One Minute Fitness in Zero Space
One minute fitness in zero space sounds like a ‘click-bait’ article title doesn’t it? And it is a little bit of course, the 100% accurate description of what I’m going to show you would be:
3 moves to make you feel better that take under a minute and need practically no space to perform.
Not quite as catchy as “One Minute Fitness in Zero Space” though is it? So apologies for that, but those of you that are new to this website might not know about these types of exercise, and so would have no idea how to search for them by name. Now that you ARE here though, I hope you’ll give me a minute or two to show you that the title isn’t actually THAT misleading.
One Minute Fitness
If you’ve ever had cause to actually sit down and count out one minute, I’m prepared to bet you were amazed at how long it actually felt like! If I asked you to stand on one leg for one minute, or to squat down for one minute, or even just to stand completely still for one minute, you’d soon have an appreciation of what could be called ‘one minute fitness.’
Many fitness tests comprise of ones ability to do a certain number of repetitions of a movement or exercise in one minute (sometimes something as simple as getting up and sitting down on a chair). It would be rare to find someone who didn’t slow down somewhat by the end.
I’m telling you all of this to demonstrate that one minute is a useful unit of time, and can be used to help you work on your fitness.
The sport of Zumba does not exist. If you go to a Zumba class you are really just dancing at a fairly high intensity for the duration of the class. That is by no means a criticism, if you enjoy it, go for it, but you’re not really training your body to do anything but Zumba. Of course it will have a knock on effect to the rest of your fitness, but you’re not doing mobility or joint specific work.
I could equally have said football training, tennis, rowing etc. All examples of SPORTS, rather than exercises to keep you functionally fit. In some cases, they may even have the opposite effect, with shoulders, knees and backs being ruined.
In Walter Camp’s Daily Dozen, Camp was all for people playing sports, but made it perfectly clear these activities should be kept quite separate from one’s daily ‘exercises.’ Playing sports is for recreation and FUN, and it is a mistake to think you can get away with six days of lazy behaviour, just because you have a game of tennis on the weekend (or two games if you want to ‘blow the cobwebs out.’)
All of the routines presented here at Internal Force Fitness are short exercise plans to help you with functional fitness; standing, bending, twisting, turning etc. All the things you actually NEED to do on a daily basis. Most take between three and five minutes to perform once you have got to grips with them, but you can always break a little piece off if you just need one minute fitness every now and again!
Zero Space Fitness
I wrote in Fitness in Times of Crisis that my own workout space was only 1.3 meters x 1.9 meters (the size of my Ikea rug basically), but there are routines that I do that only require about half of that space. Walter Camp’s Daily Dozen, from which I’m taking the three moves today, needs only enough room to put your arms out in front, to the sides, and about 30-40 cm behind you. That’s about as good as it gets for zero space fitness. If for example you were exercising in a very small bedroom, you could perform the moves facing your bed, or if you had even less room, ON your bed.
I find a lot of fitness articles, books and videos lure you in with talk of ‘zero space needed’ and ‘no equipment workout’ but immediately they suggest ‘using your garage’ and ‘just grab an old pull-up bar…’ It’s very frustrating.
Move One: Hands:
There is a reason there are so many quotes about ‘first steps’; they really are the hardest! Most people, even those who dislike exercise, will ‘get into it’ a little bit once they’ve actually started, but it’s that GETTING started that is the hard part. That’s why, regardless of what exercise routine I am about to perform, I always start by just getting my ass of the sofa and standing up straight for ten seconds.
Standing up straight is going to physically make you taller, make your chest bigger & your stomach smaller. You’re basically going to hit all of your fitness goals within ten seconds of getting off the couch!
Tap your fingers on your thighs to a slow count of ten, just to make sure you’re not cheating! That’s the first ten seconds of your one minute fitness.
Move 2: Hips:
Next, simply move your hands up to your hips and push your elbows back. Not so far back that you start to resemble a strutting peacock, just enough to feel your chest and back muscles being gently pulled. Try not to arch your back, a good way to stop this is clench your butt cheeks!
Tap your fingers on your waist to a slow count of ten. That’s the second ten seconds of your one minute fitness.
Move 3: Head:
From the hips position, open your arms in a nice big arm and bring your hands to behind your head. Be sure to keep those elbows back as far as you can! (Imagine you are trying to squeeze something between your shoulder blades)
Tap the back of your skull to a slow count of ten and that is your third ten seconds of your one minute fitness.
Putting it all together:
Now you’re going to run through the movements for ‘reps.’ With a Tap, Tap, Tap, simply move from ‘Hands’ to ‘Hips’ to ‘Head’ ten times. This will take about ten to fifteen seconds.
For whatever remaining time you have left in your minute, simply stand to attention again.
I defy you not to feel better having done this!
Video of One Minute Fitness
In my defense, I had tried making this video about thirty times before this take just about worked – but it does show it can make you get out of breath!
So there you have it – 3 moves from Walter Camp’s Daily Dozen, pretty much exactly a minute and pretty much zero space required!