Do the “7-Minute Workout” (example and link below) if you like but consider the following goals first:
A) Do no harm.
B) Work muscle groups in opposing pairs to avoid an imbalanced physique and postural problems.
C) Use your full active range of motion in all three planes (horizontal, sagittal, and frontal).
Here is a routine that the researchers used:
1. Jumping jacks Total body
2. Wall sit Lower body
3. Push-up Upper body
4. Abdominal crunch Core
5. Step-up onto chair Total body
6. Squat Lower body
[7. Triceps dip on chair Upper body]<—[PLEASE SKIP THIS!]
8. Plank Core
9. High knees/running in place Total body
10. Lunge Lower body
11. Push-up and rotation Upper body
12. Side plank Core
Here’s what I would change:
1) Per (B) above, Add a “pull” exercise to the routine like a high-back row or high back row with external rotation. If you do nothing but pull-ups, pushups, and dips your hunchback will be the most impressive part of your body.
2) Per (A), skip the chair/bench dips–If you plan to use your shoulders into old age, this is not the exercise for you. It hyperextends the shoulder (glenohumeral joint) well into the danger zone for the vast majority of people. Use a dip station and tuck your knees to face the floor or do a narrow “grip”/triceps push-up instead.
3) Per (A) and C, do abdominal crunches on a stability ball if you can. It supports your back and allows a greater range of motion/extension for a more effective abdominal workout.
4) In violation of goal (B), the workout contains about 4 exercises that tax the spinal flexors and only one for the extensors (squats). Add a hamstring bridge, swimmers, superman, Roman chair or stability ball back extension.
5) Per (A), Forward lunges (the standard variety of lunge) put undue shear force on the knee. Try a backwards lunge for the same benefits and less risk of injury.
6) Per (C), the workout lacks significant movement through the transverse/horizontal plane. Rotation about the spine, hips, etc. causes injury because people rarely train this movement. Here’s are some options for rotation about the spine:
Praise for the 7-Minute Workout: