The Science Behind the Seven Minute Workout

Photo & GIF from Business Insider

There are not a lot of things we can do in just seven minutes. Maybe take a quick shower (no leg or armpit shaving) or toss together a quick meal, but let’s be honest – seven minutes is not a lot of time. So now that we agree that seven minutes passes in the blink of an eye, I want to challenge you to do a quick but effective workout for seven minutes.

A study released in 2013 by the American College of Sports Medicine found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) consists of alternating short periods of intense exercise with recovery periods of passive or mild-intensity movement. This model makes for a more engaging and efficient workout over a shorter period of time. The American College of Sports Medicine notes that HIIT benefits include increased post exercise metabolism, enhanced weight loss, reduced abdominal and subcutaneous fat, increased exercise adherence and more.

So back to our seven minute workout – it is a quick HIIT fueled routine that requires a chair and a wall. You can also use a yoga mat for some of the exercises you do on the floor. Like the HIIT model suggests, you perform 12 unique exercises in a specific order for just 30 seconds each. Between exercises, a 10-second break is taken for recovery. The goal is to get 15 reps in for each exercise, if feasible, and you can always repeat the workout multiple times or increase the interval to 45 seconds per exercise to increase results.

Here is the list of exercises:

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Wall-sit
  3. Push-ups
  4. Sit-ups or abdominal crunches
  5. Step-ups (using a sturdy chair or bench)
  6. Squats
  7. Chair dips (using a sturdy chair or bench)
  8. Plank (on hands or forearms)
  9. Running in place or high knees
  10. Lunges (alternating legs each rep)
  11. Push-up and rotate to one hand (alternating sides each rep)
  12. Side plank (changing sides halfway)


It may sound intense, but the workout is meant to cause discomfort and it only lasts seven minutes so the discomfort doesn’t linger. Two pro tips for you: drink water during your breaks and use a timer on your phone or watch so you don’t go over time counting “One Mississippi. Two Mississippi.” in your head.

This workout is so quick and simple that I usually do it at home after I put my son to bed so I have no excuse not to get it done. So I challenge you to do the seven minute workout for seven consecutive days. Take note of how you feel after each day and I hope you will see an improvement in your rep count and fatigue level each day!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Brenda says:

    Wow! This is amazing ❤️

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