Try These 7 Simple Workouts When You Don't Have Time To Exercise (But Know You Should)

Each one takes just five minutes – but you'll feel the benefits for longer!
Getty/HuffPost UK

You’re reading Move, the nudge we need to get active, however makes us happiest and healthiest.

Let’s get real: we all know we should exercise. But do all we have the time (or motivation) to do it? Absolutely not.

If you’re finding it tricky to squeeze some movement into your busy schedule, start small. Every Wednesday, HuffPost UK asks personal trainers and fitness gurus to recommend a five-minute workout that’ll make a difference, fast.

In the past year, we’ve had workouts to suit almost every person, from a morning workout designed to energise early risers to a workout you can complete entirely from your chair. We’ve also tackled your problems, like backache, stiffness and poor posture, without exercises to counteract the impacts of modern day life.

Below, we’ve rounded up seven of the five-minute workouts that have been most popular with our readers. Try one next time you think you don’t have time to exercise, or visit this page for more options.

1. Try this standing abs workout with zero floor work

Courtney Black

You don’t have to get down on the floor for sit-ups to work your abs, because with this standing workout, you can make progress any time, any place.

Provided by fitness trainer Courtney Black, it includes moves like standing crunches and standing bicycles that can be performed while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.

Dreaming of a six-pack? Find the full standing abs workout here.

2. Improve your strength in five minutes with isometric holds

Fit & Food

Laura Byrne, a qualified personal trainer who runs independent studio Fit & Food, supplied us with a fast, body strengthening workout focussed on isometric holds (aka small but mighty movements that focus on maintaining a static position).

“The benefits? Builds strength, increases core stability, reduces risk of injury through stronger connective tissue and enhances performance,” she said. “Oh, and finding the willpower to conquer these challenging holds as you push through the tremble...there’s a huge mental gain here too.”

Fancy feeling stronger? Find the isometric hold workout here.

3. If you spend too much time sitting on your arse


Many of us – from office workers to drivers – can’t help how much time we spend sitting on our butts. But a sedentary lifestyle is a leading cause of backache and tension. So, what to do?

We’d recommend trying this workout from Myprotein PT Adam Hameed that’s designed to counteract the effects, with some glute-opening exercises designed to leave you feeling loosey goosey.

Spend too much time sitting on your butt? Try the workout here.

4. Try this workout for a peachy bottom

Vanessa Michielon

Speaking of arses, we’ve also got a five-minute bum workout from Vanessa Michielon, founder of the Transformative Movement Method.

Michielon recommends barre for those who want to work on their behind (it takes inspiration from ballet, pilates and strength training is a great way to activate the glutes safely and effectively).

5. This smart sequence will relieve your tight hips

Aysha Bell

Created by yoga instructor Aysha Bell, this short stretch sequence is an absolute godsend for those with tight hips.

It’s designed to strengthen the hip flexor muscles, which in turn helps to eradicate that feeling of tightness that’s niggling away at your lower body.

Trust us, this one’s a cracker. Find the full workout here.

6. This cardio workout will leave you feeling fitter


If you just want to feel fitter overall – whether your motivation is playing with the kids or running for the bus – a fast cardio workout is the answer.

This circuit by Dr Nandini Mathur Collins at Noom supports sustainable weight loss, improves circulation and boosts mental health. And at just five minutes, you can complete it in between meetings or on your lunch break.

7. And finally, give those arms some love


We’ve shared workouts that focus on abs, legs and bums, but don’t worry, we’ve got your arms covered, too.

You’ll need some dumbbells (or heavy water bottles) to complete this five-minute workout by personal trainer and fitness influencer Emily Furey.

It tones arms and strengthens key muscles (and is one of the most popular yet). Save this sequence for your next gym sesh or give it a go tonight while you’re watching TV.

Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features encouraging you to add movement into your day – because it’s not just good for the body, but the mind, too. We get it: workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can move more without dreading it. Whether you love hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.

HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser

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