Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done, let alone work out? From rushing to get to work on time to the long list of errands waiting for you afterward, it’s easy to save exercise for another day.

The problem isn’t so much a time management issue as it is a mindset.

Many of us think that, in order for an exercise session to qualify as a workout, we need to spend at least 45 minutes doing a strict training program. The truth is that you only need to find five minutes.

It might not seem like much, but five-minute blocks that you spread out over the morning, work day, and evening will add up in a big way.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of short workouts and how you can incorporate them into your daily routine. I’ll also cover  quick five-minute workouts that can be done almost anywhere—at home, at school, or even at work!


Benefits of Short Five-Minute Workouts


Here are some of the benefits of incorporating short workouts into your daily routine.


Time Efficient


The most obvious plus is that short workouts are time efficient. Even if you only have five or ten minutes to spare, you can still get in a quality workout.


Improved Cognitive Function


Studies have shown that physical short bouts of exercise can improve concentration, memory, learning, and overall cognitive function.[1] So, if you’re looking to boost your productivity while at work, some quick exercises might be just what you need. [1]


Reduced Stress Levels


Exercise is a great way to reduce the effects of stress on your life. ResearchStudies shows that a session of 20 -to -30 minutes of exercise is enough to mitigate the symptoms related to stress. 


While the study subjects spent 20 -to -30 minutes exercising at one time, this can be broken up into four-to-six mini sessions to receive comparable benefits in managing stress. [2]


When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take five minutes to do some basic bodyweight exercises. There are Ssome great exercises you can do anywhere are described below. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel afterward.


Higher Level of Commitment


Finding the motivation to stick with a full workout routine that lasts around an hour each day can be hard. But if you’re committing to only five minutes at a time, it’s much easier to stay on track and stick with your exercise routines for the long term.


No Need for Special Exercise Equipment


You don’t need any special equipment to do short workouts. All that’s required is your body, a few minutes, and a little bit of space. I tell my clients that if you have enough room to do a push-up, you have enough room to exercise.


Five-Minute Workouts You Can Do (Almost) Anywhere


Now that we’ve covered the benefits of short five-minute  workouts, let’s take a look at some exercises for workouts you can do almost anywhere.


Climb the Stairs


The first short workout is a simple cardio routine that just requires a small set of stairs. Set your phone or watch for five minutes, then proceed to go up and down the stairs. Focus on contracting your leg muscles as you climb up, and take more care to land softly on your feet as you step down.


If you have a large set of stairs, such as in a tall office building, walk up for the full five minutes and then take the elevator back down to your floor. The focus will be exclusively on the muscle contractions stepping up without any worrying about stressing your knees from theby putting too much pressure ofn them while walking down.


Desk Push-Ups

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If you’re unable to get away from your desk but feel like you need to move, desk push-ups are the way to go.


What’s great about desk push-ups is that most people can do them, regardless of fitness level. If you’re not able to do a regular push-up, the incline of your desk will make it easier to perform. If you have no trouble with push-ups, you can focus on how long you hold the number of seconds for each repetition. 


For example, lower yourself for a count of four seconds, pause for one second, then push yourself back up for a count of three seconds.


Quick H.I.I.T.


High-intensity interval training is already designed to maximize effectiveness in minimal time. Instead of performing a full 25-minute H.I.I.T. workout all at once, you can break it up throughout the day.


The idea is to take several compound exercises, assign a set number of repetitions to them, and perform each exercise for one set. Then later in the day, do the same thing again—only one set at a time. Space those sets for different times throughout the day.

Rich results on Google’s SERP when searching for 'five minute work out Squats'

Here’s a sample H.I.I.T. workout you can use:

  • Jumping jacks: 10 repetitions
  • Forward lunges: 12 total reps (6 on each side)
  • YTW (form the shape of the letters with your arms while bendingt at the hips): 5 reps
  • Russian twists: 10 reps
  • Burpees: 5 reps


Try coming up with your own quick H.I.I.T. workout sequences using your favorite exercises. Just be sure to target multiple muscle groups at the same time to get the most bang for your buck. You’ll burn more calories, form stronger neuromuscular connections, and improve total body functionality.


Strike a (Yoga) Pose


Yoga is an excellent great way to improve flexibility and muscle tone without putting too much stress on your body. And there are plenty of yoga poses that you can do in just a few minutes.


If you don’t have time for a full yoga session, that’s okay! Instead, do one pose, hold it for one minute, then move to another pose. In all, perform five poses for a total of five minutes.


Here’s a sample yoga workout that you can try:


  • Downward-facing dog
  • Cobra pose
  • Chair pose
  • Warrior I pose
  • Happy baby pose


Alternatively, you could do sun salutations for five minutes!


Wall Squats


This is a tough one. While this is a super short workout, you’ll feel every second of it.


Wall squats are a fantastic way to build and tone your legs. I use them as a finisher exercise after barbell squats and Romanian deadlifts.


To perform wall squats, find a wall and stand with your back flat against it. Then, slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and about two feet away from the wall.


Once you’re in position, hold the squat for one minute. If you’re not able to do the exercise for this long, make it your goal to build up to this. Once you’re able to hit one minute, take a break for 30 seconds and repeat.


If you can easily hold a wall squat for more than 60 seconds, try for 90 or 120 seconds, followed by a 30-second break.


Hold a Plank


Similar to wall squats, your goal with this exercise is to hold a plank position as long as you can before taking a short break. Naturally, the aim would be to build up to this over time.


To do a plank, get down into a push-up position on a comfy surface. Choose a carpet or yoga mat, as it will make all the difference. 


Now, place your forearms on the ground and lift your body up, placing all your weight on your toes and forearms. Tighten your core, so your hips lift slightly. The goal is not to let those hips drop. Hold this position for as long as you can before taking a short break.


If you want to make this exercise more challenging, try lifting one leg off the ground or alternating legs.


Back to Basics


Finally, one of the best ways to spend five minutes is to take a quick walk. 


Walking, especially speed walking, is a great way to get your heart rate up and get in some light cardio.


  • Have five minutes left in your lunch break? Take a walk around the building.
  • Did you wake up five minutes before your alarm? Go take a walk outside as the sun is coming up.
  • Finished with dinner and feeling stuffed? Take the kids and/or dog for a couple of laps around the block.


Short Workouts Program


Here’s a sample workout program to give you an idea of how to use the exercises above:


  • Morning: Quick H.I.I.T.
  • Mid-morning break: Desk push-ups
  • After lunch: Climb the stairs
  • Evening: Yoga poses
  • After dinner: Take a walk


Quick Five-Minute Workouts Add Up Fast


Quick five-minute workouts are a great way to get some exercise in when you’re short on time. And the best part is, there’s no need for fancy equipment or a lot of space—all you need is your own body and a few minutes. So next time you’re strapped for time but want to get moving, try one of these workouts!

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