The 5-Minute Workout You Can Do Between Zoom Meetings
When we first started this whole quarantine-at-home thing, we thought we’d have more time on our hands. No commute, no problem, we’ll definitely spend that hour working out and eating healthy. But eight weeks and a fridge full of banana bread later, we still can’t seem to find the time. Between the Zoom calls, take-out runs and homeschool sessions, any semblance of a workout routine went straight out the window (along with our dignity and desire to wear pants). But the success of a Tuesday isn’t measured by the hours you spend in your at-home gym. In fact, engaging in physical activity for even a few minutes a day can have a huge impact on your mental and physical well-being.
“Right now, getting up and moving is more important than ever as we’re stuck sitting for longer and longer periods of time,” Annie Mulgrew, VP and Founding Instructor of CITYROW says. “Oftentimes, we convince ourselves that unless we have a full 30 minutes to dedicate to exercise we can’t get an effective workout in. The truth is, whether you’re sweating for a full 30 minutes or in five-minute increments, you are making a difference and challenging your body.”
CITYROW is a boutique fitness studio that combines rowing with high-intensity intervals and dynamic strength training. As the leader in program development and instructor training, Mulgrew knows a thing or two about getting (and staying) in shape. So, how has she been working out while stuck inside? “At CITYROW, we focus our programming on functional movements that work the entire body to give you both an effective and efficient workout,” she explains. “Exercises you can do at home like squats, lunges and pushups are great options for challenging multiple muscle groups. When these movements are put together in a circuit, they will get your heart rate up to achieve that cardio blast we all know and love.”
Got five minutes between your morning brainstorm and afternoon check-in? “Flow through each of the below exercises for one minute, trying to do as many reps as possible (with good form!),” Mulgrew explains. “Then immediately transition into the next exercise.” If you’re recovering from an injury or can’t fathom 60 seconds of pushups (we feel you), Mulgrew suggests mixing it up. “You could also choose three of these exercises and see how many rounds of 10 reps you can do in five minutes.” One full-body burn (and a lovely boost of energy) coming right up.
*Works your quads, glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors.
Step 1: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Sit back and down as if you were sitting in an imaginary chair. Send your butt back while keeping your chest up and your gaze forward.
Step 2: Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, bringing your arms out in front of you for balance. Press your weight back into your heels making sure your knees don’t extend past your toes. If they do, widen your stance.
Step 3: Push through your heels to return to the starting position and repeat.
*Works your core (abs, hips and glutes) as well as your upper back, pectoral muscles, shoulders and biceps. To modify, come down on your knees and keep your feet lifted.
Step 1: Begin in a plank position with your arms directly below your shoulders, legs extended back and feet slightly narrower than hip-width apart.
Step 2: Lower your body until your chin almost touches the floor. Keep your arms in close, sending your elbows back rather than out.
Step 3: Pause slightly, push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat. Engage your legs and core throughout this motion to maintain proper form and alignment.
3. Lateral Lunges
*Works your quads, glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors.
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with equal open space on either side of you.
Step 2: Step your right foot out parallel to your hips and squat down, shifting your body weight into your right leg. Keeping your left leg straight, send your butt back while your chest stays lifted. Make sure your bent knee does not extend over your toes.
Step 3: Push off your right foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, swinging your arms to help guide you through the motion.
4. Side Plank with Leg Lift
*Works your core (abs, hips and glutes) as well as your upper back, shoulders and biceps.
Step 1: Begin in a side plank position, with your left shoulder stacked on top of your left elbow. Extend your top leg out straight while keeping your lower leg on the floor, knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Lift your right arm up straight.
Step 2: Lift your top leg up as high as you can while keeping your hips square, toes flexed forward and core engaged. Lower in control and repeat.
Step 3: Switch sides halfway through your time or rep amount and repeat.
5. Pendulum Lunges
*Works your quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors. These will also challenge the small stabilizing muscles that aid in balance and coordination (so don’t fret if you’re a little wobbly at first).
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with equal open space in front of and behind you.
Step 2: Step your right foot forward into a front lunge until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Make sure your bent knee does not extend over your toes.
Step 3: Drive through your right heel and press up to return to the starting position. Now send your right foot back into a reverse lunge until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Try not to let your knee touch the ground.
Step 4: Press through the ball of your right foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, swinging your arms to help guide you through the motion.