Denise Austin Workout Exclusive: 5-Minute Toning Routine

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Don't let the dreary days of winter keep you from your workouts! You don't even have the leave the house to get fit and toned this season. Don't believe me? We asked our friend and fitness guru Denise Austin to create a short and effective workout that our readers could do indoor—without any equipment.

The result? Denise Austin's 5-minute workout routine, which features just four simple exercises that you can squeeze into even the busiest of days. Target your abs, lower body, and arms with this effective routine.

Long, Lean Lunge

Stand tall, zip up your abs, and extend your arms are in front of you as if you’re holding onto a ballet barre (not pictured). Slide your right leg behind you, keeping it straight, while leaning forward, bending the left leg to 45 degrees and raising your arms next to your ears (pictured). You want to make one long, strong diagonal line from your back foot to your hands. Then press into the standing leg and squeeze the extended leg to return to the starting position (legs together, arms in front). Repeat 8-10 times on the same leg, then switch legs.

Pushups with Power
(This is Denise's "favorite arm and chest move!")

Begin on hands and knees, with your arms straight, your hands under your shoulders, your back long, and your knees bent, placed directly under the hips (not pictured). Lift your right knee from the floor and shooting straight out from your back in one long line. Holding your leg up, bend your elbows while keeping them close to your body and lower your chest toward the ground (pictured), then push the floor away to come back up to the starting position. Keep your leg extended and repeat the pushup 4-5 times, then switch legs for another 4-5 reps.

Kneeling Side Bends with Towel

Begin in a kneeling position holding a rolled bath towel or yoga strap overhead, and extend your left leg straight out to the side, resting the sole of your foot on the floor (not pictured). Pulling slightly on the towel for tension, lift up through the waist and bend your spine laterally towards your left leg (pictured). Then lift up to the starting position. Keep leg extended and lean to the same side 8-10 times, then switch sides.

Ab Curl with Towel

Sit on the floor with knees bent , back straight, shoulders down, placing a rolled up bath towel or yoga strap under your thighs holding one end in each hand (not pictured). Slowly draw your navel in, scoop and hollow the abs. Round your back, and lean back until you feel the tension in your abdominals (pictured). Hold for a second then, leading with your chest, lift back up to the starting position. Repeat 8-10 times.

If you liked these moves, check out the Denise Austin DVD Shrink Your Fat Zones Pilates ($11.99 at

What did you think of Denise's 5-minute workout? Do you think you can fit in a good workout in just five minutes?

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PATRICIA-CR 8/3/2020
Wow, wow, wow! Report
NANASUEH 6/24/2020
thanks Report
KITT52 4/1/2020
good easy work out Report
REDROBIN47 1/8/2020
Nice workout. Thank you. Report
Thank you. Report
Still love Denise Austin!!!!! Report
Interesting Report
love it! thanks!! Report
Looking forward to trying this...thanks! :) Report
Denise is a true fitness guru for & to me. Report
Definitely worth a try. I like the uniqueness Report
I used to love doing her routines located on the cable's On Demand. But then they stopped showing her. I now do randome ones I find On Demand. and, can't beat that its free. :) Report
I love Denise's workouts and these seem especially good when you need something quick. I actually am doing a cardio, abs, and toning workout of Denise's that I have had for awhile. She seems very dedicated to what she does and I am encouraged to exercise more with her help. Report
I like the exercises shown. I am going to try them. Thanks for the info. Report
I have favorited this blog and am definitely going to use it. Report
It is surprising how many people either didn't understand, didn't read, or just want excuses not to exercise. They are for when you don't have time to do a regular work out, because anything is better than nothing. Report
I can do this! And maybe a couple of times a day, when I only have small blocks of time to exercise. Report
Denise Austin is 53 and the mother of two grown girls. She is 5'4" and 112#. I love anything she does. GETTING STARTED is the hardest part of exercising, so if anyone can do FIVE minutes, they have a positive attitude for the day. I love this idea.
Denise went to the U. of Arizona as a Gymnast and ranked 9th in the nation on Balance Beam. She majored in Exercise Physiology and when she graduated she decided to make it her full time career. I love that she is so dedicated to fitness. Lots of people have made "videos" but really were actresses or models and NOT an expert like Denise. Report
these look great! they'd be perfect for the days I don't feel like doing my full workout or don't have time!! Report
These exercises seem just so simple. I can't wait to give them a try. Report
Wow! These are Great...and perfect timing (during this wonderful, yet hectic, holiday season)! When my time is short, I'll definitely use this routine. A little is better than none :-) Thank you! Report
I just love Densie austin I think I can squeeze that routine in. Report
if that is her true body, without touch ups, she is amazing. you have to be so careful, if you have joint problems. Some of the exercises are only for the young. I'd like to see an arthritis routine. Report
Looks like a routine I can do. Incorporating in my daily routine. Will see how it works out. Report
I like it! Will do these when gym is closed or weather is too bad. Report
I think that l'il vixen is amazing!

Five minutes? I think it can help, but it's wishful thinking to imagine that it really gets the job done. Report
I will try this as soon as tomorrow and hope to make at least some of the exercises daily... Report
Love it! I can and will do this! Thanks Nicole & thanks Denise! Report
I definitely will try this out, I am not sure of the lunge but other than that I should be able to do it. Report
I have to agree with mrsharing about the lunges and squats for knees. I do them carefully and have been able to increase the effort over time since starting Sparkpeople and being consistent with exercise but if you have knee problems I think you really have to be careful. Maybe just do one at your own pace and work your way up from there. I was doing Jackie Warner last night and the only reason I could do them is because I had been doing Coach Nicole and Leslie Sansone DVDs and videos since I started SP. When I first started I never would have been able to do a lunge or a squat. You have to build up your muscles first. Report
I agree with coach Nicole - Lunges and squats are some of the the exercises my Physical Therapist had me doing for my hurt knee & he recommed that after I am done with my two months of Physical Therapy to do Yoga. Report
I like how they're basically modified yoga poses. I also agree that lunges are pretty safe for your knees if they're based on yoga poses. But you have to keep your knee in line with your leg. So 90 degree bend or more, not less. When you look down you should be able to see your big toe, if you can't, you need to readjust your knee. Report
@MRSHARING I disagree. Those are among the safest exercises for the knees. Report
All but one of these exercises are decidedly "no-no's" for bad knees. Lunges and squats are perennial exercise guru favorites - but talk to a sports medicine physician and they will tell you that if you have knees problems, stay away from those two exercises! Report
The routine looks pretty interesting in general. It seems to combine exercises together in order to get a more effective workout packed into 5 minutes. Personally, push ups have always been an issue for me. I can't seem to do them right, so that exercise would be a major obstacle.
I don't believe the results would be effective if this is the only routine done every day, but 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes. On those busy days, sure it would be a great routine, but not great for a long-term plan. Report