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Effective 5-Minute Workout At Home: Routines For When You Are Short On Time

August 25, 2021


The single most common excuse people have not to exercise is “I don’t have enough time”. Yes, I am sure you’ve said it too. Family, work, commitments, there are many things going on in your life, but, can you take 5 minutes of your time to work on yourself? If you don’t have a lot of time but you want to get the juices flowing, working out at home is a great option, and we will help you get started.

In this article, we will show you 3 equipment-free workout routines that you can easily do at home. You don’t need a gym membership to get fit, you need willpower, motivation, and only 5 minutes a day! Are you ready?

If you are worried about not seeing results, let’s see why even a short workout session can make a difference:


Can a 5 Minute Workout Be Effective?

The short answer? YES. We know it doesn’t seem like enough time to make a difference, but believe it or not, every little bit of exercise you do throughout the day can (and will) add up to something big. Short workouts can actually be as effective as longer ones if they are done right. The key is in working hard in whatever little amount of time you have.

In fact, during a 5-minute cardio routine, you can burn about 50 calories, and with a high-intensity interval workout, you can burn up to 20 calories per minute! But the best part is, “the afterburn effect“. This means that after a short but intense workout session, your body will keep burning calories for up to 10 hours.

So, if you can spare 5 minutes of your day to get in shape, let’s get into the routines we have for you:

The Best 5 Minute Workouts To Try At Home

Now, let’s talk about what exercises you can incorporate into a quick home workout routine. The exercises are very similar to CrossFit exercises. We will target your core, lower back, and of course, cardio. Three different routines for you to mix and match, and best of all, you can fit them into a busy day with no problem. Grab a mat and get started!

If you need help with staying accountable or would like feedback on your exercises, try an at-home workout app. We connect you with a 1 on 1 coach and they give you daily feedback on your workouts.

Routine 1 – Cardio (Full-Body)

The benefits of regular cardio exercise go beyond just your heart. It can also benefit your brain, joints, skin, and more. The increased blood flow and oxygen supply will do wonders for your body. Let’s get into this 5-minute cardio workout and give your body some love:

Running in place (30 sec)

You can begin your exercise by jogging in place or even around the house. Move your arms up and down if you have the space, this will increase the intensity and get your blood flow going.

High Knee Jogs (30 sec)

After 30 seconds of jogging, start to bring the knees up as high as you can, one by one. Bring them up at least to hip level or bend your elbows to put your hands right in front of you (palms facing the floor), and try to touch them with your knees. You can also add intensity to this one by moving your arms in circles. Keep going for 30 more seconds.

jumping jacks

Jumping Jacks (30 sec)

Next, jumping jacks. Rest for a few seconds and start this one standing with your legs together, arms down to your sides. Then jump your feet apart (a bit wider than hip-width apart) as you bring your arms up overhead. Jump back to starting position and repeat as many times as you can for the next 30 seconds.

Burpees (30 sec)

Ready for more intensity? Here’s a full-body workout that will challenge you. Start in a squat position with your hands on the floor. Then jump (or step one leg at a time) back into a plank (optional push-up here to workout your chest). Jump or step the feet back to squat and then jump up to finish in a standing position.

If you have any mobility issues or you just can’t get through a whole burpee, look for an alternative to burpees and build up to it so you can incorporate it into your routine later on.

Mountain Climbers (60 sec)

To finish the first round, we will do one minute of mountain climbers. Start in a push-up position and you need to bring your knees up to your chest one by one as fast as you can.

For the second round, you can repeat all the exercises or skip the jogging and start again with the jumping jacks.

Tips for a safe workout:
  • Cardio exercises are very demanding, especially if you have been inactive for a while, so start slow, you don’t have to finish all the reps on the first go, eventually, you’ll get there.
  • If you have time, try to squeeze in a couple of flexibility or stretching exercises at the end of the routine (while your muscles are still warm). This will help relieve joint stress and bring you back to your normal heart rate in a healthy way.

Routine 2 – Core

Working out your core (abdominal and back muscles) is a great way to improve your balance and stability. It will also help you perform other exercises easier as it is connecting your upper and lower body with a lot more strength.

This 5-minute sequence is all you need to get your core muscles going:

Plank (30 sec)

For this exercise, you need to hold your body straight on your elbows and toes. Make sure your shoulders are directly above your elbows, and your forearms are fully pressed into the ground. They can be either parallel to each other or clasping your hands together.

If you need an easier version, rest on your hands instead of elbows, or put your knees down on the floor. Once you are up in the plank position, hold still for 30 seconds.

Side hip lifts (30 sec)

Next, sit on your side resting on your right hip, with your knees bent. Use your forearm for support and lift the hips off the floor. Make sure to engage your obliques as you move your hips up and down and don’t let the knees come off the floor. Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.

