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7 minute abs!
May 9, 2013 2:04 PM   Subscribe

For all of you time crunched people: you can get fit doing these scientifically studied exercises (NYT). All you need are yourself, a floor, a chair, and time to do a 7 minute set 2 to 3 times. Caveat: it's a painful 7 minutes, and some say that you should already be at a decent fitness level, and may need to warm-up beforehand. Here's the academic journal article.
posted by JiffyQ (66 comments total) 149 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm gonna need a bigger chair....I've dropped 40 lbs in the last 18 months but I still think I need something, oh, hardwood for this.
posted by thelonius at 2:10 PM on May 9, 2013


In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort

Wow, they need a chair to feel uncomfortable for seven minutes straight? I can do it with just the power of my mind. Buncha amateurs over at The Grey Lady.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:13 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are jaunty tank tops and sneakers in matching robin's-egg blue a part of the scientific basis of this study?
posted by Think_Long at 2:13 PM on May 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Scientists finally discover elusive 7 minutes in hell.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:18 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lol.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:22 PM on May 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


That one weird old tip is crunches and jumping jacks? Screw you, suburban Colorado mom :( :( :(
posted by boo_radley at 2:22 PM on May 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


If I could do even one of these for 2 minutes every day I'd be in a lot better shape. Instead I play basketball every other day for 2 hours, sometimes loping, mostly milling around. It's what I can do. Shrinking the amount of time something requires just makes it even more disheartening when you can't do it imo--my exercise advice is just find whatever you're willing to make time for and do that.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:26 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


The original article actually recommends doing the circuit 2-3 times, which makes for 14-21 minutes in hell, not just 7.
posted by contrarian at 2:26 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


The thing that cracks me up about all the "get fit in 10 minutes a day!" workouts is that the 10-minute workouts are all extra-concentrated hell and most people will be even less motivated to do them.

I used to run for an hour and a half every weekend, until I got tendinitis in my ankle. While it heals, one of my substitute workouts is a 21-minute loop of the handful of bodyweight exercises that don't put any stress on my ankles. Lots of pushups and planks. It's hard and I always dread it a little and I'd really really really rather go for the long run.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:27 PM on May 9, 2013


Nice. How about a low/no-impact option?
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:28 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I happen to have exactly seven minutes tonight between my strict steak and television regimen and my ice cream habit, and I'm kind of mad at you for posting this.
posted by gauche at 2:29 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


(You guys are going to hate me)
As someone who has abs, I am surprised the most effective exercise (at least for me) that gave me the biggest and fastest results wasn't listed there.
All you gotta do is lay on the floor, and cycle like your riding a bike. Make no mistake, it hurts at first, and is hard as shit, but if you keep doing it, it gets easier, and you can do it way way longer. And the results are insane!
(I guess I am the only mefite that works out)
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


Outdoors running for distance is one thing. Treadmill running for distance though, no thank you. I'd much rather take the 8-minutes-of-hell of a set of Tabata intervals than stare at a wall for 40+ minutes.

This circuit seems pretty good, I'll give it a shot.
posted by Skorgu at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


QueerAngel28: "(You guys are going to hate me)"

oh no, we could never hate you.
posted by boo_radley at 2:32 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


(I guess I am the only mefite that works out)

There are a couple of mefites in this thread that could probably bench press you (hint: not me).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:34 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


These aren't really 'ab' exercises, and even if they were they'd have little to do with 'having abs'. You don't get a six pack in the gym, you get it in the kitchen.
posted by Skorgu at 2:36 PM on May 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


(I guess I am the only mefite that works out)

Wtf?
posted by kenko at 2:37 PM on May 9, 2013 [22 favorites]


I forgot to add that crunches are bad for your back. I would not advise anyone to ever do crunches. I am surprised they are listed. My 7th grade gym teacher taught me that. Do the cycles.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:37 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Having just attempted this, I was unable to complete a circuit (my arms turned out to be catastrophically incapable of triceps dips, forcing an abort). Before I had to stop, I can attest that it was very hard and woke me the hell up, which was kind of my goal.
posted by contrarian at 2:41 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are a couple of mefites in this thread that could probably bench press you

It was because of askme that I recently ran home, excitedly shouting to my ladyfriend "I CAN LIFT A PANDA, I CAN LIFT A WHOLE SNUGGLY PANDA"
posted by Greg Nog at 2:42 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Outdoors running for distance is one thing. Treadmill running for distance though, no thank you. I'd much rather take the 8-minutes-of-hell of a set of Tabata intervals than stare at a wall for 40+ minutes.

iPad + bluetooth headphones.

