When I think of Johnson & Johnson, I think baby shampoo, not an app that helps you to put together custom workouts, but life is full of surprises. I downloaded the 7 Minute Workout app on a tip from a friend who said she liked to use it when traveling, and was pleasantly surprised both at the quality and variety of the workouts and exercises offered. This app, released at the end of January, was made by Johnson & Johnson fitness professionals, along with Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando Florida, and co-author of the original article highlighting the benefits of the seven-minute workout.
Here are a few qualities I liked about this app:
After booting up the app, the intro screen greets you and offers three options:
- The 7 Minute Workout, a combination of movements detailed in the ACSM Health and Fitness article here.
- A Smart Workout, based on feedback on your fitness and wellness level.
- A Workout Library with sixteen different workouts of various difficulty and length.
When entering the Smart Workout section, you get a few questions on your health and reasons for working out. These set the difficulty level of the workout, and from what I’ve seen, the length of time as well.
Need to Warm Up?
The app gives you the option of either going right into a workout or starting with a warm up. The warm up consists of the basics: head rolls, knee raises, and more movements to get you loosened up and the heart pumping.
Watch and Learn
Each movement in the workouts is illustrated in video by Chris Jordan himself. All you need to jump in is a chair, a wall, and some empty floor space. If it's not easy to see your phone, the app has audio cues that dictate the exercise name, a prompt to start and end movements, and form cues. You also have the ability to play your own music.
I stand by previous statements that nothing is a substitute for a good personal trainer or instructor watching your form and keeping you in line. However, this app is a great option for a quick vacation or travel workout. I was pleased with the level of quality on the videos, movements, and the app itself. Every once in a while a free app turns out to be a bit of a gem and you’re surprised. This app is definitely in that category.