7 Minute Workout gets you moving right away with its quick, no-brainer HIIT sequences that are over as soon as you think about bailing.
Pros: Fast and intuitive design encourages use, short workouts are manageable while also effective
Cons: Offers just one type of workout, learning curve for moves can be challenging
If you’re like me, any time spent debating which workout you should do today easily turns into wondering if, well, maybe I just don’t want to exercise at all, after all. Indecision often leads to inactivity, so if you’re also easily paralyzed by too many options, 7 Minute Workout by Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute might be the right fit for you.
After downloading, the app asks you a few questions about your skill level and motivation. Then, it immediately sends you to the home page to start your first workout, either the titular 7-minute workout or a customized “smart” workout. The latter is essentially a short HIIT/Tabata style workout, with short, timed bursts of muscle-toning, mostly-full-body moves like push-ups and jumping jacks. Don’t worry: It gives you the option to start with a guided warm-up so you’re not completely thrown right in.
As soon as you launch the app, the home screen presents options to start your next workout — as if to say, “It’s just seven minutes. You can spare seven minutes, can’t you?” To which I say, “Okay, fine, I’ll do a little workout.” The super simple, user-friendly, actionable design really helps with overcoming that pre-workout inertia.
Also worth noting: 7 Minute Workout integrates with iTunes, so you can listen to your own music while you move.
The only caveats are, like with most fast-paced HIIT routines, there’s little time spent demonstrating proper form for each move, so you have to just learn new moves as you go. None of the moves I saw were too complicated, but it’s worth saying you should focus on getting the right form and do only as many reps as your body comfortably allows.
And if you feel any aches after the workout, like pain in the side of your knee or in your lower back, it may be a sign that you did a little too much too soon, or you might benefit from taking a step back to tweak your form before you hit another workout, Eleázar said. If your pain is persistent and doesn’t go away with changes such as modifying your form, lightening your weights, and/or lessening your repetitions, then you should consult a physical therapist.
The other drawback is that this app is sort of a one-trick pony, so it’s not ideal if you’re looking to try all sorts of workouts in one place.
But if you love HIIT/Tabata exercise and want to get your heart rate up while spending a minimal amount of time sweating, this app — which is totally free — is great.
7 Minute Workout by Johnson & Johnson is free to download and use.
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