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A common excuse for not working out or missing a scheduled workout is, “I don’t have the time.” But what if this certified personal trainer told you all you need is a 10-minute workout? Most people, as busy as they are, should have 10 minutes to better their health.
There is a common misconception among health-and-fitness experts that you need a long time to work out to see the full benefits of your training. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When time is of the essence, performing short workouts with higher intensity will increase your heart rate, burn calories, and have health benefits.
RELATED: How Much HIIT Per Week?
For example, in a 2012 study1, Dr. Glenn Gaesser of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University found that three separate 10-minute workouts were more effective than a single half-hour session in reducing high blood pressure. The study compared people who exercised for a 30-minute bout, those who did three separate 10-minute sessions, and a control group.
“The fractionalized exercise led to lower average 24-hour blood pressure readings,” Dr. Gaesser said.
Whether you have high blood pressure or not, use the 10-minute workouts below to get your sweat on because your health doesn’t need a no-time excuse; it requires action.
Tips for Quick Physical Activity
When you trying to find time to exercise while time is short, you can make the most of your limited workout time by doing the following:
- Performing tri-sets
- Doing circuits
- Keeping the reps low
- Minimizing equipment
- Minimize rest
Perform the following workouts doing one exercise after the other and minimizing the time you rest between exercises and circuits. But if you need the rest, take it. If you plan to do more than one of these workouts below, rest for two to three minutes before attempting another one.
10-Minute Bodyweight Workout
Here you’ll use a mix of strength and cardio to get a no-equipment full-body workout. You’ll be training 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off, and during the work period, you will do as many reps as you can with good form.
- Squat variation 30 seconds
- Rest 30 seconds
- Jumping jacks 30 seconds
- Rest 30 seconds
- Push-up variation
- Rest 30 seconds
- Alternating reverse lunge 30 seconds
- Rest 30 seconds
- Superman 30 seconds
- Rest 30 seconds
10-Minute Full-Body Workout
- Squat 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
- Push-ups for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
- Reverse lunges for 30 seconds, rest 30 sections
- Dumbbell rows for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
- Mountain climbers for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
Depending on your fitness level, choose from the following work-rest intervals.
- Beginner-friendly: 20 seconds of work, 40 seconds of rest
- Intermediate: 30 seconds of work, 40 seconds of rest
- Advanced: 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest
You can also choose from different exercises to keep mixing things up:
- Squat variation: BW squat, Goblet, or Sumo.
- Push variation: Incline push-up, Push up, or dumbbell bench press.
- Single-leg exercise: Reverse lunge, Forward lunge, or Side lunge (Alternating sides).
- Pull variation: Dumbbell bent over row or Standing cable row.
- Core: Alternating side plank, Mountain climbers, or Front plank
RELATED: Proper Squat Form
10-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout
Here, I’ll give you the option of using a cardio machine or body weight if you don’t have access to a piece of equipment. Either one, you’ll burn calories.
- Use any machine of your choice.
- Warm-up 2 minutes
- 5 rounds of 40 seconds of work/20 seconds of rest (or 40 seconds hard, 20 seconds easy)
- Cool down for 3 minutes.
10-Minute Bodyweight HIIT Workout
No equipment? No problem!
Use either a 30/30 or 20/40 work-rest interval training as you go through these movements.
- Alternating forward or reverse lunge
- Front plank with shoulder tap
- Squat jump
- Mountain climbers
10-Minute Lower-Body Workout
Get ready to feel your quads! Here you’ll keep an eye on the stopwatch and the rep count. The exercises below are suggestions, and you can substitute in any lower-body exercise. For simplicity’s sake, keep the reps and the time of your workout the same: 10 reps and 10 minutes. This saves confusion when you’re getting tired.
Do as many rounds as you can of the following in 10 minutes:
- 10 Goblet side lunge each side
- 10 Goblet squats
- 10 Single leg hip extensions each side
10-Minute Upper-Body Workout
You’ll choose a push or pull upper body strength focus depending on your goals, or do all of them. Make sure to get all the necessary equipment before starting to minimize transition time.
Do as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes.
- 10 Dumbbell bench press
- 10 Dumbbell pullovers
- 10 Any triceps extension variation
- 10 Dumbbell bent-over row
- 10 Push-Up variation
- 10 Biceps curl variation
10-Minute Core Workout
Crunches are great, but we’ve got other ideas. Here you’ll use a mix of weighted and bodyweight exercises for this ab workout. Because you’re focused on one area, fatigue may be a factor. Be sure to rest when needed to ensure good form. You’ll perform this circuit as many times as you can in 10 minutes:
- 5 deadbugs on each side
- 5 Forward and backward leopard crawl
- 5 Side planks with hip touch
- 5 Spidermans with rotation on each side
- 5 Pallof press variations on each side
10-Minute Dumbbell Full-Body Workout
To limit the transition between exercises, use the same dumbbell. Pick your weakest movement and use that weight. You’ll perform your reps every minute on the minute. If you finish before the minute, rest before moving on to the next exercise. This full-body workout will hit all the major muscle groups,
- Minute 1: 6 Goblet squats
- Minute 2: 6 Unilateral floor presses each side
- Minute 3: 6 Goblet reverse lunges on each side
- Minute 4: 6 Bent over row using two dumbbells
- Minute 5: 6 Biceps curls or triceps extensions
10-Minute Morning Workout
Get your day off on the right foot with a light, low-impact home workout to prepare you for the day ahead.
- Child’s pose for 6 breaths
- 6 Deadbugs on each side
- 10 slow toe touches, standing or sitting
- 10 glute bridges
- 10 cat-and-cow stretches
- 30-second hip flexor stretch on each side
- 6 bird dog reps on each side
- 6 inchworm
- 10 bodyweight squats
- 30- to 60-second plank
10-Minute Workout: Final Thoughts
There are times when getting your usual full workout in isn’t going to happen because you have a busy day. Now, rather than just calling it quits and doing nothing, carving out 10 minutes before or after work and doing a little something is best. You’ll feel less guilty and keep your health and fitness goals on track.
10-Minute Workout FAQs
What happens when you exercise for 10 minutes?
If you’re exercising at a higher intensity, you will burn calories, work up a sweat, and increase your heart rate. You can get a total-body workout in just 10 minutes, using all your major muscle groups.
Will working out 10 minutes a day make a difference?
While most guidelines suggest working out for at least 30 minutes a day, even in 10-minute increments, you can still accomplish some good work in 10 minutes. You can burn calories, get an endorphin boots, and keep yourself in a routine of working out.
What should you do after a workout?
A cool-down is a good idea. Depending on your intensity, eating or drinking a lean source of protein and drinking water will start the recovery process.
Why are short workouts better?
First, short workouts doesn’t necessarily mean better. However, short, HIIT workouts can be great for getting in a great workout in a little amount of time.
- Bhammar, D., Angadi, S., Gaessar, G. Effects of fractionized and continuous exercise on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012 Dec;44(12):2270-6. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182663117.
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