Micro Workouts You’ll Love
Let’s face it—most of us lead incredibly busy lives. And aside from managing our jobs, families, and homes, we all have personal goals to fit in, too: like finally finishing retiling that bathroom floor, getting to that stack of books gathering dust on your nightstand, or squeezing in some time to catch up on your fave true crime series. In the spare moments when we catch our breath between work and play, it’s no wonder there’s barely time for exercise.
If this rings true for you, it’s time to reap the benefits of a high-intensity micro workout. Imagine your muscles burning like they do after a longer workout, but in a fraction of the time.1 Plus, you can break out a micro workout nearly anywhere, and you don’t have to be at the gym to fit one in (although the resources at a gym like Factory Store Online can broaden your workout options).
So, how can you incorporate a micro workout? To save you some time, we’ve curated the 4 best micro workouts out there to help you tackle your goals in a flash. We’ll keep it short and sweet.#1 HIIT for the Win
What is a HIIT workout? When you combine short intervals of vigorous exercise with brief bouts of dedicated rest, you can improve heart health, anaerobic capacity, and lose weight—so if those are your goals, this micro workout could be your top pick.1 This high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout only takes 20 minutes.
Perform these HIIT workouts for beginners for 30 seconds each, resting for 90 seconds before moving on to the next exercise:
- Mountain climbers – Begin in the position of a high plank, arms straight and hips elevated, as you alternate kicking each knee into your chest as quickly as possible. After 30 seconds, you should be trying to catch your breath.
- High knee kicks, raised arms – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and raise your hands into the air with your palms facing each other. Run in place, making sure to kick your knees upward as high as they’ll go. Land on the balls of your feet and lift your chest for the 30-second duration.
- Jump squats – Stand with your feet facing slightly outward and slightly farther out than the width of your hips. Lower your bottom into a squat until below the knees, then jump into the air and come back down for a controlled landing. Repeat for 30 seconds.
- Frogger – Begin again with a high plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders. Now use your core to jump your feet up and to the outsides of your hands—into a low squat position. Then, jump your feet backward, back into the plank. Repeat.
- Skater – Stand on your left leg with the right leg raised behind you, leaning your upper body forward. Your right arm should be in front of your body, and your left arm lifted up and behind you. To reverse the position, lift your body up and swing your right leg and arm out to the side, hopping to land on your right foot and swinging your left leg up and back, with your left arm held in front of you. Now hop back to your starting position. Repeat these wide-side jumps until your 30 seconds are up.
Don’t forget to rest for the full 90 seconds between each exercise. If you don’t have time for the full 20-minute workout, you can select half of the exercises for an even shorter, 10-minute version.
#2 Four-Minute Shredder
Looking for a short workout with even higher intensity? Try this micro workout that should get you thoroughly winded in under five minutes. This workout involves four rounds of 40-second high-intensity exercises, each followed by only 20 seconds of dedicated rest. Here are the movements:
- Round one – Squats
- Round two – Push ups
- Round three – Mountain Climbers
- Round four – Alternate between all exercises—squat, pushup, mountain climber, and repeat.
Perform each movement for the full 40 seconds, using all the energy you can muster, and, again—although the time is short—dedicate 20 seconds to rest after each intense exercise.
#3 Stairstep Microburst
If you have a flight of stairs with at least ten steps at your disposal, try out this stair climbing sequence for a ten-minute micro workout. This workout involves going up and down the stairs in cycles of five, making an adjustment each time:
- First climb and descent – Climb up and down normally.
- Second climb and third climb – Climb the stairs much faster.
- Fourth climb – Climb and descend the steps two at a time, trying not to use the rails.
- Fifth climb – Lunge up the stairs two at a time.
Repeat this cycle once or twice for an effective cardiovascular and strength micro workout that targets your leg muscles and gets your heart pumping. There are additional stair climber benefits you can receive if you keep up with this workout as well.
#4 Jump Rope Micro Workout
This five-minute workout only requires minimal equipment—a jump rope—and only for the first exercise. If you don’t have a jump rope, try swapping it out for another round of jumping jacks. Perform each of the following for exactly one minute and rest for a minute after the fourth exercise before you repeat, if desired.
- Jump rope – Jump with your feet close together and maintain a good pace for one minute.
- Plank – With your elbows resting on the ground, shoulder-width apart, maintain plank position for one minute.
- Lunges – For one minute, take giant steps forward, lowering each knee almost to the ground.
- Jumping jacks – An often underrated exercise that engages the entire body and bears its full weight, you’ll want to perform this simple move, again, for one minute.
- Rest – For one minute, take a much-needed breather before repeating this cycle.
Factory Store Online Strives to Support Your Fitness Goals Wherever You Are
In the span of just a few minutes, you could transform your spare time into a strength-building workout.
At Factory Store Online, we know how precious your time is, and that’s why we aim to help you achieve your goals through quick workouts and accessible tools. If you want more motivation for workouts you can complete anywhere, anytime, check out the iChuze app. With fitness classes, meditations, and live stream workout sessions, this dynamic app has all you need to fit in your routine on the go.
Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at Factory Store Online and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.
- Plos One. Twelve Week of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health SImilar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075