I tried five 60-second exercises for a week and this is what happened

In the wake of the global pandemic, finding ways to stay in shape while having to spend more sedentary time at home has been a challenge for everyone—but with more gyms and trainers going virtual, finding an at-home training that works for your personal lifestyle has become easier than ever.

I usually follow Bailey Brown’s BBFIT studio workout calendar—everyday I receive a 35-minute video that focuses on either toning or burning fat, with the idea being that everyday is curated for the best results.

That said, lately there has been a lot of talk about quick 5-minute workouts that combine 60-second segments of intense movement that have similar results to a longer HIIT workout. 

While I love my current workout routine, I couldn’t help but feel intrigued by the idea of a quicker, more effective way to stay in shape.

With that in mind, here’s what happened when I swapped my usual online workout for five 60-second exercises everyday for a week—and why I actually prefer following a more curated workout calendar with a coach.

Jumping jacks

I love jumping jacks—especially now that I workout exclusively from home.

They’re super effective and get your heart rate into a fat-burning zone so quickly. That said, committing to 60 seconds of non-stop jumping is surprisingly tiring.

According to my fitness tracker, I can burn up to 50 calories for a minute or two of intense jumping jacks—so I bookended my morning and night routine with about 60 seconds each time.

Planking

I used to hate planking so much—I always found that I could never get my form right, but after I started planking every day as part of my quarantine routine, I found it so much easier to properly engage my core and not rely on my shoulders to keep me in place.

The key here is to make sure you stay in a stationary position for the full 60 seconds, in fact, it should feel like you’re doing a bit of a crunch the entire time.

Squatting

Squatting for an entire minute is not fun—let’s be honest. That said, this was the exercise I immediately noticed had an effect on my body.

I was extremely sore after the first day and noticed my legs and glutes felt stronger and more firm by the end of the week. It’s worth it, I promise!

Mountain climbers

Mountain climbers are great for building cardio endurance and agility—they also work your abdominals in a way that’s less straining on the neck. While they can be done slowly or at a faster pace, I tried doing my 60-second interval as a bit of a run the entire time to make the most of the minute.

Burpees

I know, and I’m sorry. While there’s certainly nothing fun about doing a full minute of burpees, it’s one of the best ways to get a full body tone with just one workout.

Burpees work your arms, back, chest, core, glutes and legs while also offering a killer cardio burn—just don’t beat yourself up if you struggle to keep up a fast pace for a full minute. I couldn’t!

While I definitely noticed my body feeling longer and leaner after just a week of doing more intense workout bursts, I don’t feel like I personally have enough knowledge to properly target all of the parts of my body I want to tone—something that my current workout calendar does quite well.

I think these intense bursts are a great option for anyone looking to start building their out at-home workout routine without committing to a coach or trainer right away.

It’s a great way to burn fat, tone up, and get in better shape quickly without having to block out a whole bunch of time to commit to a longer workout.