Next?
posted by srboisvert at 2:43 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


My god, how had that never occurred to me?! </sarcasm>

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it works for folks but I'm not one of them.
posted by Skorgu at 2:51 PM on May 9, 2013


"(You guys are going to hate me)"

Rick: "If I gave you any thought I probably would."
posted by Parasite Unseen at 2:55 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


My strategy for starting from inactivity, in 40's, where you really do need to be careful about killing yourself by trying to go couch to 10k overnight, was to focus on just doing it (walking at first) every day. It didn't matter so much how far, or how fast - the main thing is, go do it. You can always quit early if you find you are a non-hacker one day, but you did something and can keep the newborn positive habit going.

Of course I was not totally successful in this, but I think my minimal mindset helped. When I found myself slacking I'd go back to focusing on that idea, and I'd get back into the groove instead of being bummed out that I had failed or something like that.

So this regime is pretty aspirational as a fitness level for me, right now. I do love the idea of simple workouts without much equipment, maybe there are some less severe plans.
posted by thelonius at 3:06 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


If I hadn't just stuck "Not today! I've got legs, motherfucker!" up as my profile photo on Facebook, I would use the picture of the person approaching the chair and then standing on it. Aaaand... up! Here I am! Nice view from up here.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:07 PM on May 9, 2013


The hackers diet has a similiar low time, no equipment work out but you don't have to be an olympic athelte to start on it. IE: if you can move at all you can start the first rung of the introductory ladder and it should take 15 minutes per day once you get the hang of the exercises.
posted by Mitheral at 3:11 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


thelonius: I don't think it really matters that you do the exercises really well, so long as you do them. If you can't hold a deep wall-sit for 30 full seconds, do a 60 degree. If you can't do full pushups, do knee pushups. etc.. etc.. The idea is just to be doing as much as you possibly can... well actually 80-100% of what you possibly can, but you get the idea.

You'll get stronger as you go, and eventually do full wallsits or whatever.
posted by contrarian at 3:11 PM on May 9, 2013


Their entire abstract is a one sentence Learning Objective? This is not a high performance journal.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:13 PM on May 9, 2013


What I want is a bodyweight lat exercise that doesn't require an overhead lift point. At least, when my untreated rotator cuff injury heals.

Also, no burpees?!
posted by Dreidl at 3:13 PM on May 9, 2013


Carl has some thoughts about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WzKDdj0CxY
posted by anateus at 3:17 PM on May 9, 2013


This is just bodyweight circuit-training, and the routine isn't even very advanced (plus, CRUNCHES?!). I'm pretty sure most healthy people would be able to complete this circuit without too much trouble. A more effective routine would add in some burpees, mountain climbers, box jumps and l-sits.
posted by KGMoney at 3:28 PM on May 9, 2013


One thing that's missing from the study are the well-known psychological benefits from exercise.

Maybe this workout can help a person increase their metabolism and build muscle and that's great, but if it doesn't get those endorphins flowing and make you feel as good as a run, yoga, whatever, then to me, this is worthless.

Because if I didn't get that endorphin high after running, I sure as hell wouldn't be running.
posted by kinetic at 3:56 PM on May 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I used to do a similar group of exercises. Wall sits and various plank formations can definitely get the sweat and endorphins pumping.


This post is a good reminder to get back into it. I was doing it fairly regular. Though I became complete and utter couch potato over the past year and have the weight gain and bad blood work to go with it. (Had a physical just today actually).

My doctor was pretty funny when he talked about the weight gain over the past year.He was really nice about asking me questions as to why I thought it happened. He asked about exercise. I told him it went downhill with my shoulder injury last spring and this winter I pretty much did nothing. He raised an eyebrow. No seriously pretty much nothing. Zero, zip. My couch has a dent. Then he started to laugh and said, 'You are one of the only patients I've ever had that was so honest."

