3 Quick Micro Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

by Danny Cullen

Even when you’re low on time, you can still get an intense, full workout by utilizing micro workouts. Before getting into examples, it’s important to know how this almost-too-convenient concept works. 

HIIT – A Primer

In order to cover micro workouts, we’ve first got to talk about HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. The idea is that short bursts of high-intensity actions are as taxing as longer, less aggressive routines—like jogging. 

HIIT is a deeply researched idea, and the the science suggests that it can activate your body the same way a longer workout would in a third of the time, by pushing you harder than you normally would in a longer workout. 

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The 10-Minute Micro Workout

This routine good for your lunch break, or when you’re just getting home from work and need to fit a quick workout in before the next task.

  • Take two minutes to warm up. Jogging, dynamic stretching, getting into your body.
  • Intense run for 20 seconds. Go at 90% of your maximum speed.
  • 2 minute break.
  • Repeat for 3 sets.
  • That’s it! Take a breather, get some water, and go on with your day.

The 7-Minute Micro Workout

A more comprehensive and dynamic routine,  this one is good for exercise-friendly offices. It’s essentially a compact version of bodyweight circuit training. Here’s how it goes.

Note: all intervals are 30 seconds of exercise, 10 seconds of rest. Do as many as you can.

  • Jumping jacks
  • Wall sits
  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • Chair step-ups
  • Body weight squats
  • Tricep dips on a chair
  • Planks
  • High knee running in place
  • Lunges
  • Side planks, each side
  • Lay on your back for a while and let your breath catch up to you.
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The 4-Minute Micro Workout

This one is extremely straightforward, but is also exhausting.  If you can handle doing four minutes straight of all-out running, swimming, biking or stair climbing, this is all you need.

A study from the journal PLoS One fond that running on a treadmill at 90 percent of maximum heart rate for four minutes, three times a week, improved participants overall health. 

It’s very simple, pick your cardiovascular exercise—sprinting, swimming, up-downs, etc.— and GO AFTER IT for four-straight minutes. You’ll be surprised at how challenging it proves to be. 

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