Why exercise for 10 minutes?
As you’ll probably know, finding the time for a workout can be difficult, especially if it involves an hour at the gym, plus travel time. That’s why I’ve designed this quick and easy workout that you can do from home with no equipment!
When it comes to exercise there are two main routes to go – lower intensity exercise over a longer period, or higher intensity exercise over a shorter period. Although this workout only takes 10 minutes, it includes high intensity exercises and short rest times so it still gives you a really good workout.
Plus, working out for 10 minutes is much easier to commit to than an hour a day, and getting even a little exercise is better than getting none!
Who is this workout designed for?
I designed this workout mostly for beginners and intermediates who are looking for a quick but effective workout. The exercises can easily be tailored to your fitness level – I’ve included some tips on how to make each one more challenging.
It’s the perfect workout to squeeze into the morning before work, or a good way to get the blood pumping after a day sitting at your desk.
Make sure to check out the demonstration videos from Hetty and Martin to make sure you’re doing the exercises right.
Note: leave 10-15 seconds of rest in between each exercise. As you rest, give your arms and legs a gentle shake.
Warm up and stretch
Spend a minute or two just getting your body moving. Step from foot to foot, circle your arms, maybe jog on the spot. Do a few simple stretches just to get the blood moving into all your muscles. Now you’re ready to get started!
Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
The first exercise is Jumping Jacks, which I’m sure you’ll all be familiar with. This exercise really gets the blood moving and the heart pumping.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Simultaneously jump your legs apart and swing your arms up. Jump back to the original position. Keep going for 30 seconds.
Kick it up a notch: For a more challenging exercise, just jump faster, and widen your jump slightly.
Push Ups – 30 seconds
Push ups are a great way to work the arms and shoulders.
This exercise can be done on your toes or on your knees. Start on your toes (or knees) and hands. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and your back and legs should fall into a straight diagonal line.
Now bend your elbows outwards and bring your entire body to the ground. Push yourself up again. Make sure you keep your body in the same position as you go down.
Kick it up a notch: There are lots of ways to make your push ups harder! Try lifting one leg off the ground, then swap legs halfway through. Alternatively, try going really slowly as you lower, pause for a few seconds at the lowest point, and then push quickly back up.
Punch & Kick Combo – 1 minute
The Punch & Kick Combo is a good all-over workout – it gets the heart pumping, stretches out the legs, tones the arms and tests your balance and coordination.
Stand with one foot in front of the other in a wide stance. Lean forward and punch like a boxer. Then lean back and kick one leg into the air. Do this diagonally, so if you punch with your right hand, kick with your left foot. Swap sides after 30 seconds.
Kick it up a notch: Speed up a little, and aim to kick a little higher each time you do the workout.
Mountain Climbers – 1 minute
Mountain Climbers focus on cardio for the whole body, but they also works on upper body strength as a lot of your weight is on your arms.
Start in a plank position, on your hands and toes. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and make sure your back is straight, with your hips in line with your shoulders. Bring one knee up to your chest, keeping your back straight. Return to plank position and pull the other knee up to your chest.
Kick it up a notch: Go faster! You can alter the exercise slightly so that as one leg is returning the other is coming up towards your chest in a slight jumping movement – just don’t let your hips jump up with the movement as well.
Squats – 30 seconds
Squats work on the thighs and glutes, but they involve a fair amount of cardio too.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now bend your knees and send your hips backwards as if sitting on a chair. Make sure your knees stay in line with your ankles and do not go past your toes.
Kick it up a notch: To make this exercise more challenging, squat lower and go slower! Many people would think to go faster, but slower actually uses more muscles.
Now just repeat the workout routine two more times! Once you’re done, keep moving for a few minutes to cool down. Again, you can just step from side to side, shake your arms and legs and do a few simple stretches.
Bonus: Plank – for as long as you can hold it!
If you’re looking for an extra tough exercise, try swapping one set of push ups for a plank. This infamous exercise really works your whole body, but especially gives your core and back muscles a workout. Try adding this to the middle or end of your exercise to really test your strength and endurance.
Come onto your elbows and toes (like a press-up but with your elbows and forearms on the ground). Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders, and that your hips and elbows are in a straight line. Don’t arch your back and avoid tensing your neck muscles.
Hold this position for as long as you can! Just be careful not to push yourself too hard or tense up your muscles. This exercise is designed to be tough, so even 30 seconds is really good going!
Looking for an exercise routine that involves resistance bands? Click the link for some simple exercise videos that show you how to incorporate resistance bands into your workout.
After your workout
Your post-workout routine is vital to limit muscles aches and pains, as well as preventing fatigue.
Drink plenty of water. Rehydrating is vital! If your workout was tough it’s likely that you lost some water through sweat, so make sure to top up with a glass of water.
Ease achy muscles. Get hold of some arnica gel and rub on any areas that feel particularly tired and worked, which should prevent them from becoming stiff later on. If they do become stiff and sore, you can continue applying arnica gel over the next few days until they ease off.
Don’t forget about electrolytes! Balance Mineral Drink is also a great way to rehydrate and provide your muscles with vital electrolytes. It contains magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin D and has a lovely strawberry flavour. Find out how to get the most out of Balance Drink here.
Have a snack. Fuelling up on protein shakes is probably not necessary, but a small snack can help to restore energy. Energy balls and snack bars are a good idea – we love these ones from Squirrel Sisters, which you can buy from our friends over at Jan de Vries. Alternatively, you can have some nut butter on crackers, a smoothie or, if you’re working out in the morning, your breakfast!