Many people want to get fit but don’t have time to fit hours at the gym into their busy schedules. What they don’t realize is that they can do a full workout in just 10 minutes almost anywhere and without expensive specialty equipment. The key is to focus on high-intensity exercises that push your muscles to their limits. Although it’s always better to work out more, an efficient 10 minute daily workout routine can help you lose weight and build muscle.
Method 1 Method 1 of 3:Effective 10-Minute Workout Download Article
Do a set of 20 opposite arm and leg raises. With a weight in each hand, stand with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder-width apart. Curl your left arm to your shoulder and then raise your hand straight overhead. While you raise your hand, simultaneously lift your right leg up and forward until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Return to your starting position before repeating the same exercise with the sides in reverse to complete one repetition. Repeat for a total of 20 repetitions and rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.
- Use hand weights that are two to five pounds for all of these exercises. If you’re a beginner, start with two-pound weights and work your way up to five as you build strength.
- If you don’t have a set of hand weights, you can use any two objects of equal weight that you are able to grip firmly.
Perform a set of 25 lateral arm raises. Start in a partial squatting position with your knees bent and feet splayed to the side. Hold a weight in each hand and leave your arms hanging in front of you. From this position, slowly stand up, simultaneously raising your arms up and in line with your shoulders. Continue upwards, standing on your toes with your heels about two inches off the ground. To complete one repetition, return to your starting position with these motions in reverse. Do a total of 25 repetitions and then rest for 30 seconds.
- Time how long it takes you to do 25 repetitions at the beginning. As your strength improves, keep this exercise at the same time, but try increasing your repetitions.
- If you have trouble gripping hand weights for this exercise, you can try using velcro wrist weights instead.
Throw a set of 20 jabs. Stand with your legs apart, heels slightly raised off the ground. While holding your hand weights, throw a jab with your right hand towards your left side. Return to your starting position and throw a jab with your left hand towards your right side. Doing one jab for each side is one repetition. Do a set of a total of 20 repetitions before resting for 30 seconds.
- As you practice try to increase the number of repetitions you can do in a roughly two minute span of time.
- Heavy wrist weights are also effective for this exercise and may be less ungainly for throwing punches.
Do a set of 25 combination bridge and chest fly exercises. Lie on a flat surface with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the weights in your hands with your arms lining up straight with your shoulders and flat against the ground. Using your core muscles, raise your hips and lower abdomen until your trunk makes a straight line with your thighs. While raising your hips, simultaneously bring your hands together over your chest, holding your arms straight up. Keep your upper back on the floor at all times. Slowly return to your starting position to complete one repetition. Do a total of 25 repetitions to finish your workout.
- To prevent injury or discomfort, do this exercise on a soft but firm surface like a yoga mat or carpeting.
- When you’re first starting out, doing this combination may be especially difficult. Although not as efficient, consider splitting the bridge and chest fly into two separate exercises.
Method 2 Method 2 of 3:Fitting in Exercise Anywhere Download Article
Exercise the maximum number of muscles at a time. Minimize the number of exercises that work out only one or two muscle groups at a time. For maximum efficiency, focus on techniques that use as much of your body as possible.
- You can also combine two simple single-target exercises and do them simultaneously. For example, never do leg or arm lifts on their own. Combining them into one efficient, fluid motion will let you cut your workout time in half.
Go for high intensity exercises. For short workout routines to be effective, they must manage to fit in the same amount of effort as a longer workout in a shorter period of time. The most effective way to do this is through high intensity interval training where exercise is done in brief, intense bursts.
- For example, instead of a long strength-training session devoted to triceps, do a quick set of close-grip diamond pushups. Diamond pushups are a quick, high intensity workout that activate the triceps and pectorals to a much greater degree compared to traditional wide-grip pushups.
- In addition to burning fat, high intensity interval training when done consistently can improve cardiovascular fitness.
- High intensity interval training has also been shown to reduce blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes and to improve liver function.
Keep any necessary portable equipment with you. When you don’t have time to hit the gym, make wherever you are into an exercise center. Be ready to catch those 10 minutes of exercise whenever you can.
- Keep a light-weight yoga mat in your work bag or car. That way, you will be able to do floor exercises anywhere.
- Keep a set of hand weights both at home and at the office. If you don’t happen to have a set of weights handy, you can turn any heavy object with a handle into an improvised hand weight.
- Resistance bands are compact enough to fit inside even the smallest purses. Use these tools to train anywhere when you’re on the go.
Take the stairs. While going about your day, whenever you have the choice between taking the stairs and an elevator or escalator, get in a few minutes of high intensity exercise by choosing the stairs.
- Additionally, while not everyone can afford a stair climbing machine at home, most have access to a few flights of stairs. Try incorporating a few minutes of running up and down stairs into your daily planned workout.
- You can also use stairs as an improvised aerobic step. Use the bottom few stairs to do side-step ups, incline pushups, and toe taps.