Spiderman (30 sec)

Back to the plank pose, again you can rest on your elbows or hands but this time your legs do have to be out long behind you and stay on your toes. With control, bring the right knee out to the side and up to touch your right elbow, and hold for 2 seconds. Come back to plank and repeat on the other side. Keep going for another 30 seconds.

Static boat (30 sec)

A classic yoga pose, great for toning your core. Here, you have to sit with your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Then slowly lean back keeping your back straight and raise your legs up to a 45-degree angle. Extend your arms out to the side of your legs for balance, and curl up (like you would in a crunch).

Hold in the boat as long as you can, then repeat if you did not complete the 30 seconds. An easier alternative for the boat is to keep your knees bent to get your shinbones parallel to the sky. It will make it easier for you to hold.

toe touches

Toe Touch (30 sec)

For the last exercise of this round, once you are done with the boat, lie flat on your back (always be sure to keep your lower backflushed to the ground). Then bring your arms and legs up to the sky and crunch to touch the tip of your toes (or go as far as you can). If you need more, alternate your arms bringing them to the left, center, and right every time you crunch. This way you will target the obliques and lower core.

Go back to plank and repeat each exercise one more time to complete your 5-minute workout. Feel free to take a few seconds to rest in between.

Tips for a safe workout:
  • While working out your core it is very important to keep all of your abdominal muscles tight, or “engaged”. Engaging your core does not mean to “suck in your stomach”, you should still be able to breathe when doing it. Instead, think of bracing yourself for a punch right in your stomach. This will reduce the risk of injuries while exercising.
  • Pay attention to form and not reps. Do only as many reps as you can while holding the correct form and only as long as you can move smoothly. The same goes for long holds, it is better to hold a position perfectly for only 10 seconds than 30 seconds on the wrong position. Stop, take a breath and try again.

Routine 3 – Lower Body

Your lower-body muscles are your foundation. Keeping them strong and stable is very important even for completing simple everyday tasks. Follow this 5-minute workout routine and work up your lower half:

Bridge (30 sec)

To begin, lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Your feet should be hip-width apart and heels placed right below your knees. Then with your arms out to the sides (pressed down to the ground), begin to lift your buttocks away from the floor, pressing into your feet and sending your knees forward.

Hold the position for a couple of seconds and bring your torso back down. Do this with a smooth and controlled movement and repeat as many times as you can for 30 seconds.

Squats (30 sec)

Next, stand straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart, keeping your chest up and legs stable. To start the movement, bend your knees and send your hips back and down while keeping your core active (tight and engaged).

You should bend until the back of your thighs are parallel to the ground and then come back up to standing, keeping a slight bend on the knees. Repeat the movement for 30 seconds.

Squat with side leg lift (30 sec)

After 30 seconds of traditional squats, use the last rep to transition into a side leg lift. As you are coming back up from squat, follow the movement by lifting your left leg out to the side, squeezing your outer glute. Try to get your leg as straight as you can and don’t worry about how high it goes.

As you step your foot back down, do another squat and come back up to repeat the leg lift on the other side. Keep going for another 30 seconds.

jump lunge

Jump Lunges (30 sec)

Take a couple of seconds to rest before you move on to the lunges. Get ready by standing with one leg forward and one leg back and make sure they are about hip-width apart. Then, sink your weight down until the back of your front thigh is parallel to the ground, making sure your front knee does not go past your feet.

From the lunge, jump up explosively, fully extending your legs and hips. As you jump, bring your feet together and quickly switch positions so you land with the opposite leg in front of you. As you land, follow the movement back down to a lunge, making sure you keep a balanced position. Repeat the movement as many times as you can in the next 30 seconds.

Single-Leg Deadlift (60 sec)

Now, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly and with control, shift your weight onto the right leg and start bringing your left foot up and back as if you were trying to touch a wall behind you. Make sure your standing leg is straight with a slight bend at the knee.

At the same time, hinge at the waist and bring your torso down until it is almost parallel to the ground. Then bring your left hand down to touch the floor (or as low as you can reach) to get your body in a straight line from the bottom of your left foot to the top of your head.

Then bring your leg forward and go back to a standing position. Repeat as many times as you can for 30 seconds on each side. Then, go back to bridge and do one more round for each exercise.

Tips for a safe workout:
  • Never lock your legs when working out your lower body. All positions require a small bend on your knees and you don’t want to overlook that, otherwise, you will end up with an injury. Also, don’t point your toes inward but not too far outward either. This will put more pressure on your joints. A slight turn outwards will do.
  • Do not use extra equipment like weights or kettlebells until you have done the exercises regularly at least for a month. It may feel too easy, but it is all part of a process.

And there you have it, the best 5-minute workout routines to get you started on your journey towards a better lifestyle. Remember, a home workout routine can have its challenges and even if it’s only 5 minutes of exercise, you need to do it right if you want to see results.

Having the help of a personal trainer will make a huge difference in your progress, and we have just what you need:


Written by: Brenda Hernandez



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