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10-Minute Workouts For Busy Days

What is the best type of 10-minute workout? | 10-minute abs and core workout | 10-minute arm and chest workout | 10-minute legs and glutes workout | 10-minute full body workout | 10-minute running/treadmill workout | 10-minute stationary bike workout | 10-minute rowing machine workout

We know fitting in workouts can sometimes be easier said than done. If life is too busy to spend an hour or more dedicated to working out every day, don't fret! Rather than give up on strength and fitness boosting workouts completely, do what you can in the time you have -- even if it's just 10 minutes. Think that's not worth doing? The NHS recommends just 75 minutes of high intensity exercise a week is enough to reduce the risks of a sedentary lifestyle!

Here, we showcase seven 10-minute workouts you can fit into your day. Some of these can be done at home, for the days you really have no time spare, and some can be done at the gym for when you have a little more time available around the workout. You can also use these as a 10-minute circuit finisher for your strength or cardio workouts!

What is the best type of 10-minute workout?

If you're tight on time, upping the intensity is the best way to make the most out of your workout. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves alternating high intensity periods (90-100% effort) with recover periods, is a great approach. Just 10 minutes of HIIT will burn fat (even after the workout finishes), increase VO2 max, improve heart health, and boost your general fitness and endurance.

You can read more about the benefits of HIIT training here, but to summarise, studies have shown that HIIT sessions offer all the benefits of longer cardio sessions in a much shorter amount of time, making them an effective way to get the benefits of exercise when you're short on time. For this reason, our 10-minute workouts follow a HIIT format.

To get the most out of any workout, and to help prevent injury and aid recover, we recommend warming up for beforehand and cooling off and stretching afterwards. Full body, dynamic movements like bodyweight squats, jumping jacks, or brisk walking, will get you warmed up and ready to go in just a few minutes.

Seven 10-minute workouts

Depending on how much time you have, you can do just one of these workouts a day, you could do a couple spaced out through the day, or you could pair a few together to make a 20-30 minute workout. As these workouts are high intensity, try not to do more than 3 together at any one time. If you feel like doing a longer workout, you can add one of these to a low or moderate intensity strength or cardio session to finish off with a bang.

1. 10-Minute Abs And Core Workout

The core is the group of muscles around your stomach and back that work together to stabilise the spine and pelvis. Having a strong core can improve your posture, balance, and overall strength, so it's well worth doing! Find out more about the benefits of training your core here.

For this workout, do each exercise for 40 seconds at maximum effort, take 20 seconds rest, and then repeat before moving onto the next exercise.

  • Ab crunches

    Lie on your back with your heels on the floor and your hands on your thighs. Focus on contracting the upper abs as you roll your shoulders off the floor and slide your hands towards your knees. Try not to use your neck to pull your shoulders off the floor, instead keep them as relaxed as possible.

  • Scissor kicks

    Lie on the floor with your core tight and your legs straight and together. Place your hands at your sides with palms into the floor to help keep you steady. With an ever so slight bend in your knees, lift your legs off the floor to about 45 degrees. Move your left leg slightly upwards and your right leg slightly downwards, and then move each horizontally inwards towards each other until you have your left foot sitting just above your right foot. Quickly alternate so your left foot is lower and your right foot is above.

  • Russian twists

    Sit on the floor, feet in front of you, with your knees bent. If using weights, hold this in front of your chest. Lift your feet off the floor, making sure to keep them bent. Keeping a tall spine, lean your torso back so you're at a 45-degree angle from the floor, and 90 degrees from your thighs. Use your abs to twist your upper body to the left. Keep the weight/your hands in front of your chest. Twist back to the centre, and then continue to the right. Turn back to the centre.

  • Leg raises

    Lie with your back on the floor, arms by your side palms down, and legs straight out. Push your stomach into the floor to keep your back flat, then slowly raise both legs simultaneously. Aim to get your legs pointing to the ceiling. Your toes should be pointed. Once you've reached as high as you can, lower your legs in a smooth, controlled movement. Stop before they reach the ground. Repeat.

