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This 5-minute workout will have you closing your Apple Watch rings by the time your work day ends

It can be hard with everything that goes on in a day — work, school, kids, activities, errands, cooking, cleaning — to find the time to exercise. Given that the pandemic put gym-lovers on pause, people have had to get creative where — and when — they exercise. The good news is that your body doesn’t care where you get your sweat on. If your gym is open and you’ve only got a small break to get it in, great. If you’ve only got five minutes, you may want to bust some moves at home.

It goes without saying that the longer you exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. But there are targeted bodyweight movements you can do to torch some serious calories and get your heart rate pumping in just five minutes. Five minutes is better than no minutes, and if you can find five minutes several times a day to put a few of these moves together, your Apple Watch rings will be closed in no time!

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Minute one: Jump rope

Try to do a brief warm-up before you get started to minimize the chance of injuries and ensure your body is warm and ready for what’s about to go down. Set your Apple Watch for 50 seconds, grab a jump rope, and do as many jumps as you can in that time. If you don’t have a jump rope, you can fake one by moving your hands as if you were holding one and jumping with your feet completely off the ground. It doesn’t need to be a big jump; just make sure your feet leave the ground. Rest for 10 seconds.

Minute two: Jumping jacks

This old-school exercise from elementary gym class can torch serious calories. If you’re a beginner, you can start slow. Just make sure you are working on your form and keeping your core tight. As your progress, you can begin to make larger movements that are more exaggerated. Jumping jacks are a terrific way to blast your heart rate in a short amount of time. Again, do this for 50 seconds straight with a 10-second rest before starting minute three. Eventually, graduate to squat jacks, where you squat in-between every jumping jack.

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Minute three: High knees

Again, it may feel like you’re back in fifth-grade gym class, but these moves have stayed classic for a reason: They work. For this move, you’re basically running in place, but the key is to move your arms at the same time you’re lifting your knees (chest-level, if you’re able). You’ll want to make sure your back is straight, your core is tight, and you’re controlling the movement as you go. Do this for 50 seconds with a 10-second rest. As you progress, you could add a drop-down burpee every five seconds to increase intensity.

Minute four: Pushups and sit-ups

For the next 50 seconds, drop and do as many pushups as you can for 25 seconds; flip over and do as many sit-ups as you can for 25 seconds; rest for 10 seconds. As you progress, you’ll be able to add more difficulty to the move by doing a push-off with a clap in between (clap hands together in the air between reps). The sit-ups can also change over time. If you’re just beginning, start with a standard crunch sit-up and eventually progress to bicycles, dead bug, or V-ups. The key is to add variety so you don’t get bored.

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock

Minute five: Jump lunge

Jump lunges are another serious calorie-burner because they keep your heart rate up at a high level for a short burst of time. You’ll start in a lunge position with your left leg bent in front of your body and your right leg bent behind. Jump up and switch your legs so your left leg goes behind your body and your right leg bends in front. Repeat for 50 seconds and rest for 10. As you progress, try extending your arms over your head to add to the aerobic component of the move.

A University of Utah study found that people who exercised less than 10 minutes but at a high intensity had a lower BMI than those who worked out for more than 10 minutes at moderate intensity — so what you do with those five minutes matters. These five moves will leave you feeling like you participated in a much longer workout than you did and will keep your heart rate elevated for hours to come. This means you’ll be burning more calories as you go about your day.

When you look at your Apple Watch at the end of the day, we guarantee your rings will be closed, and you’ll be smiling.

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Julie Scagell
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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