Make other lifestyle changes. You are likely not going to get fit with exercise alone, especially with just 10 minutes a day. Make sure all other aspects of your life are conducive to staying in shape.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Control portion sizes, and, if you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you’re taking in less calories than you’re using up. Eat plenty of all types of vegetables, especially green leafy ones. When eating fruit, go for fresh produce rather than preserved versions which often contain added sugar. At least half of the grains you consume should be whole grains. Get plenty of protein from low-fat dairy and lean meat like chicken and fish. Limit added sugar to 10 percent or less of your daily caloric intake.
- Stay hydrated. Contrary to popular belief, there is no set-in-stone amount of water you should drink each day. This will vary by your activity level, climate, and the presence of certain health conditions. You are generally getting enough water if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or a light yellow. If not, drink more water to reach proper hydration levels and try to drink this amount every day. Also, you should drink water before, during, and immediately after exercise.
- Limit alcohol consumption. If you drink, drink in moderation. To avoid the ill effects of alcohol, men should limit their daily intake to two drinks per day, while women should have only one.
- Quit smoking. Or, if you don’t smoke, don’t start. Regular tobacco smoking damages your heart and lungs, making it more difficult to exercise.
Don’t let travel ruin your routine. For these quick workouts to achieve results, you must commit to doing them every day. However, it’s not always practical to pack a set of hand weights in your luggage. If you don’t go to the gym regularly because you frequently travel for work, keep yourself from getting out of shape by finding a routine you can do on the go. Pack a resistance band in your suitcase so you can exercise even when staying at hotels without fitness centers.
Don’t forget to relax and recover after exercise. With the short duration of a 10-minute workout you may forget to give your body what it needs. This can lead to sore muscles and discourage you from achieving your fitness goals. Always be sure to take in enough protein when doing these routines. Try to time your workout so that you can relax with a hot shower not long after.
Method 3 Method 3 of 3:Trying an Alternate Routine Download Article
Warm up with two minutes of jump rope. Jumping rope is a vigorous workout all on its own, exercising the muscles of your shoulders, chest, arms, and legs. Here, starting off with a jump rope will elevate your heart rate, allowing more oxygen to reach your muscles. Rest for 30 seconds after.
- Feel free to mix and match exercises from different routines on different days. Just make sure you exercise each muscle group three times a week.
- Because jumping rope exercises so many muscle groups, you can also choose to do 10 minutes of this exercise all by itself certain days. Just make sure you push yourself to the limit, going as fast and jumping as high as you can.
Do one minute of single leg squats for each leg. Start out standing up straight, balancing on your right leg foot. Keep your left leg bent at the knee with your left foot lifted off the ground. Bend your right leg at the knee and carefully squat down. While squatting, hinge your upper body forward at the hips. To complete one repetition, extend your right leg and return to your starting position. Repeat this movement for one minute. Next, switch to stand on your left leg and repeat for another minute. Rest for 30 seconds after you finish exercising your left leg.
- This exercise works out your abdominal and leg muscles.
- If you find it difficult to keep your leg out of the way, try balancing your foot behind you on a bench or your shin on an exercise ball.
- To add intensity to this workout, hold a weight in each hand. Keep your arms extended and the weights pointed towards the ground. As you build strength, you can increase the size of your hand weights.
Combine lunges with bicep curls for 15 repetitions on each side. For this exercise, you will need a hand weight that is at lead five pounds. Your starting position is a lunge with your right leg bent back and your left leg bent forward. Your left foot should be flat on the ground and your left shin should be parallel with your body. Hold the weight in your right hand. From this position, slowly stand while keep your feet in place. As you stand, bend your right elbow to bring the weight up to your shoulders. Extend your arm and lunge back down to complete one repetition. Do a total of 15 repetitions before switching sides for another 15. Rest for 30 seconds after you’re finished.
- If you have difficulty doing this exercise, try using a lighter weight or just do the lunge portion of this exercise at first. As you build up your strength, you can add the bicep curl back in and increase the weight.
- As you find yourself doing this move faster, try to fit more repetitions into the same amount of time.
Do a set of 25 knee raises while also working your triceps. For this exercise, you will need two hand weights that are at least five pounds. Begin at a standing starting position with your feet shoulder-width apart. You should also have your arms bent at the elbows, holding the weights in front of you shoulders. Extend your right arm, pointing your hand towards the ground, and gently bring your extended arm backwards. Simultaneously to this motion, bend your left knee and raise your left leg forward until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Return to your starting position. Repeat these moves with your sides reversed to complete one repetition. Do a total of 25 repetitions before resting for 30 seconds.
- If you have trouble doing the triceps extension and knee raise at the same time, start out by doing one and then the other. You can also practice the combination move without weights to get used to doing these motions together.
- If you’re struggling with the five pound weights, try a set of smaller ones. Likewise, as you build up arm strength, experiment with larger ones.
- As your fitness improves, you will be able to do these moves faster and faster. Try fitting in more repetitions into the same amount of time to make sure your workout grows with you.