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Microworkouts You Can Do in 2 Minutes or Less

by Amy Lucas
Last Updated: September 2, 2021

Microworkouts are short bursts (two minutes or less) of intense exercise. Inspired by HITT intervals, they can be cardio- or strength-based. You can do them while you’re waiting for your tea to steep or a virtual meeting to start. It could be a minute-long plank hold, 50 squats, or a set of tricep dips



The only drawback to a microworkout you can do in two minutes or less is that you no longer have the excuse, I don’t have time to exercise. You can get in a workout in less time than it takes you to listen to a song, answer a few emails, or empty the dishwasher. When you take a few stolen moments each day to go at your max, the beneficial effects accumulate.

Here’s a listicle of microworkouts (with videos!) to get you started.

Microworkout Overview

Before you try your first microworkout, we recommend watching this short video from myPrimalCoach co-founder Mark Sisson. He explains what microworkouts are, how they differ from conventional, focused workouts, and how he puts them together throughout his day for a great overall workout.

Bonus: He gives some great tips on how to avoid active couch potato syndrome.

6 Microworkout Moves

There are some moves that naturally lend themselves to microworkouts. Hint: They include the Primal Essential Movements.  

Here are six of our favorites.

1. Squats {No Equipment}

Muscles targeted: buttocks, hip flexors, quadriceps, abdominal muscles, calves, hamstrings, lower back.

2. Push-ups {No Equipment}

Muscles targeted: chest muscles, shoulders, triceps, abdominals, serratus anterior.

3. Plank {No Equipment}

Muscles targeted: core muscles, traps, rhomboids, lats, pecs, deltoids, biceps, triceps, quadriceps, buttocks, abdominals, lower back. 

4. Pull-ups {Optional Equipment}

Muscles targeted: Lats, teres major, traps, pecs, rhomboids, biceps, upper back, forearms, abdominals.

5. Sprinting {No Equipment}

Muscles targeted: buttocks, hips, hamstrings, quads, calves, abdominals.

6. Trap Bar Deadlift {Heavy Equipment}

Muscles targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, adductors, erector spinae muscles, abdominals, obliques, lats, traps, infraspinatus, gripping muscles.

Putting It All Together

We like to mix it up with three of our favorite microworkouts. 

Remember: These exercise might be shown back to back, but to make it a true microworkout, you’ll want to spread these exercises out over your day in two-minute increments.

1. Arm Microworkout {No Equipment}

When you want to focus on your arms but don’t have any equipment to help you out, then just do the moves in this no-equipment arm microworkout.

2. Microworkouts for the Home Office {Light Equipment}

For those of you looking to add more movement to your workday, this video from Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Keto Reset Diet and Keto for Life, is a great place to start. He demonstrates 4 microworkouts you can do in your home office whenever you need a work break.

Spoiler alert: Using only a pull-up bar and a stretch cord, he’ll show you air squats, chin-ups, a stretch-cord circuit, and hex bar deadlift.

3. On-the-Go Road Warrior Workout {Light Equipment}

Mark shows you what you need to do for a terrific workout with nothing but a stretch band. You can do the four moves at full-speed in less than two-minutes (give it a go a few times during the day), or take it more slowly and tackle the exercises one-by-one, hour-by-hour.

Just Move

Moving throughout your day is essential to your health. When we sit for just 15 minutes, insulin resistance can increase and glucose tolerance can decrease. Microworkouts are a great way to get you out of the chair and your blood flowing.

Whether it’s running up a flight of stairs or dropping and giving yourself 20, scatter microworkouts throughout your day whenever you don’t have the time (or the desire) to dedicate 45-60 minutes to a workout. Star jacks, jump rope, mountain climbers, crunches. There’s no shortage of moves to inspire your microworkouts.

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