The Best Workouts You Can Do in Just 2 Minutes

It’s a busy day, and you’re glued to your computer. Aside from your 10-minute lunch break, you know there won’t be any time to step away from your responsibilities, which makes a workout totally out of the question. Though sneaking away for a 30-minute sweat session is impossible, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on working out completely. Many workout gurus and fitness experts are praising mini workouts that can be done anywhere, any time.

Try these two-minute workouts the next time you feel swamped.

1. Slow burpees, supermans, and windshield wipers

woman doing reverse crunch at gym

This two-minute workout is awesome for your abs and legs. | iStock.com/Veles-Studio

This combination, highlighted by Health, is fantastic for getting your heart rate up while also working your core muscles, shoulders, thighs, and back.

To perform the slow burpee, squat first and hold for a few seconds. Then, lower your hands to the ground and jump back into a push-up position. Perform one or two push-ups here, jump your feet back in, lift yourself up to a squat, and hold the squat for a few more seconds. Stand and repeat this move at least four times. Then go into the supermans and windshield wipers to complete your workout.

2. Bear crawls, bear rows, and donkey kicks

man using dumbbells to perform a plank exercise

Using dumbbells will intensify your two-minute workout. | iStock.com

This workout from Men’s Health is not for the faint of heart. For this routine, you’ll be using your shoulders, arms, back, and core the entire time.

To start, get on your hands and knees with a dumbbell in each hand. Lift your knees (which are still bent) slightly off the ground, putting your weight into your hands and arms to lift yourself. Then, crawl forward with your right arm and step forward with your right leg, making sure to lift the dumbbell in your hand with you as you crawl and never lowering your knees to the ground. Return your arm and leg back, and crawl forward with your left arm and left leg.

Next, perform a row on each arm with the dumbbells, keeping your elbows close to the body as you pull upward. Don’t lower those legs! Part of this challenge is staying in the crawl position while you perform all exercises. Finally, explode with a donkey kick, kicking your legs upward and leaning on your hands to get your feet higher. Continue this routine for two minutes, and feel the burn.

3. Walk-outs, Spider-man reaches, bicycle crunches, and sumo squats

Sumo squats are great for working the inner thighs

Sumo squats are great for working the inner thighs. | iStock.com

New York magazine’s The Cut explains how to perform this two-minute workout that was designed by Annie Mulgrew, program director of CITYROW in NYC.

Start by performing a walk-out with an alternating arm reach. Stand with legs hip-width apart and lower your hands to the ground, walking your hands forward with legs staying as straight as possible until you’re in a plank position. Once your hands are walked all the way forward, extend one arm parallel to the ground, and balance. Walk your hands back toward your feet, keeping legs straight, and repeat, extending the opposite arm on the next walk-out. Then, go immediately into your plank position (on your hands, not your forearms) and bend your right leg to your right elbow for your Spider-man reaches. Repeat on the other side with your left leg, and do these for 30 seconds or so, moving quickly.

Lie on your back for your bicycle crunches next, making sure not to pull your neck or strain your back as you twist. Finally, stand up and do a few sumo squats to finish, keeping toes pointed out and knees wider than hips to sink down into the move. You can perform an alternating leg lift here if you’d like.

4. Goblet squats and skater hops

man using a kettlebell weight at the gym

Performing multiple two-minute workouts in a day is just as good for you as one larger workout. | iStock.com

This two-minute workout from Self focuses on working the major muscle groups in your lower body.

Start by holding a single dumbbell with both hands at chest-level in the center of your body — a 15- to 20-pound dumbbell is ideal here, but you can choose whatever suits you. Squat down, keeping knees behind the toes and sinking in to your heels. Perform as many quick reps as you can in 20 seconds. Then, put your weight down to prep for skater hops.

Here, you’ll begin on the left side of your space and squat down slightly with the weight on your left leg. Then, jump to the right side of your space, leading with your right leg and landing on your right foot. Squat down slightly again with the weight on your right foot this time, and hop back to the left side. Keep your arms swinging with the motion to help with balance. Perform skate hops for 20 seconds, and rest for the remaining 20 seconds of this minute if you need it. Repeat the sequence twice.

5. Jumping jacks, squats, lunges, high knees, and climbers

Jumping jacks are the perfect way to raise your heart rate

Jumping jacks are the perfect way to raise your heart rate. | iStock.com

If you fear missing out on your half hour cardio session when you’re short on time — this two-minute workout from Darebee is jam-packed with moves that are designed to raise your heart rate and boost your metabolism all day long. You won’t get any breaks with this routine, so push yourself to your limits to make every second of those two minutes count.

You’ll perform each of these exercises for 20 seconds, flowing one exercise right into the other to round out your two minutes. First, start with jumping jacks, then go into 20 seconds of jump squats, sinking way down into the heels and exploding upwards. From here, do 20 seconds of high knees, pumping your arms with each rep for even more intensity. Sink down into a side lunge next, and go back and forth with each leg. Then, perform 20 seconds of regular squats for a lower-intensity exercise, and finish with 20 seconds of high-intensity mountain climbers. Whew!