7-Minute Workout Directions


These directions are considered informational only. All exercises and physical exertion come with some risk. And that risk is assumed by you. It is a good idea, before starting any exercise program, to consult with your physician and consider a physical exam.


Jumping Jacks are probably one of the most familiar exercises. However, it’s important to maintain good form and a full range of motion. So to perform them properly, start with standing straight with feet together and hands at your side. Simultaneously, spread your legs wide while raising your hands above your head in a circular motion. Your hands should lightly touch at the “top” of the motion. Then return to the first position, again with hands at your side and feet together. Perform as many repetitions as possible during the duration of the exercise. But don’t get sloppy!

NOTE: If you’re unable raise your arms fully, a variation known as the half-jack is good, particularly for avoiding rotator cuff injuries. They differ only in raising the arms halfway above your head.


The Wall Sit seems like a passive exercise since it isn’t aerobic like some of the others. But do it for a bit and your quads will burn. It’s important to use good form, particularly since stress may be placed on the knees. Do not allow your rear end to be lower than your knees. Find a straight wall or fence to sit against. While standing, place your back lightly against the wall with your feet about thigh’s length away from the wall. Lower yourself into a sitting position, ensuring that your thighs are horizontal. Your heels should not stick out farther than your knees. Hold the static position for the duration of the exercise.


Basic push ups are a familiar exercise to many. There are also numerous variations (some good examples are at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Push_ups) and nothing says you can’t do them differently. In fact, if your conditioning and health permit it, it’s recommended that you vary this exercise and don’t be afraid to make it more difficult. A basic push up is performed by placing your body prone to the floor, supporting yourself on your toes and bent arms, with palms flat to the floor. It is important to keep your body as straight inline as possible throughout the exercise. Do not allow your hips to slump or hump. Generally, your hands should be placed a little more than shoulders’ width apart. Push up until your arms are straight, then lower back to the starting position. Perform as many push ups as possible during the duration of the exercise. Note, however, that it can be beneficial to developing upper arm strength to hold the upper position or to slow down lowering your body back to the starting position.


Lie down, with knees gently bent at about a 45 degree angle and feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms so your finger tips are pointing towards your knees. Keep your head and neck relaxed, but try to maintain a posture where you are looking up towards the ceiling or sky, rather than at your knees. Holding your arms out straight, raise your upper body as far as is comfortable. Your hands will move past your knees. Return to the starting position. Do as many repetitions as possible during the duration of the exercise.


For step ups you will either need an object, such as sturdy chair, or some nearby steps. It’s good to have this arranged beforehand so you will be ready when this point in the exercise routine is reached. Starting from a standing position, with feet even and arms at your sides, step up with one foot onto the platform, until your leg is straight. Try not to put any weight on the other leg. Just lift it into position simultaneous with the step so it ends up next to the stepping leg. Lower back down into the starting position. A good way to perform step ups for this routine is to alternate steps. Perform as many repetitions as you can during the duration of this exercise.


Start in a standing position with arms at your sides. Raise your arms until they are extended straight out in front of you, with palms facing downward, as you simultaneously squat down. Your rear end should go just a bit lower than your knees. Don’t over-do the squatting motion. Perform as many repetitions as you can during the duration of this exercise.


For this exercise, you will need a chair or similar sturdy platform. Stand in front of the chair seat or platform, facing away from it. Lower yourself until you can place your hands on the edge, palms down and fingers facing forward. Your arms should be bent at the elbows. Place your legs out in front of you, maintaining a moderate bend to the knees. Lower your upper body as far as is comfortable, then return to the starting position. Perform as many repetitions as you can during the duration of this exercise.


A Plank almost feels like your resting because there’s no movement once you’re in position. But it is challenging to maintain good form for the duration of the exercise. It is very similar to a push up. Lie down on your stomach and place your arms under you, lying on your elbows, with hands extended straight out and palms down. Raise your lower body up onto your toes until your entire body is in a straight line. Hold this pose for the duration of the exercise.


High Knees are a bit like running in place, but the emphasis is on raising each knee as high as possible. This exercise can be high impact. To lessen that impact, consider performing it on a cushiony surface, such as an exercise mat and stay on the balls of your feet (the mid-foot), rather than striking your heels. Alternatively, dial it down and reduce the height you try to reach and/or the number of repetitions. The goal is to perform as many repetitions as you can during the duration of the exercise, comfortably.


Start from a standing position. Keep your arms at your sides throughout. Step forward with one foot until your knee is at least over your foot while simultaneously going up on the toes of your other foot. Do not over-extend, but the idea here is to step far enough forward and lower your body enough to feel some tension in the quadriceps of the forward leg and the hamstrings of the rear leg. Perform as many repetitions as you can during the duration of this exercise.


This exercise is performed much like a push up. Assume the same position as recommended for that exercise. However, when you get into the upper position of the push up, the difference is that you will then rotate your body while raising one arm straight above you. For this exercise routine, it is beneficial to alternate sides with each push up. Perform as many repetitions as you can during the duration of this exercise.


The Side Plank is similar to the Plank exercise, but is performed lying on your side. Lie down on your side, with one arm positioned underneath so that you are lying on your elbow and forearm, with legs together. Your forearm should be perpendicular to your body. Place your other arm alongside your torso and hip. Make your body rigid and straight enough inline so that your weight is resting on your foot and arm. Hold the position for the duration of the exercise.

NOTE: 7-Minute Workout will prompt you half way through to switch sides.