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We know the standard excuse: I have no time to devote to working out. We understand, most of us can’t devote 30 minutes for a solid workout, but this doesn’t mean you can skip exercising altogether.

gym mat

But you don’t always need 30 minutes! Surely, you can spare five minutes a day, and here are five short workouts that we’re sure you can find the time to do. All you need are:

  • A Stopwatch – Use your phone’s timer
  • A 2m X 2m space – Your room is fine
  • Your body weight
  • 5 (Yes, FIVE) minutes

Some clarifications before we begin: These individual exercises are picked by this writer to ensure that your workout upkeeps muscle functionality, provides sufficient challenge and is easy enough to do. We recommend picking three workouts from the list below, and doing one every time you have no time for a full workout.

Here we go…

This one’s easy! It’s a modified Tabata Workout that’s focused on your arms. You’ll do the following:

  • Warmup pushups: 20
  • Set timer to 30 seconds, start doing as many pushups as possible
  • Break 45 seconds
  • Repeat 3 – 4 times

This basic exercise will take you about five minutes, but it will feel like you’ve done a lot more! The good thing about it is that this is a flexible exercise! If you’re building muscle endurance, you can increase the number of sets you do. However, if you’re seeking to hike up your heart rate even more, you can look to cram more push-ups into every 30 second block.

The High & Low is one of our favourite routines to do because even rest times are efficiently used. It’s also a great core and lower body workout that will activate your calf, quad, hamstrings, glutes and abs muscles. You only need to know two exercises – Jump Burpees and The Plank. Here are some images to help you get the right form:


This is a classic plank position


Classic Jump Burpees. Source: kinobody.com

Now that you know how the movements work, here’s what you need to do:

  • Warmup with 40 jumping jacks
  • Set timer for 30 seconds, start doing as many jump burpees as possible.
  • After your timer runs down, immediately switch to a plank position. Hold for 30 seconds
  • After your timer runs down, immediately switch back to jump burpees.
  • Repeat above cycle 5 times.

You will slow down, but it’s alright to do so! This is a very challenging series, meant to help get your heart pumping, so we totally understand if you slow down towards the third set. For more challenge, throw in an extra pushup into your burpee before you jump!

Your legs are one of the largest muscle groups in your body, so working them out will ensure maximum returns for your efforts. Working your legs will help you blast fat faster, as you’re working on developing lean muscle through bodyweight exercise. For this short workout, we’re going to focus on your legs only! You’ll need to know two exercises – Calf Raisers and Squats. Here are some images to get you in the right form:

Source: Popsugar.com

Source: Popsugar.com

Source: Popsugar.com

Source: Popsugar.com

Now that you know how the movements work, here’s what you need to do:

  • Warmup with 10 Squats and 10 Calf Raises
  • 40 X Squats
  • 40 X Calf Raises
  • Break: 10 seconds
  • 10 X Squats
  • 10 X Calf Raises
  • Break: 10 seconds
  • 30 X Squats
  • 30 X Calf Raises
  • Break: 10 seconds
  • 20 X Squats
  • 20 X Calf Raises
  • END

We’re varying up the number of repetitions per set in this case to throw off the muscles, forcing them to adapt and grow faster by reducing exercise predictability. The cool thing is that if you want to, you can switch back to doing incremental sets any time and you’ll confuse your muscles yet again to trigger more lean muscle growth.

The Torso Trainer workout will push your core and arms to the limit in a very short amount of time.  The two key exercises you need to know are Plank Pushups and Planks. We’ve already gone over plank positions, so here’s how you should do a Plank Pushup:

Source: womenshealth.com

Source: womenshealth.com

Now, for the workout:

  • 10 X Plank Pushups
  • Hold Plank – 15 seconds
  • 20 X Plank Pushups
  • Hold Plank – 30 seconds
  • 30 X Plank Pushups
  • Hold Plank – 45 seconds

This should get your heart pumping sufficiently. Do this as quickly as you can, but slow down if you need to. You should be able to complete this very simple workout in five minutes or less. If you want more, you can add additional cycles to this exercise. Finally, if you’re having trouble completing a Plank Pushup, widen your feet to give yourself additional stability.

This workout is an ab specific workout for days when you’ve exhausted all your limbs. There is little to no arm or leg exertion, only core-focused exercises. Since we’re only working the abdominals, we’ll use these 3 exercises to cover the entire set of core muscles: Crunches, Sitting Knee-ins, V-Ups. Crunches are self-explanatory, so here are the guides to help you get the right form for the other two:

Source: alwaysactiveatheletics.com

Source: alwaysactiveatheletics.com

Source: bodybuilding.com

Source: bodybuilding.com

Now for the workout:

  • Warm-up with 20 sit-ups
  • 20 X Crunches
  • 20 X Sitting Knee-Ins
  • 10 X V-Ups
  • Break: 15 seconds
  • Repeat Cycle 3 – 4 times

The V-Ups can be very demanding, especially after the second cycle. Our recommendation would be to continue to do the V-Ups and complete the requisite repetitions, but slow down. There should be no rest time in between exercises but if you’re tired, you can lengthen your rest duration as well.

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