While low-intensity workouts won’t cause your heart rate to skyrocket like HIIT, they are efficient at burning calories and building lean muscle. Plus, they boast a big bonus for joint health.
This quick body-weight workout doesn’t require equipment, just five minutes of your day. It’s the perfect way to sneak in some movement during work hours and to combat the stiff muscles that come with sitting too much.
Try This 5-Minute Low-Intensity Total-Body Workout
Move 1: Hip Bridge
This is a great movement for working the hamstrings and glutes through hip extension, which is especially important for those who sit for long periods.
- Lie down on your back and bend your knees, bringing your feet directly under your knees.
- Push through your heels to extend the hips up into a bridge position. Make sure you keep your chin tucked and ribs down, so you don’t extend through the spine instead of the hips.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, then lower your hips back to the ground. Continue for 45 seconds.
Move 2: Alternate Reverse Lunges
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Step your right leg back about 3 feet behind you and bend your knees until they form 90-degree angles. Your back knee should touch the ground and your front thigh should be parallel to the ground.
- Keep most of your weight in your front leg as you press into your left heel and straighten your left leg.
- Bring your right leg back to the starting position and stand up.
- Repeat the motion with your opposite leg and continue alternating for 45 seconds.
Move 3 : Push-up
- Position yourself on your hands and your knees.
- Step your feet back and straighten your legs so that you’re balanced on your palms and toes.
- Check your body and hand position: Your body should make a straight line from your head to your hips to your heels, and your hands should be directly under your shoulders or slightly wider apart.
- From a high plank, bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body and lower your body to the floor.
- Make sure to keep your body in one straight line from your neck through your spine to your hips and down to your heels.
- Press into your palms and push the floor away from you to come back up to a high plank, still keeping your body in one straight line.
- Continue for 30 seconds.
Move 4 : Side Plank
If side planks with straight legs are too intense, try performing the movement with bent knees, he sat. As you gradually build strength and stability, you can advance to the straight-legged side plank.
- Lie on your right side with your feet stacked (or staggered) and your right elbow under your right shoulder, your forearm along the floor.
- Push through your right forearm and lift your body up so that you’re balancing on your right forearm and foot. The more you press your feet into the floor, the more you’ll feel your side abs and not your shoulder.
- Put your left hand on your hip or extend it toward the ceiling.
- Hold for 30 seconds before lowering yourself to the floor.
- Repeat on the other side.