If you struggle to find the time to exercise, you're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 75% of Americans don't meet the minimum recommended amount of aerobic and strength-building physical activity set out in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. And it's no wonder—between work, family obligations, and other commitments, it can be challenging to carve out even 30 minutes for a workout. But what if we told you that you could get fit with just 10 minutes of regular exercise? We consulted with an expert who shares a 10-minute daily workout to get in the best shape of your life.
With the proper workout routine, you can significantly improve your strength, endurance, and overall fitness in just a few short weeks. And the best part? You don't need fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships to make it happen.
We here at ETNT understand that only some have the luxury of dedicating hours to their fitness goals daily. So to help get you started, we chatted with Rose McNulty, CPT, NASM-certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with Garage Gym Reviews, who shares an effective and efficient 10-minute daily workout to get in the best shape of your life. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or improve your overall health, this workout can help you achieve your goals.
"This workout will take just 10 minutes, but it delivers a total-body burn and a dose of cardio to improve your strength and overall fitness," McNulty explains. "It's structured as an AMRAP, meaning as many reps as possible in the allotted time. Each time period consists of two exercises with a set number of reps. You'll do as many rounds of the two-exercise sequence as possible in the work period with brief rest periods. During the rest periods, shake out your muscles and focus on breathing deeply and consistently."
Here's the structure of the workout:
- AMRAP 1 (2 minutes)
- Squat Jump (10 reps)
- Alternating Lunges (16 reps; 8 per side)
- Rest (30 seconds)
- AMRAP 2 (2 minutes)
- Alternating Toe Touch (16 reps; 8 per side)
- Plank With Shoulder Taps (20 reps; 10 per side)
- Rest (30 seconds)
- AMRAP 3 (2 minutes)
- Skaters (16 reps; 8 per side)
- Squat (12 reps)
- Rest (30 seconds)
- AMRAP 4 (2 minutes)
- Push-up or Modified Pushup (10 reps)
- Mountain Climbers (20 reps; 10 per leg)
- Rest (30 seconds)
Keep reading for the 10-minute daily workout to get in the best shape of your life, and begin transforming your body today. And when you're through, check out The 10-Minute Workout To Lose Belly Fat & Sculpt Abs in a Month.
Squat jumps are a great way to work your legs and raise your heart rate. You'll start standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance apart and your toes slightly pointed outward. Bend your knees, and shift your hips back to lower yourself down. Stop once your thighs are at least parallel to the floor or slightly lower if you have the range of motion. "Push through your heels and engage your legs to jump up, straightening your legs out as you rise off the floor. Land as softly as you can with your feet in the position they began in. Repeat the movement 10 times," says McNulty.
Lunges are a classic exercise for working your legs and glutes. To begin, McNulty says, "Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet about hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with your right leg, and shift your weight onto your right foot as you plant it on the floor. Use your legs and glutes to lower down until your front thigh is approximately parallel to the floor. Push through your right heel and step back to the starting position." Aim for eight reps per leg for 16 reps total.
Alternating Toe Touches
Alternating toe touches are a great exercise that can boost your core strength, balance, and flexibility. "Lie on a mat with your back on the floor and legs straight out. Extend your arms straight overhead, and rest them on the mat. Raise your right leg toward the ceiling, and simultaneously bring your left arm straight up, bringing the two together above you," instructs McNulty. "Touch your left hand to your right foot, lifting your shoulder off the floor as you engage your abs." Return to the starting position, then switch sides. Do eight reps per side for a total of 16 reps.
Plank with Shoulder Taps
This variation of the traditional plank exercise adds an extra challenge to your core and upper body muscles. First, get down on all fours on a mat with your hands, elbows, and shoulders stacked. Next, step your feet back until your body forms a straight line with your ankles, hips, and shoulders aligned. "Hold this position as you lift your right hand off the floor and tap your left shoulder. Then, return your hand to the floor, and perform the movement on the opposite side, alternating with each rep. Ensure your hips stay square with the floor, and try to avoid rotating or letting your hips sag," says McNulty. Perform 10 reps per hand for 20 reps total.
Skaters are a fun and effective exercise for working your legs and improving your balance. Stand with your feet at or slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart. Jump to the right side, land on your right foot, and allow your left leg to pass behind and across your body before planting it. Next, bend your right knee, and lower yourself down until your right knee is at about a 90-degree angle. "Push through your right foot to stand up and jump to the left side, leading with your left foot and planting it the way you did your right. Allow your right foot to track behind and across your body," says McNulty. "Lower into a lunge on this side, then alternate with each rep." Do eight reps per side for a total of 16 reps.
According to the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), squats are a staple leg exercise for working your glutes, quads, and hamstrings to build solid lower-body strength. To execute, McNulty says, "Stand with feet hip-width apart or wider, toes pointed slightly outward. Keep your core tight and posture straight as you bend your knees to lower down. Allow your hips to shift back like sitting in a chair. Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, ensuring your knees don't cave inward as you move. Next, push through your heels to stand back up, then repeat." Perform 12 reps before moving on to the next exercise.
This 10-minute daily workout to get in shape wraps up with a pushup, a classic exercise for working your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Start on all fours on a mat, then step back your feet and ensure your body is in line from shoulders to ankles. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders. Next, bend your elbows to lower down slowly, keeping your elbows close to your body. Your upper arms should form about 45-degree angles from your torso. Once your upper arms are parallel to the floor, push up as you straighten your arms back to the starting position. Do 10 reps total.
"If these are too difficult, try modifying the movement," suggests McNulty. "This could mean starting with negative reps, meaning you'll start at the top for each rep and very slowly lower to the floor. Or you could perform pushups from your knees or on a wall."
The mountain climber is a dynamic and effective exercise that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, PureGym explains. These include your core, quads, shoulders, triceps, and hamstrings. "Start on all fours on a mat, then step your feet back to get into a high plank position with your ankles, hips, and shoulders aligned," says McNulty. "Engage your core, and bring one knee up and across your torso, getting your knee as close to your shoulders as possible. Next, return your foot to the starting position, then alternate legs. Keep your core tight and spine neutral throughout the movement." Perform 10 reps per side for 20 reps total.