  • Plank

    Lie on the floor with your elbows underneath your shoulders and hands flat on the floor in front of you. Engage your core and raise your knees and hips off the floor. Your body should be in a straight line from your feet to your head. Keep your abs tight and look at the space between your hands to ensure a neutral spine position. Hold the position for the full minute.

10-minute workouts for at home

2. 10-Minute Arm And Chest Workout

This workout combines explosive exercises with strength training to deliver a HIIT workout that strengthens your arms and chest. This can be done at home, or at the gym  - you'll get more from the workout if you can use dumbbells, but any weights you can hold in your hand will work.

Do each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by a 30 second rest, and then repeat the exercises for a second round.

  • Push ups

    Start in a high plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. Engage your core and slowly lower your chest towards the floor by bending your elbows. Stop when your chest is an inch or two off the floor, and then push up through your chest and triceps until you are back in the starting position.

  • Punches

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and then step one foot forward, keeping both knees slightly bent. Bring both fists to your chin, with your elbows facing the floor. Punch one fist straight forward with as much speed and power as you can, while rotating your hip forward on the same side. Quickly bring your fist back to the starting position and repeat on the other side. For the second set, place the other foot in front. You can add light dumbbells to this exercise to make it harder.

  • Bicep curls

    Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, spine neutral, and core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward, arms fully extended down. Keeping your upper arm as still as possible and your elbows close to your sides, curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders by squeezing your biceps and bending your elbows. Pause before lowering the dumbbell back to the starting position.

  • Burpees

    Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and brace your core. Squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of your feet, then kick your feet back into a high plank position. Lower your chest and body to the floor, then press your chest back up. Jump your legs in so they are just behind your hands, then push up until a high jump.

  • Chest press

    Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie flat on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, knees pointing towards the ceiling. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and allow a slight arch in your back, and then hold the dumbbells slightly above and outside your shoulders. Your arms should be hovering slightly off the floor. Push the dumbbells up by extending your elbows until your arms are straight and the dumbbells are close to touching. Pause then slowly lower back to the start.

3. 10-Minute Legs And Glutes Workout

The gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in the body, and together all three glute muscles are some of the strongest muscles you have. However, sitting all day can wreak havoc on your glutes, so it's important to strengthen them. This leg and glute workout will help to combat weak, tight muscles and build a strong, firm butt in just 10 minutes.

Complete each movement for 40 seconds, making sure to really push yourself the whole 40 seconds, followed by a 20 second rest. Once you've completed all five exercises, start again and work through them one more time.

  • Sumo squats

    Stand upright with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and feet slightly pointed outwards. Engaging your core and keeping your shoulders dropped down your back, lower your hips towards the floor, whilst pressing them back into a 'sitting' position. Once your hips drop below your knees, hold for a moment before pushing through your heels to raise your hips back up to starting position. You can hold a weight at your chest to make this harder.

  • Curtsy lunges

    Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands down by your sides. Shift your weight into your right foot, then step your left foot back and behind your right foot. Bend both knees to lower into a lunge, stopping when your right knee is at a 90-degree angle and your left knee is just off the floor. Push back up to standing through your right heel and bring your left leg back to the starting position. Repeat for 20 seconds and switch legs, or alternate legs throughout.

  • Squat jumps

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, feet slightly turned out and core engaged. Squat down until your hips are just below your knees, then push your heels off the floor and jump up into standing position, as high off the floor as you can. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you return to the ground and land softly.

  • Glute bridges

    Lie flat on your back with arms straight by your side, knees bent hip-width apart, and feet flat on the floor. Engage your core and glutes as you lift your hips up towards the ceiling until your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line. Your shin and thigh should roughly be at a 90-degree angle. Hold for a couple of seconds, squeezing your glutes before slowly returning to the start position. Repeat.

  • Kettlebell swing

    Stand with your back straight and feet around shoulder-width apart. Half-squat down and pick up the kettlebell with both hands, palms facing your body. Keeping your core tight, straighten your legs and drive your hips forward, using the momentum to swing the kettlebell to chest height. As you guide the kettlebell back down between your legs, return to the half-squat position. That's one rep.

