Source: GQ Men – 12 May 2022

Short workouts that actually make a difference? Sign us up.

Whether you used the last two years to get in the shape of your life, or watched more Netflix than you thought was possible, one thing is certain; now that life is returning to normal, none of us have as much free time as we’d like to workout anymore. It was easy to fit in some push-ups before that Zoom meeting. Heading to the office IRL, not so much.

But there’s good news: it turns out you don’t need to torture yourself for hours at a time just to stay in shape. In fact, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, exercising for just 13 minutes at a time can have beneficial results (and of course, it’s better than nothing).

“Marked increases in strength and endurance can be attained by resistance-trained individuals with just three 13 minute weekly sessions over an 8 week period” the report concluded, “and these gains are similar to that achieved with a substantially greater time commitment.” Hurrah!

“That’s less than a fourth of someone’s lunch hour,” study author Brad Schoenfeld later expanded to the New York Times. “Most of us can probably find that much time in our day.” Indeed. But what is important with this is consistency: showing up day after day. According to a 2016 meta-analysis of a number of studies, it can take up to eight weeks for our bodies to look different after starting a new exercise routine, and twelve weeks before our fitness drastically improves. 

The key is finding the exercise that works for you (the NHS advises “some type of physical activity every day” – yeah, thanks for that). To help you get moving, we’ve put together a selection of the best, quick workouts that will get your blood flowing and heart pumping, and asked an expert trainer to guide us through each of them. Pick and choose from the below depending on how much time you have to get your sweat on, and remember: the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.

The 5 minute workout: skipping

The workout: Skipping

Your expert: Farren Morgan, soldier, fitness instructor, and lifestyle coach at farrenmorgancoaching.co.uk

As per the Rocky franchise and Victorian playgrounds, skipping is the act of jumping over a rope that you hold at both ends. It’s a highly effective training method if you’re looking to develop your cardio, are in need of a HIIT workout, or seek a weight loss transformation – and that’s without mastering the double-under.

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