1. The Exercise Pyramid
Orangetheory’s Kristi Gess calls this routine “the Exercise Pyramid” because “you build to the peak of 60 seconds, then come back to the starting point.” All you need is a stopwatch; perform these exercises for the amount of time specified:
30 seconds of burpees (squat thrusts)
40 seconds of mountain climbers
50 seconds of push ups
60 seconds of squat jumps
50 seconds of tricep dips
40 seconds of power lunges
30 second plank hold
2. Back to Basics
Trainer Mary Jo Tautges at Plymouth Creek Athletic Club says when it comes to quick exercises, basic is better. “People are getting away from basic floor exercises,” she says, “but they’re a great way to work out.” Perform several of these exercises, paying attention to form:
-Curls with dumbbells
If you want to try a machine-aided five-minute workout instead, Tautges recommends the rower. “It pretty much works everything,” she says.
3. The Big Three
“The best 5-minute workout involves three exercises,” Discover Strength’s Luke Carlson says. Perform eight to 15 repetitions of each exercise with a controlled speed:
- Push-ups or chest press
- Pull up, pull down or row exercise
- Leg press, squatting motion or lunge
“These three exercises work major muscles of the upper body,” Carlson says, “and they also increase the resting metabolic rate,” which improves fitness and aids in fat loss.
4. Working the Core
Tiger Athletics’ Stacie Clark says that working the core improves the fitness of your whole body. Try either or both of these work outs, and repeat:
- Mountain Climbers: Get into a high plank position, then drive one knee up to your chest at a time. Maintain a consistent pace to maximize value.
- Modified V-sit: Create a 90-degree angle “V” shape with your body by raising your legs and chest. Hold this position as long as possible.
5. Anytime Fitness: “The Plank”
Rico Mace from Anytime Fitness suggests trying your 5 minutes shortly after waking up. “The morning can be a great time to jump-start the central nervous system with a short routine,” he says. The morning workout Mace recommends is the plank:
- Lie prone.
- Place forearms on floor, elbows under shoulders.
- Straighten and extend legs, with forefeet on floor.
- Raise body upward into straight line, and hold 30–60 seconds.