Anyways no biggie. Now that the weather has changed I'm exercising again and boy do my muscles hate me. Suppose I should get into this circut type thing again. I found the one I did before pretty good. It pretty much hits all body muscles and gives them a good workout.
posted by Jalliah at 4:11 PM on May 9, 2013


This is really timely as the rowing machine seat was causing really unpleasant chafing in my COUGH COUGH COUGH and I have been wondering what I would do my Tabatas on instead. I was wondering if I should dig up the old RCAF 5BX plan. But this seems also practical.

I will probably chop this down to a set of eight comprising jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, step ups, triceps dip, high knees running, push-up rotation, and another set of jumping jacks. Though that's subject to re-evaluation.

Basically my knees are shit and the squats and lunges would wind up with me never walking again.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:13 PM on May 9, 2013


Hmmm, contemporary librarian workout is contemporary. Gotta keep those lib-abs in shape...
posted by Wordshore at 4:15 PM on May 9, 2013


My strategy for starting from inactivity, in 40's, where you really do need to be careful about killing yourself by trying to go couch to 10k overnight, was to focus on just doing it (walking at first) every day. It didn't matter so much how far, or how fast - the main thing is, go do it. You can always quit early if you find you are a non-hacker one day, but you did something and can keep the newborn positive habit going.

This. I was near 40 when I started making a serious attempt to introduce regular physical activity in my life (and the only reason I made a serious attempt was because my doctor and my shrink both insisted -- as in, they didn't take no for an answer and would have dropped me if I continued to refuse).

I started out just walking every day for 30 minutes outdoors. Gradually picked up the intensity until I was finally ready to try a sustained light jog instead of a very brisk walk. After getting used to that, I took the plunge and signed-up for a "bootcamp" class which contained a lot of exercises similar to the ones recommended here, but outdoors and not necessarily in rapid, 30-second increments. It totally kicked my ass, but I ended up falling in love with the challenge, camaraderie, and ongoing encouragement from the instructor. This wasn't the misery and humiliation of high school gym class, at all -- it was incredibly welcoming and friendly, no competition, full of positive motivation ("you're doing great, keep it up!" instead of "what's wrong with you, weakling?").

All this to say, yes, start out just doing something like walking. And if something like this routine looks interesting to you, maybe consider signing up for a class (with the caveat that you may have to try a few different classes/instructors before you find one that works for you) as the group aspect of it may help give you the motivation to stick with it.
posted by treepour at 4:35 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


This. I was near 40 when I started making a serious attempt to introduce regular physical activity in my life (and the only reason I made a serious attempt was because my doctor and my shrink both insisted -- as in, they didn't take no for an answer and would have dropped me if I continued to refuse).


I hit 40 last year and as I wrote about in my previous comment stopped doing much exercise for a year. All I can say is wow, age sure makes thing go downhill so much more quickly. Can't get away with it like a could years ago. My doctor's motivation was talking about my bloodwork and (triglycerides, cholesterol etc) and how much it changed just in the past year. He told me that for most people that have my numbers he would be strongly recommending pills, but since it all happened in conjunction with lots of stress over the past year and my couch potatoness he would like me to 'get back with it'.

I hate pills and want to avoid becoming like my Dad who takes so many pills a day for the same thing. So yeah. Walk to avoid becoming a old lady pill popper is my motivation. lol
posted by Jalliah at 4:48 PM on May 9, 2013


This is ~1/3 useless, with a few that are actively harmful (crunches). Speaking from personal experience, you can replace the entire thing with burpees and get the same workout effectiveness with less time. Nothing replaces proper diet and resistance training, though.
posted by chaosys at 5:00 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't get the 7 minute thing - it's just not enough - even if you do it 2 or 3 times. I do an interval training class a couple times a week for 45 minutes - much of what's in that article and then some. Not my entire week's working out - I think I'd get very bored if I did the same thing every day. And yeah - I've been told that the lying down bicycling torture is the single most effective ab exercise out there.
posted by leslies at 5:10 PM on May 9, 2013


You don't get a six pack in the gym, you get it in the kitchen at the Beer Barn.

