Between caring for the kids, working, and plain old exhaustion, it can feel impossible to find time to exercise. A dirty little secret about fitness, however, is that almost everyone can spare a few minutes. Put a quick break to use with a 10-minute workout. If you stick to high-intensity interval moves, otherwise known as a HIIT workout, even a little time can make a big impact.
For a true high-intensity at-home workout, you need exercises that push you to the max quickly, which is why many of them are designed to work your whole body at once. For each move in this 10-minute workout, complete two 20-second cycles with a 10-second break between cycles. You can download an interval timer app to easily keep track as you go.
Before you get started on any exercise, it’s a good idea to warm up your muscles. It doesn’t have to be a grand production—try jogging in place, stretching your arms up one at a time, circling them backstroke style, and then ending with a few leg lunges in each direction. The whole routine should take about a minute.
To work your lower body and core, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with your toes pointed forward. Keeping your back flat and chest upright, bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor. Hold the squat for a second, and then rise back up. Keep your arms up straight out in front of you as you bend down and lower them as you rise.
Yes, those same jumping jacks you did way back in gym class offer an awesome workout for your entire body, including arms, legs, and your core. Try doing 10 in between each of your other exercises.
With your feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips, step one foot forward and bend into a deep lunge, keeping your knee to just above your toes. Step back to an upright position, and repeat with the other leg. This will work your glutes and leg muscles, including thighs and calves. As you grow more comfortable, try raising your arms straight above your head as you bend to work your arms and core.
With your hands on your hips, march or jog in place. Try to touch your heel to your butt as you take each step. This will work your glutes, legs, and core.
This is another great full body exercise. With your back to a chair, place your palms on the seat of the chair. Extend your legs straight out in front of you. Keeping your elbows parallel to your sides, bend and lower as far as you can without allowing your body to bend. Push yourself back up to your starting position, and repeat.
Modified Upward Dog
Lying face down, place your palms flat on the floor beside your shoulders. Extend your arms, raising your chest up and off the floor while at the same time lifting your legs, without bending the knee. Hold for one second, then lower and repeat. It sounds simple, but it works your whole body.
Push-ups are another great full-body exercise, but if the idea of doing traditional ones for a full minute seems too daunting, then try a modified version. Lying on your stomach, pull your knees together and bend them so your heels are in the air. Place your palms on the floor at your sides, with your elbows parallel to your body. Push up to straighten your arms, keeping your head, neck, and back aligned. Then lower your body, and repeat.
For another full body exercise, start on your hands and knees and step both feet back, keeping your body straight. Without touching your foot to the floor, bring one knee forward to hover below your torso, then step back and repeat on the other leg. Alternate sides for the full cycle.
Shake out your arms and legs. Keeping your legs straight, bend down and reach towards one foot and then the other. As you’re still bent over, walk your feet together and bend your knees slightly. Slowly curl your whole body back to a standing position.
From the warm-up to the cooldown, this workout won’t take more than 10 minutes to complete, but it will give your muscles an intense run you’ll definitely feel the next day. Ease into the routine by doing it three days a week to start and working your way up from there.
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This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.