Rookie here. Been studying and trying different things. I like trying to do "x number of move x in some amount of time". Some movements like Olympic weightlifting, should obviously not be done for time as the risk of injury is too great.

My question is what movements can be done for time? The short list I have come up with is:

  1. running
  2. pushups
  3. pullups
  4. jumping jacks

burpees could be included but perhaps shouldn't be due to risk of knee or back injury?

I searched this site and googled, but couldn't find anything. Thanks!

  • For clarification purposes. Do you mean: What exercises can I perform quickly; or What exercises will work out the most muscle groups saving me time?
    – BryceH
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 21:17
  • Here's a pinterest of some AMRAPs (as many reps as possible). Lots of ply and bodyweight stuff. pinterest.com/fitmintag/amrap-workouts
    – Eric
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 3:20
  • I disagree that Olympic weightlifting movements shouldn't be done for time. Death by clean and jerk is one of my favorite workouts, and is quite safe if performed correctly. If done for time, loads are probably not high enough to risk serious injury anyway.
    – Daniel
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 14:29
  • Performed correctly is the key. A lot of people are not well versed in what is right/wrong with Olympic lifts. Some things that seem like they should be common sense to some may totally elude others.
    – BryceH
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 15:10
  • Sorry question wasn't clear, I mean what exercises can I perform quickly, and in quantity that isn't a huge injury risk. Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 6:54

1 Answer 1


No movement is safe for everyone. Burpees are definitely a fantastic conditioning exercise for time for me, but they're definitely not a good choice for a mordbidly obese diabetic smoker who gets dizzy when they stand up from a chair. Does that mean they're not right for you? We don't know. That's a complicated question that relies on a large number of factors. We can only speak vaguely in the general case.

Generally, low-skill movements using low to moderate load are ideal for conditioning work done for time.

High-skill movements like barbell Olympic lifts should be avoided, particularly with high load. Less skilled variants like dumbbell versions of the Olympic lifts, done with moderate load, can sometimes be appropriate.

More reliably appropriate movements include most basic bodyweight calisthenics, but not gymnastic movements. The basics never get old. So for me, and maybe for most people who aren't grossly unfit, I'd say burpees, push-ups, planks, situps, sprints, air squats, and other fundamentals are great choices.

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