FTFY.
posted by liketitanic at 5:29 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is very close to Jillian Michaels 30 day shred video. Three 6 minute intervals plus warm up and cool down. Seriously very very close.
posted by whoaali at 5:46 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


whoaali - that's exactly the first thing that came to mind when I saw this post.
posted by joboe at 6:06 PM on May 9, 2013


Jillian Michaels is underrated or maybe not but in any case I love her videos. They're not hard enough for me to do as a main program but they are great for every so often type times when I just don't feel like going to a class or outside.
posted by sweetkid at 6:12 PM on May 9, 2013


These get fit quick things are really just like get rich quick! There really is not shortcut to fitness...
posted by astapasta24 at 6:23 PM on May 9, 2013


Wait, are they really saying ONE repetition each? As in, one jumping jack? How long are you supposed to hold the wall sit and the plank? I'm confused...
posted by latkes at 6:28 PM on May 9, 2013


Oh nevermind. I see it's 30 seconds per exercise.
posted by latkes at 6:30 PM on May 9, 2013


I agree about Jillian Michaels being underrated. I did the 30 day shred in about 6 weeks, averaging 5 workouts a week instead of the 6 and still got noticeable results that I was very happy with. I only lost 2-3 lbs at the most, but lots of people have commented that they can tell I lost weight and my clothes are noticeably looser, so yeah 20 minutes a day (not including warm up/cool down) can really work. I was very surprised. It's really gotten me the most bang for my buck of any exercise I've ever done.

But it does suck at first. The first one or two times I did it I had to take multiple breaks and was ridiculously sore for the first week. I still get sore a lot, but nothing like that.

One bad part is a lot of these exercises are kind of killer on your back. I've had a lot more backpain and finally resigned myself to having to do some of the exercises not at all or without weights because my back couldn't take it even if I was otherwise capable of doing the exercises.
posted by whoaali at 6:38 PM on May 9, 2013


This is very close to Jillian Michaels 30 day shred video. Three 6 minute intervals plus warm up and cool down. Seriously very very close.

Not sure whether you were thinking "oh cool, a fitness program with science behind it" or "hmm, possibly nefarious marketing-driven 'science'" but, yeah, I was thinking of something similar.

All can say is that I occasionally take a 30-minute, Jillian Michaels-branded class and, holy crap, is it ever an intense 30 minutes. I don't think I've been able to make it through a single one doing *all* the reps on everything.

They try to make it as fun as possible with music and upbeat instructors, but it's honestly pretty grueling. But it is only 30 minutes and it does at least feel like the most maximally-efficient form of working-out I've ever encountered.
posted by treepour at 6:42 PM on May 9, 2013


Also, no burpees?!

A lot of people have wondered at the lack of burpees, but I think it makes sense given the stated strategies of the program:
Exercises in an HICT circuit should be placed in an order that allows for opposing muscle groups to alternate between resting and working in subsequent exercise stations. For example, a push-up (upper body) station would be followed by a squat (lower body) station.
The burpee is an excellent exercise, but its primary strength - that it incorporates so many muscle groups - makes in inappropriate for this particular program. One of the goals of the program is to allow a practitioner to operate at a very high level of activity for as long as possible. By rotating through muscle groups, it becomes possible to exert oneself near peak levels, with negligible downtime, for a longer period of time.

As has been noted elsewhere in this thread, it's a little misleading to call this a seven minute workout, since it is expected to be repeated two or three times. These exercises don't seem terribly high intensity on their own, but participants are supposed to really give it their all for thirty seconds at a station, with only ten seconds of downtime.

I can see how this workout could be very high intensity, if performed as intended, and it would be fairly short, if not by an order of magnitude. Also, it's obviously quite inexpensive and doesn't even require much space. Finally, from what I've been reading and hearing about, it sounds like it could be very effective.

If there's one thing it appears to be lacking, it's exercises that work biceps and lats. I think it's easy enough to address this deficiency by adding pull-ups, although that does require some slightly specialized equipment, unlike the current set of exerises. I'm not sure it could be easily inserted into the rotation, though, and I certainly couldn't do pull-ups for thirty seconds.

Disclaimer: I'm almost the opposite of a fitness expert.
posted by Edgewise at 7:42 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I forgot to add that crunches are bad for your back. I would not advise anyone to ever do crunches. I am surprised they are listed. My 7th grade gym teacher taught me that.

I like how it doesn't appear to even cross your mind that your 7th grade gym teacher may have known less about exercise science than the authors of a current paper about the ideal exercise circuit.

