One of the most important and life-altering discoveries to come out of the workout world is that getting into shape isnâ€™t an all-or-nothing proposition. In fact, research consistently proves that more frequent bursts of intense physical activity can produce the same muscle-building, fat-blasting, health-boosting benefits as the long-recommended 30 minutes a day. â€œAny amount of exercise is better than none, and short, repeated bouts may actually beat out one long blast,â€ says Martin Gibala, Ph.D., chair of the kinesiology department at McMaster University in Canada.
But what if you really only have one minute to spare? Is it truly possible to get your heart pumping in such a short amount of time? The answer is definitively yes.
The solution for your short-on-time training: burpees. This body-weight exercise may just top the chart for how many major muscle groups it activates. And because youâ€™re moving quickly up and down off the ground, this move can yield a significant cardiovascular response in as little as 60 seconds, says Gibala.
Do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then squat and place your hands on the floor, just outside your feet. Jump both legs back to a pushup position your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Immediately reverse the move, then jump as high as you can off the ground, raising your arms overhead. Thatâ€™s one rep; do as many as you can in 60 seconds.
Modify based on your fitness level: To make it easier, step your feet back one at a time into the pushup position; to make it harder, do a pushup before continuing.