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The “exercise snacking” movement, pioneered by Nike trainer Joe Holder, suggests we can hit our fitness goals by engaging in short bursts of activity – and it’s never felt more relevant. Having become accustomed to living-room workouts over the past year, the thought of attending an hour-long class can now feel onerous. Rapid sessions can be effective – especially when they have an anaerobic (muscular) focus, which tires the body quickly, says Jim Pate, senior physiologist and lab manager at London fitness clinic CHHP. Want to sculpt a six-pack in the time it takes to boil pasta? These apps will get your blood pumping in 15 minutes or less.
Come here for a menu of 5-minute targeted workouts – divided into full body, legs & glutes and upper body. And lest you think online workouts mean little or no scrutiny from personal trainers, think again: Onyx has a 3D motion-capture system that syncs with your smartphone’s camera so it can count your number of reps and track your form – and make corrections. $14.99 per month, onyx.fit
Slick production values and a wealth of offerings have led to this London startup being dubbed “the Netflix of fitness.” The app’s variety of instructors, and mix of live and saved classes, will keep you on your toes, and there are more than 60 routines in the “10-minute movers” section, spanning cardio, pilates, HIIT and yoga. £10 per month, fiit.tv
Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout
This is the quintessential snappy workout. Devised in 2014, it’s a full-body circuit of push-ups, planks, wall sits and the like (with a warmup and cooldown it takes around 11 minutes). The free app also means you can mix and match 72 exercises to create your own lengthier regimen. Free, 7minuteworkout.jnj.com
According to some fitness experts, 10 minutes of skipping is equivalent to a 30-minute run. Crossrope, from North Carolina, takes advantage of this intensity with a series of bite-sized routines. The app works best when paired with Crossrope’s weighted ropes: they’ll get your arms burning. Bundles from £89, crossrope.com
It may sound like an X-rated club but Grndhouse means business: the acclaimed strength-focused app was founded last year by five former Barry’s Bootcamp instructors. It recently unveiled a series of 15-minute drills; check out the “Express Abs” class, which features five back-to-back exercises. From £22 per month, grndhouse.com
Another app to zero-in on seven minutes, this Swedish start-up offers over 200 different classes across bodyweight-only (ie no kit) disciplines such as tabata, yoga and cardio. Animated figures take you through the motions. $9.99 per month, seven.app
Maddie Lymburner’s MadFit YouTube channel exploded during lockdown, and this month, the Canadian PT with the soothing voice is launching an app. Both the channel and app boast a bounty of quick workouts targeting specific body parts – whether that’s 10-minute sessions aimed at pesky love handles or “dancer arm” routines lasting the duration of a song. £15.99 per month, madfitapp.com
Melissa Wood Health
After a gentler take? Goop-approved yoga and pilates instructor Melissa Wood is all about “long lean lines.” Her low-impact classes – many of which run for 15 minutes – include power yoga, pilates, and stretching, plus pre- and post-natal options. Don’t be fooled by the quiet approach though: the burn will come. $9.99 per month, melissawoodhealth.com
Fast and furious, Keelo’s full-body bouts of HIIT range from 7-20 minutes. The app analyses your activity to recommend your next high-octane workout (so you don’t overdo one favourite program) and it can be done at home using bodyweight or in the gym with equipment. Free or premium costs $12.99 per month, keelo.com
Aimed at the “easily bored,” as London-based founder Ed Conway puts it, Fit-as-F-ck’s online HIT classes never repeat exercises, are set to lively early-’90s beats, have a colourful Memphis Group-style backdrop, and last just 15 minutes. There are 30 pre-recorded routines to choose from, including full body, lower body and core; you can also sign up for targeted eight-week programs. From £7.99 per month, fitasf-ck.com
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