10 minute workout

If You Only Have Ten Minutes, Do This

There goes the day again! No exercise, ate too much at lunch, feeling kind of cranky, and you just want to sit down on the couch and watch TV. Sound familiar? If you say “yes”, you are not alone. You just need to shift your attitude towards exercising and ditch the “all-or-none” mindset.

Why Even Bother With 10 Minutes?

Isn’t that just a waste of time? Who in their right mind would get dressed in workout clothes just to do a 10-minute workout? Think about it. The “all-or-none” attitude is really just a major pain in the “you know what” when it comes to working out because it stops you from getting a variety of benefits. If you don’t have an hour to get to the gym, or get outside for a run, then you just don’t do anything! That makes absolutely no sense.

How about adapting your mindset to a different view of the situation? By exercising for as little as 10 minutes, you will burn calories, elevate your heart rate, reduce fatigue/energize, loosen up stiff muscles and joints, and feel better mentally. Getting some exercise in, even if it isn’t your full workout, still helps immensely with compliance. It keeps you on track.

Is This You?

You had planned on heading to the gym today after dropping off your kids at school, but you forgot that you have a dentist appointment at that time, and the rest of the day is packed. You do have time however, to squeeze in 10-15 minutes of exercise while your kids are eating breakfast.

Maybe this is you. Your work day is crammed and you are super stressed out about it. To top it all off, you have a dinner engagement after work tonight, so there goes any chance to work out after work, which is what you prefer. What you can do is to at least get in 10 minutes of intense exercise so that you feel your heart rate rise, get sweaty, and feel better about your long day ahead of you.

How about this? Your day completely got away from you, and you only have half an hour before you have to leave to pick up the kids from school. Once they come home, it is homework, dinner, and bedtime. There is no time left for you to exercise. Go for it. Change your clothes really quickly and get in 10-15 minutes of calorie-burning exercises. You know that you will be so glad that you did this.

Or, maybe you are traveling for work, with a breakfast, lunch, and dinner meeting as well as meetings in between. You would love to just get a quick workout in in the privacy of your hotel room before you hop in the shower. You know how good it will make you feel for the rest of your day, especially with all of the meetings that involve food.

Whatever your story is, and it can change from day to day, this happens to all of us. Try the first workout below, if you want a quick calorie burn, try or add in the second one if you want some variety with the ball, and the third one if you just need to move and loosen up.

Time Crunch Workout (Watch Video Here)

Jump rope (or fake jump rope—just pretend that you have a jump rope)

Knee to elbow plank

  • Hold a plank and bring your knee towards the same side elbow. Add a challenge by bringing the knee across your body towards the opposite elbow.

Alternating side lunges

  • Add intensity by getting lower, and touching the floor

Narrow pushups

  • Elbows stay close to your body and point back towards your hips, so that the focus is on your triceps muscles on the back of your upper arm.

Mountain climbers

  • Decrease the difficulty by stepping your feet forward one at a time instead of jumping them forward.
  • Increase the difficulty by jumping both feet forward and back and the same time.

The table below gives you guidelines for duration of each exercises and appropriate rest between exercises.

Intensity Time Rest Between Exercises
Less intense 30 seconds Rest 30 seconds
Medium intensity 45 seconds Rest 15 seconds
Very intense 60 seconds No rest

Repeat these 5 exercises twice for a 10 minute workout.

How Hard to Push?

How do you know how hard to push yourself? It really depends on your current fitness level and your goals. This workout will be more aerobically challenging for some people than for others.

One very simple method of analyzing the aerobic intensity of your workout is called the “Rating of Perceived Exertion”, or RPE. RPE charts often decorate the walls in the cardio rooms at gyms. Such a simple tool that requires no equipment and gives immediate feedback is my preferred method.

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is based on a scale of 0-10, referred to as the Modified Borg Scale (see below). RPE is based on the principle that the heart rate highly correlates with the perceived exertion of the person exercising. It is a measure of how hard you feel you are working.

Someone in medium intensity category would want to be pushing themselves so that their overall effort feels like between a 4 and 6 on the scale below. Someone on the very intense category would want to push between a 7 and 9.

Your intensity will also depend on your muscular fitness level. Someone who works out regularly will be able to bump up the intensity more than someone who doesn’t work out more than once or twice a week.

Time Crunch Workout with Exercise Ball  (Watch Video Here)

Ball/Wall squats

  • With a fitness ball behind your back, squat as low as comfortable.  Keep your low back neutral and sit back into your glutes.

Ball hamstring curls

  • Lying on your back, place your lower legs on the ball and lift your hips up so that you are in a plank-like position.  Pull the ball in towards your buttocks by pressing your heels into the ball.  You will feel these in your hamstrings and calves!

Ball pushups

  • Go out as far as possible keeping your back neutral (not sagging).

Ball crunches

  • Roll back onto the ball until your low back is supported on the ball, place your hands behind your head and curl up until you feel your abs tighten.  No need to come up all the way.  Up the game by adding rotation to alternate sides.

Ball plank

  • This can be challenging from your feet, so if you need to do it from your knees, that is fine.  Make sure that you don’t lay on the ball.  Keep your chest off of the ball and keep your back neutral.  To add a challenge, make little circles with the ball.
Intensity Time Rest Between Exercises
Less intense 30 seconds Rest 30 seconds
Medium intensity 45 seconds Rest 15 seconds
Very intense 60 seconds No rest


Just Want to Move and Loosen Up? Try these.


  • On your hands and knees, move back and forth between a rounded back (pulling your abs in) and an arched back.

Downward dog to plank

  • Assume the yoga downward dog position and move back and forth between down dog and plank.

Squats to stand up and reach

  • With your feet slightly wider than hip width, squat down as low as comfortable.  Stand up and reach your arms up overhead.

Hands behind head and rotate

  • Place your hands behind your head, elbows wide.  Stand tall and rotate your torso each direction.

Wall side bend and twist

  • Standing next to a wall, bend in that direction reaching your arms towards the wall.  Once you are touching the wall, if it feels good, rotate your torso towards the floor.  Come out of your rotation before you come out of your side bend.

No More Excuses!

Exercising does not always have to be a major ordeal.  When you find yourself crunched for time, you can still get your body moving, burn calories, and feel more energetic.

Give one of these, or all of these workouts a try.  Let us know how these work for you.  Share with your friends.  We all have friends or co-workers who are in the same situation.

By yoursimplehealthylife.com

Discover The 7 Reasons You´re Not Burning Fat
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