tricep dip

The Scientific 7-Minute Workout combines cardio and strength training
for a fitness routine that doesn't require a gym.

What’s the biggest challenge in staying active?

For many, it’s time. If this sounds like you, your answer may be found in the Scientific 7-Minute Workout. The title is impressive and packs a lot of promise: Exercises based on science and take less than 10 minutes? It’s tough to argue with that, though the workout may best be considered as a starting point or supplement to physical activity, rather than a stand-alone exercise program.

A Full-Body Workout, No Gym Required

Two sports trainers developed the well-known workout that consists of 12 basic exercises that work the entire body in less time than it takes to get to the gym. In addition to the limited time investment, other advantages of the routine are that it can be done nearly anywhere, at any time, and without any specialized gear.

High-Intensity Circuit Training

The trainers’ goal was to create a workout for their busy clients who were already active and athletic, but had schedules that involved frequent travel. They needed a flexible routine to enhance fitness and reduce stress that could be done quickly at home or on the road. They developed a form of high-intensity circuit training (HICT) routine that combines body weight resistance training with aerobics to provide a balanced and efficient workout.

Depending on your time, the workout can be repeated two or three times in a row. The workout rotates upper body, lower body, core, and full body exercises including jumping jacks, wall sits, planks, and lunges. You work one muscle group for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then switch to a different muscle group to allow some recovery and ensure proper form. “It’s a fairly rapid fire pace with the goal of fully exhausting your body in short period of time,” said Russell Sanchez, a physical therapist assistant at The Polyclinic Madison Center.

The 7-Minute Workout, as demonstrated by The Polyclinic Physical Therapy Team, offers flexibility in where you can squeeze in a workout. “The 7-Minute Workout is a good option for the average person to get some physical activity into their day without having to buy a gym membership or a bunch of unnecessary equipment,” said Physical Therapy Practice Manager Dechie Bello-Rapoport, PT. “Many times patients are reluctant to start an exercise regimen because they are worried about the time constraints. This would be a nice way for people to introduce a very basic regimen into their routine.”

7 minute workout

Cardio and Strength Training in 7 Minutes

Since HICT was developed in the 1950’s, research has shown that performing a short series of exercises that significantly elevates the heart rate and limits rest time between intervals at moderate intensity can improve muscle strength, endurance, and aerobic fitness. Many studies show that even short bursts of activity such as these can be beneficial for overall health and improving chronic disease.

“Once you learn the exercises, there’s no more barrier to entry,” added Sanchez. “You can pretty much exercise wherever you stand – at home, at the office, on vacation.

Just remember, don’t go all out in the beginning, especially if you don’t exercise regularly, start slowly and build up over time. In a month maybe you can try two sets. The most important thing is to get moving and don’t get stagnant.”

Learn more about the popular 7-Minute Workout App, and if you need additional cardio, check out the Advanced 7-Minute Workout, a more demanding nine-step routine that does require dumbbells (but can still be done in seven minutes).

As with any exercise program, talk with your doctor before starting any workout regimen, especially if you are overweight or obese, inactive, or have chronic health conditions.


April 22, 2016 | by The Polyclinic