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7-Minute Moves for Beginners

The Beginner's 7-Minute Workout

Get active at your own pace with these introductory moves.

Have you heard of the Scientific 7-Minute Workout? Backed by research, it takes you through 12 exercises that raise your heart rate, strengthen your core, and build your muscles. This beginner's version also works your whole body, but features some slightly less challenging moves.
Short, intense bursts of activity like this have been shown to strengthen your joints, improve your confidence, and help with weight loss. They can also help manage your blood glucose levels. (And you may be surprised at how fun they are.)
Short, intense bursts of activity like this have been shown to strengthen your joints, improve your confidence, and help with weight loss. (And you may be surprised at how fun they are.)
A few pointers before you get started:
  • Take it (kind of) easy. On a scale from 1 to 10 (with 1 = the least amount of effort and 10 = the most) aim to keep your exertion level around a 4 or 5.  Don’t hold your breath — it’s important for you to keep breathing throughout each move. You might feel soreness later, but it should go away in 2 to 3 days. And as you get used to this sequence, you’ll experience less discomfort.
  • Stick to the order shown. This activity is designed to let one muscle group rest while others work.
  • Keep going! Once you get the hang of this sequence, feel free to do it twice in a row. Unless your primary care provider advises otherwise, you can eventually build up to three times in a row.
Ready to start? 

First, warm up by taking a brisk walk around your living space to get your blood flowing. 
Then, do each of the following moves for 30 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before starting the next one.
1. Jumping Jacks
Add a clap at the top to keep your arms moving.
2. Wall Squat 
Place your back against the wall, and slide into a sitting position. Hint: The higher you sit, the easier this will be. 
3. Countertop Push-ups
Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest towards a stable countertop, then just as slowly, push yourself back up. Keep your upper and lower body in alignment; you want to be one straight line from head to toe.
4. Crunches
Exhale as you lift your upper body, trying to keep your head and neck relaxed. 
5. Stair Step 
Alternate which foot you lead with (step up and down with your right foot moving first, then switch so that your left foot moves first). Hint: If you don't have a chair, you can step onto a low stool. 
6. Squat
As you squat, keep your weight evenly distributed between your heels and the balls of your feet.
7. Tricep Wall Dip
Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the wall. Stop when your elbows form 90 degree angles, then push back up. 
8. Wall Forearm Plank 
Squeeze your abs as you hold this position. Hint: The closer you place your feet to the wall, the easier this will be. 
9. Knees Up
March in place, lifting each knee as high as you comfortably can. As you raise a knee, tap it with the opposite hand.
10. Lower Body Lunge
For stability, keep your feet hip-width apart as you lunge.
11. Rotating Push-Up From Knees
Start on all fours, then scoot your knees back a bit to put more weight on your arms. Take one arm off the floor and rotate it so that your fingers are pointed straight up toward the ceiling. Repeat with the other arm, then continue alternating. 
12. Side Forearm Plank
With your feet positioned about two feet away from a wall, lean both of your forearms against the wall, at shoulder-height. Keeping your back straight, slowly rotate your body to one side, until your weight is on one arm. Return to your starting position, then rotate to the opposite side.
Cool down with a slow walk around your space.