(My own understanding is that crunches are the modern 'approved' version, covering a much smaller range of motion than situps, which are now not recommended. I am currently doing crunches as part of a rehab program under the supervision and recommendation of a sports medicine doctor and physiotherapist, so I'm pretty sure they are not considered harmful in themselves).
posted by jacalata at 7:52 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nice - thanks for this post!

I'm just getting back to exercise again after a long break. I used to do weights regularly at a gym. But the gym membership became a budget casualty in hard times, and it's been hard to maintain a program since, even though my apartment building put in an exercise room so I can now work out for free. I've had periods where I get back to it, and then I slack off, etc.

This kind of workout is perfect for me, I think. I could stand to lose some fat, but I'm not overweight - it's just a vanity thing, that I'd like to have abs again. I don't need to "get bigger." And I can't stand the thought of slogging away on a treadmill or anything for hours - so when I first heard about interval training, and then Tabata interval training, I was encouraged.

A few years ago, I was simultaneously trying the 100 Pushups program along with its siblings 200 Squats and 200 Crunches. So three days a week I was doing only those three. I never successfully completed any of them, I got to weeks 5-6 and repeated them for a couple months... But doing just those three exercises that much, people really noticed and I got comments about "wow what have you been doing?" Given that, I think it's totally possible that the interval circuit here could give good results.

(Only thing I wonder about it is that "side plank" at the end. An exercise like that is really best if you do it each side. I guess if you go through the whole circuit twice you can do 30 sec one side, then 30 sec on the other. But if you do the circuit once, do you do 30 and 30 or 15 and 15? Hmmm.)
posted by dnash at 8:08 PM on May 9, 2013


Pro Tip: if you huff duster you'll forget all about the idea of exercising.

I'm prob the only Mefite who huffs duster.
posted by nowhere man at 8:36 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


This isn't exactly a new idea. About half of these exercises are yoga positions. I recently started doing some yoga exercises from videos and one of them described yoga as weightlifting using only your body as a weight. Try this video from Yoga Journal's Strong Core 2 week program. I've been doing those positions from Day 1 for about two weeks and I can't hold them for more than a few seconds, and oh holy crap my abs are sore the next day. I particularly like their variation of the Side Plank, that's an old Iyengar position, but they do a "thread the needle" arm motion that really pushes your muscles hard.

And those jumping jacks and lunges? Forget that. Watch this video from the German website Yoga Vidya. The first Sun Salutation is nice and slow. Then he does one in about 10 seconds. Then about 5 seconds per rep. Then faster. I am sweating just watching him do that. But then, I sweat after doing 2 salutations at any speed.

Yoga may not be a "scientific" program but it goes back hundreds of years and has a hell of a lot more research and practice behind it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:06 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, Impact Factor 0.4 or 0.404, depending on who you ask.
posted by porpoise at 10:10 PM on May 9, 2013


Outdoors running for distance is one thing. Treadmill running for distance though, no thank you. I'd much rather take the 8-minutes-of-hell of a set of Tabata intervals than stare at a wall for 40+ minutes.

OH HAI DER I'm writing this from a treadmill right now. Though I had to slow down from 9.2km/hr to 5.1km/hr to write this comment. Finally the iPad becomes worth the investment, and I spend less time internetting at home.
posted by whatzit at 12:53 AM on May 10, 2013


From a quick survey of the infinite wisdom of the web, it appears that there are differing opinions on the value of the crunch. It sounds like there may be better ways to work your abdominal muscles, but I have doubts about it being the back-destroyer that some alarmists make it out to be.

Anyway, I decided to try this workout. Due to the lack of 'pulling' exercises, I replaced the crunches with pull-ups, and swapped that exercise with squats in the ordering (to break up the upper body exercises).

My verdict: it's a lot harder than I expected. I made it only so far as exercise nine (running in place) on the second circuit, and I couldn't go on. I'm not in great shape, but I do spend over four hours a week split evenly between racquetball and weights. I actually feel a little sore from this routine, and I got a very draining workout in fifteen minutes. A caveat: I started a very low carb diet on Monday, and I don't think I've totally adapted yet.

