7-Minute Bodyweight Workout

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7-Minute Bodyweight Workout

For this seven-minute workout, we tapped Brynn Putnam, founder of Refine Method studio in New York City to create a quickie routine that’s also seriously effective at sculpting muscle and stripping away body fat. In just seven minutes, you’ll work your core from every angle and get a complete, full-body workout. “These moves require more effort and activate more muscle fibers so your heart rate will remain high throughout the circuit,” she explains. Think of it as the refreshed version of the insanely popular seven-minute workout that debuted in 2013.

Give the routine a try—it’s fast and doesn’t require anything other than a sturdy chair or bench. The GIFs below will teach you how to perform each exercise—and click here to see a video of the entire workout. Try to complete as many reps as you can in the allotted time for each move while keeping proper form. To see results faster, take a minute to recover, then repeat the entire sequence one to two more times. (That’s only 14 or 21 minutes of work!)

1. Drop Squats to Crawls

drop squats

Part A: Start with feet together. Hop both feet out slightly wider than hips, send hips back and bend knees into a half-squat (see above). Hop feet together and stand up. Repeat at a fast pace for 30 seconds.


Part B: Now come to all fours for crawls (see below). Lift knees off ground. Step right hand and left foot forward, then switch. Crawl forward for 15 seconds, then crawl backward for 15 seconds.

Make It Easier: Step to a half-squat, rather than hop during drop squats, and keep knees on ground for crawls.

Make It Harder: Cross one foot in front as you hop to standing, alternating feet with each repetition.

2. Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat Twist

split squat twist

Stand two to three feet in front of chair and place top of left foot on the chair seat behind you and place hands behind head. Bend right knee and twist shoulders over right leg. Keep weight in front heel, and right knee stays directly over right ankle. Stand and return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat for 30 seconds.

Make It Easier: Perform exercise with your back foot on the ground, rather than on a chair seat.

Make It Harder: After bending front leg, pause and hold at the bottom for three seconds before returning to standing.

3. Bottom-Up Push-Up to Side Plank Twist

side plank twist

Lie flat on stomach, hands in line with shoulders, elbows at a 45-degree angle to body. Keep legs straight and abs engaged as you push up to plank position. Rotate onto left hand for a side plank with right hand lifted in air. Keep hips still and reach right arm under torso. Open back to side plank then rotate back to center plank. Slowly bend elbows to lower body to floor. Repeat on opposite side, and continue alternating for 60 seconds.

Make It Easier: Perform the exercise on your knees.

Make It Harder: Take five counts to lower body back to floor.

4. Single-Leg Chair Squat

chair squat

Sit on a chair with right leg bent at a right angle and left leg extended in front of body on the ground. Lift left foot 2-3 inches off floor, hinge forward and drive through right heel to stand. Send hips back and sit down while keeping left leg off ground. That’s 1 rep. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat for 30 seconds.

Make It Easier: Keep your extended leg on the ground.

Make It Harder: Take five seconds to lower butt to chair.

5. Side-Step Taps

side step taps

Start standing with a slight bend in knees. Push off left foot and jump to the right, landing on right foot. As you land, watch that the right knee does not collapse inward. Continue jumping side to side for 60 seconds.

Make It Easier: Step, rather than hop, side to side.

Make It Harder: Perform two regular jumps and then stick the landing on the third jump and hold for one second. So it looks like: Jump-Jump-Stick-Jump-Jump-Stick.

6. Floor Pull-Up

floor pull-up

Lie facedown with arms extended overhead with palms on floor. Drop shoulders away from ears, engage abs, squeeze glutes and press down with your hands and forearms and begin to pull yourself forward toward palms without lifting body off floor. (Your body will slide, not your hands.) Now reset by releasing hands and extending arms overhead again. Continue for 60 seconds.

Make It Easier: Tuck your toes and use your feet to help propel you forward.

Make It Harder: Try alternating single arm drags, meaning so your right arm reaches and pulls, then your left arm follows and does the same.

7. Hip Thrust With Reach

hip thrust

Start in reverse table-top position with butt touching floor. Keep shoulders rolled down and back. Squeeze butt and lift hips into air, wrists should be under shoulders and ankles below knees. Lift right arm and twist shoulders so that right arm crosses over torso reaching toward the opposite side. Lower arm and tap butt on floor. Repeat on opposite side and continue alternating for 60 seconds.

Make It Easier: Ditch the arm reach and focus on just the hip thrust.

Make It Harder: Lift your opposite foot off the floor as you raise your hips. (So your right arm would reach while your left foot lifts.)

Exercises demonstrated by Mary Claire, Refine Method instructor.

All photos courtesy of SELF. 

About the Author


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