done, you’ll need exactly 7 minutes. Yes, really, because when it comes to moving your body to get long-term benefit, it doesn’t always need to be some muscle grind.

The idea this month is to give your body the movement it needs to feel good in the long term. No, this session won’t turn you into the next Marvel superhero, and it won’t get you ready for your NFL debut. What it will do is loosen muscles that get tight when you sit, build the core strength to help you hone your posture and get stronger in everything, elevate your heart rate just a bit, and stimulate total-body blood flow.

Do it whenever you have time this month — or every multiple times in a day. Remember: It’s only 7 minutes, and it’s only using bodyweight. So in your free moments, move. Your body will thank you.

Directions: Do this workout during any 7-minute free period you have, aiming to do it at least once a day. Set a timer for 7 minutes. Work each exercise for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds. You’ll do 7 different exercises, then call it a day.

Exercise 1: Plank to Alternating Spider-Man Lunge

Start in pushup position, core tight, wrists directly below shoulders. Keeping your abs and glutes tight, shift your right leg beside your right hand, getting your shin perpendicular to the ground. Keep your left leg straight and sink your hip as far as is comfortable. Return to pushup position and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; repeat until time expires.

Exercise 2: Pulse Jump Squat

Start standing, feet about shoulder-width apart, core tight. Bend at the knees and hips and lower into a squat until your thighs are about parallel with the ground. Stand slightly, then lower back down. Now stand up and jump off the ground in one fluid motion. That’s 1 rep; repeat until time expires.

Exercise 3: Reverse Lunge and Overhead Reach

Start standing. Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, dropping your back knee to the ground. Reach your arms overhead and arch your back deeply. Return to standing, and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; repeat until time expires.

Exercise 4: Superman Hold to Pushup

Get in pushup position, core tight, wrists directly below shoulders. Keeping your core tight, lower your chest all the way to the ground. Release your hands from the ground and extend them outwards, as if flying like Superman. Squeeze your back muscles and glutes. Return your hands to pushup position and then press back up. That’s 1 rep; repeat until time’s up.

Exercise 5: High-knee Run

Start standing. Begin running in place, driving your knees upwards as high as you can, aiming to get them higher than your hips every step. Repeat until time expires.

Exercise 6: Wall Sit March

Stand with your back against a wall. Lower your torso to the ground and walk your feet out so your thighs are parallel to the ground and your shins are straight. Hold this position. Now lift your left foot; replace it on the ground. Lift your right foot; replace it on the ground. Repeat until time expires.

Exercise 7: Plank to Side Plank

Start in plank position, forearms on the ground. Keeping your left forearm on the ground, lift your right arm and reach it toward the ceiling, opening your chest to the right side and looking at your right wrist. Hold for one second, then return to plank position. Repeat on the other side. Repeat reps until time expires.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Fitness Director for Men’s Health Magazine and CSCS trainer -

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He's logged training time with NFL and track athletes, and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men's Health in 2017, he served as a sports and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.