Short and Sweet: 4 New 6-Minute Workouts for Busy People

Sneak away from your desk for six minutes for one of these brief but intense workouts.

Did you know workouts lasting under six minutes can benefit you in more ways than one? Many of you may already know how fabulous snagging a short session can be for not only your mind, but also for the physical body. If you are bogged down at work all day with hardly a moment to breathe, then having the opportunity to sneak away for six minutes is much more likely than finding an hour or two.

What the Research Says

Research has found that just a few short sessions throughout the day can improve overall stress, blood pressure, and weight control. Shorter intense training sessions can be even more effective in boosting your metabolism than a long drawn-out session. And this research doesn’t just stop at adults. One study in PLos One showed that exercise sessions of as little as five minutes improved adolescents and children’s overall health. Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

“Shorter intense training sessions can be even more effective in boosting your metabolism than a long drawn-out session. And this research doesn’t just stop at adults.”

Now that we know there are so many reasons why you can still commit to training for almost no time at all, I’ve included some quick go-to workouts you can carry with you. If you’re unable to make a longer time commitment to training for whatever reason, you now have four six-minute sessions you can squeeze in. For a quick mood change or a pick-me-up, I often use these high-intensity sessions to restore my own sanity.

Workout 1: The Wake Up Call

Equipment needed:

  • Kettlebell

How to Do It:

  • Set time for 15 seconds on 15 seconds rest.
  • Go through all the exercises and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

The Exercises:

  • Goblet Squat
  • Snatch
  • Snatch
  • Plank

Workout 2: The Lunch Break

Equipment needed:

  • Kettlebell
  • Optional: Suspension-Type Trainer

How to Do It:

  • Set time for 15 seconds on 15 seconds rest.
  • Go through all the exercises and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

The Exercises:

  • Push-ups
  • Star Jumps
  • Ring Rows (can also use a kettlebell for pull-overs)
  • Swings

Workout 3: The Refresher

Equipment:

  • Kettlebell

How to Do It:

  • Set time for 20 seconds on 10 seconds off (Tabata style).
  • Go through these exercises for 4 sets.

The Exercises:

  • Clean, Squat, Press
  • Clean, Squat, Press
  • Pull over to crunch

Workout 4: No Equipment, No Problem

Equipment:

  • Just your body

How to Do It:

  • Set time for 15 seconds on 15 seconds rest.
  • Go through all the exercises and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

The Exercises:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Burpees
  • Skip
  • Squat Jumps

References:

1. Holman RM et al; “Does the fractionalization of daily physical activity (sporadic vs. bouts) impact cardiometabolic risk factors in children and youth?” PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e25733.

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