Sometimes no matter how hard you try to fit in a workout, it can seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym in order to get a good workout. Even 10 minutes of exercise in bursts can carry the same benefits as spending hours in the gym, according to a study out of Boston University. In addition, the study also concluded that “some exercise is better than nothing” and that all of those bursts add up and have a positive impact on your health. NPR also reports that a 10-minute workout can have a lasting impact on your heart health and mental acuity. So when all you can fit into your life is 10 minutes, here are the best exercises to do.
1. The essential cardio workout
There’s really no need to go for that 30- to 45-minute run when you can gain similar health benefits from a 10-minute one. “There’s an intensity, duration tradeoff,” says Martin Gibala, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, Ontario, to Men’s Health.
This workout, courtesy of Men’s Health, is a scientifically proven workout from Gibala’s research at McMaster University, which was tested on subjects who performed the workout three times a week for six weeks. The results of the study showed the participants risk of chronic disease and death were reduced by up to 15%, says Gibala. He notes that it’s a great substitute for your normal cardio session. For this 10-minute cardio routine, you need either a bike or stationary bike, or you can hit the treadmill or the pavement.
- On either the bike or with your own two legs, warm up for 2 minutes by riding or jogging at a comfortable pace. Follow with an all out sprint for 20 seconds.
- Follow with 2 minutes of rest. That’s the first set.
- Do a total of 3 sets.
- After your third sprint, cool down with a steady 3-minute jog.
2. The simple at-home workout
This 10-minute workout is great for beginners or for the man who doesn’t have the time to get to the gym. This workout from the Huffington Post, created by fitness and Triathlon expert Ben Greenfield, can be done in the comfort of your home before or after work (or both!). No weights necessary.
- 50 jumping jacks
- 15 body weight squats
- 15 push-ups or knee push-ups
- 15 reverse lunges per side
- 15 dips (feel free to use a bench, chair or a surface high or low enough for you to dip)
3. The squeeze it in workout
This workout, courtesy of Men’s Fitness, is one that you can squeeze in any time. If you have 10 minutes, great. If you can work out for a longer period of time one day, then you can keep performing as many repetitions of the following routine until you tire. Simply stop your sets when your form breaks and feel free to rest as you need it. Each time you finish the workout, try and complete more total reps so you can keep pushing yourself. Perform this workout four to six times a week.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes turned out 15 degrees, place your hands behind your head and interlace your fingers. Squat as low as you can and repeat.
Get into position to perform a jumping jack but reach your arms out 90 degrees to your sides with your legs spread. When you jump your legs back in, clap your hands together in front of you like a seal.
Perform an old fashioned push-up. Simply get into position and lower you body down until your chest is within an inch above the ground, then extend your arms and return to your starting position. Repeat.
This is a pretty simple one. Start by simply jumping to your right side and land on your right foot. Then, rebound off your right foot and jump back to your left to begin the next rep.
Burpees are the ones that we all hate because they require a full-body effort. Start by squatting down and touching the floor. Then shoot your legs back very fast so you end up in a push up position. Finally, quickly reverse the motion and come back up to standing position and repeat.