I'm sure a lot of the difficulty comes from having never performed some of the exercises before, and thus lacking development of certain muscles. I think it would get easier pretty quickly, and I could be up to three circuits after a month or two of doing this two or more times a week. While it may be pretty effective, I'm sure that nothing so short and simple could be entirely complete. The lack of upper body pulling exercises jumped right out at me.

So what would I use it for? I'm strongly considering doing it a couple times a week in addition to my normal visits to the gym, and see what the results are; after all, these workouts are so fast. I was genuinely surprised by the intensity that it packs into a very short time. It's perfect for times when you can't make it to the gym, or if you don't like wasting your money on a gym membership. You could perform this routine in a hotel room, and it's probably better than what you could get out of the facilities that most hotels provide. Thus, probably ideal for those who have to travel a lot for business.

In short: a perfect stop-gap when you can't invest in a more well-rounded workout, and probably an excellent supplement to a more varied set of exercises. As a total workout solution, I have some doubts, but it's a lot better than nothing.
posted by Edgewise at 2:27 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This isn't exactly a new idea. About half of these exercises are yoga positions.

I don't think that this program is as revolutionary as the title of the NYT article would make it out to be, but its core innovation has nothing to do with the individual exercises themselves. Most of these exercises are very old and some have probably evolved separately in several cultures.

What makes this program interesting is dependent on recent thinking about high intensity interval training. The focus of interval training is to get the heart rate up high, and keep it there as long as possible. Where the intervals come into play is by interspersing the exercise with short breaks that make it possible to keep going longer without allowing heart rate to come down significantly. This routine, in turn, represents a way to extend that period a little more by having you switch which muscle groups are being exercised with each interval.

And this is accomplished while relying on exercises that require next to no equipment or even floorspace. These exercises are well-known and even traditional, which is actually an asset.

I probably sound like a big fanboy or a shill, but I think it's actually a very interesting concept, and as my last comment indicates, I tried it and I'm reasonably impressed.
posted by Edgewise at 2:45 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone have any ideas on how to modify this for a pregnant lady?
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:15 AM on May 10, 2013


snickerdoodle, sorry I'm not able to directly answer your question, but I can add that my wife had difficulty finding a suitable exercise regime to maintain her level of fitness during the pregnancy of our first child, with the second she used kettlebell exercises and classes at her local gym. I remember her being enthusiastically happy with the results.
posted by ben30 at 4:52 AM on May 10, 2013


This is almost exactly the same routine I used at work when teaching a 30 minute boot camp class.

I love burpees, but doing the component exercises in groups is harder since one muscle group gets continually used. Give me 30 burpees over 30 straight sprawls anyday.
posted by benzenedream at 12:48 PM on May 11, 2013


Nice. How about a low/no-impact option?

It's not actually clear that low/no-impact is actually good for you. Cyclists can be very fit but have the bones of 80 year olds, whereas old women on a limited box jump program actually recalcify or stop bone loss.
posted by rr at 12:58 PM on May 11, 2013


charlie don't surf: "About half of these exercises are yoga positions. I recently started doing some yoga exercises from videos and one of them described yoga as weightlifting using only your body as a weight. "
It's weird how yoga has pushed the word "calisthenics" out of our vocabulary.
posted by boo_radley at 10:04 AM on May 12, 2013


"it's weird how yoga has pushed the word "calisthenics" out of our vocabulary."

only because I feel like over the past 20-30 years "calisthenics" has taken on some pretty negative connotations and has needed the facelift, thanks to all those red-faced, vein-in-the-forehead, "climb that rope NOW or run laps until you puke" quasi-drill-sergeant gym / PE teacher types who inflicted them on so many of us slacker kids in the 70s/80s. It's a military / musclehead term, and to a certain subset of the demographic, yea, it's silly, but a straight rebranding helps.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:53 PM on May 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


"it's weird how yoga has pushed the word "calisthenics" out of our vocabulary."

And none too soon. This record was popular when I was a kid. The gym teacher wanted us to sing along during the intro.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:10 PM on May 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I get what you're selling with the "self as bodyweight" aspect of yoga but no yoga isn't quite calisthenics rebranded.
posted by sweetkid at 6:22 PM on May 12, 2013


Well, Solitary-Fitness
posted by yoyo_nyc at 3:15 PM on May 21, 2013


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