10 minute full body workout

4. 10-Minute Full Body Workout

This workout doesn't need any equipment and works most of the muscles in your body, so it's a great option if you only have 10 minutes spare to exercise that day but want to stretch and strengthen your entire body as well as work your cardiovascular system. If you spend all day sitting for work, taking a quick break to do this workout will get your blood flowing and help to prevent your muscles from becoming stiff and weak. Set a time for 10 minutes and perform the exercises as many times as you can.

  • Burpees - 10 reps

    Start in a standing position and quickly squat down to press your hands flat onto the floor in front of you, before kicking your feet back into the press-up position. Perform a press-up, then jump your feet back in, returning to the starting position before jumping into the air, clapping your hands when both feet are off the ground. Repeat.

  • Jumping Jacks - 20 reps

    Begin with your hands by your side and feet together. Jump so your feet spring out to the sides and lift your arms above your head, then jump back to the start position. Repeat.

  • Mountain climbers - 15 reps

    Start in a press-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart directly beneath your shoulders. As quickly as you can, pull your right knee towards your chest without letting it touch the floor then return to the start position. Repeat step 2 with your left leg. Continue until you have completed the required amount of reps.

  • Squats - 12 reps

    Stand facing forward with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of you and push your hips back and down into a squat position, ensuring your knees are in line with your feet. Pushing through your heels, press your hips back up away from the ground to return to standing. Repeat.

  • Push ups - 5 reps

    With your body in a high plank position, place your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart. Bending your elbows, slowly lower yourself until your chest brushes the floor, then push up to the starting position, keeping your abs engaged and your spine neutral.

  • 30-second rest

10 minute treadmill workout

5. 10-Minute Running/ Treadmill Workout

We've covered some of the benefits of interval running workouts here, as well as HIIT treadmill workouts here, but what each of these shows is that even if you're pushed for time, you can still work your body effectively and efficiently with a quick, powerful interval run. For a 10-minute running or treadmill workout, you can choose from these options, depending on your current fitness levels:

  • 10 seconds as fast as possible + 50 seconds rest x 10 reps

  • 20 seconds as fast as possible + 40 seconds rest x 10 reps 

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible + 30 seconds rest x 10 reps

6. 10-Minute Stationary Bike Workout

And just as HIIT running can offer huge benefits, the same applies to the stationary bike. Give it your all in the fast intervals, and slow your pace right down for the rest periods. You'll find those 10-minutes will be sure to have you sweating. Finding it too easy? Increase the resistance for more of a challenge. Depending on your fitness levels you can choose from:

  • 10 seconds as fast as possible + 50 seconds at a slow-medium pace x 10 reps

  • 20 seconds as fast as possible + 10 seconds rest x 20 reps

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible + 30 seconds rest x 10 reps

7. 10-Minute Rowing Machine Workout

The rowing machine provides a low impact, full-body workout and you can use 10-minutes to your benefit by integrating interval training while using the rower. As with running and cycling, you can go for either shorter or longer periods of high energy movement, but don't stop rowing at any point; 'rest' doesn't mean stop, it just means to slow down to a more manageable, relaxed pace. Choose from:

  • 10 seconds as fast as possible + 50 seconds rest x 10 reps

  • 20 seconds as fast as possible + 40 seconds rest x 10 reps

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible + 30 seconds rest x 10 reps

10-minute workouts can be a great way to increase your activity when you don't have time to exercise, but if you are able to fit in longer workouts, you'll find greater health benefits by adding these in. This might look like a strength session at the gym once or twice a week, 10-minute workouts on the other days, and walking instead of commuting one or two days a week. If you're a parent struggling to make time, we've covered tips and advice to help mums fit in exercise here., and shared more short workouts for busy mums here.

You can find your closest PureGym here, most of our gyms are 24/7 which makes it easier to fit in workouts around your schedule.

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