Finding time for your workout routine can be a challenge any time of year, but this 10 minute workout routine fits into even your busiest day. I’m going to show you how I found 10 minutes without setting the alarm clock any earlier.
Even a fitness professional can find herself behind the computer too often. The gym is my office where I see clients do their exercise, so I have to make time, too. It’s rare to have the 45 minutes or hour I once was able to do on a regular basis. This 10 minute workout routine will keep your workouts consistent.
The good news is that on your busiest days, the time crunch you feel may be Mother Nature’s way of protecting you. Ten or 20 minutes of quality exercise can be the best thing for you. If you’re already flying around saving the world, you need exercise that makes you better, not just tired. Short, targeted sessions (yes, even a 10 minute workout) are just the ticket to balancing your stress hormones and saving the best you for the board meeting or doing your thing like a boss without burnout.
The 10 minute workout is all about strength. Notoriously, women select cardio first and strength training later, if at all. As you move into the second half of your life, resistance training becomes more important. Perform this routine two-to-three times a week with 48 hours between. If you’re due for both a cardio and a resistance training session but don’t have time for both, get in the habit of choosing strength. It results in the most energy expenditure for hours after.
Here’s how I got smart about my morning routine so I don’t have to forfeit sleep to fit in my workout. These two simple tricks save me at least ten minutes. They’ll work for you too!
A smoothie sounds like a quick, convenient breakfast solution. However, I add a lot of ingredients to my breakfast smoothies, and the time it took making trips back and forth between my freezer and counter, the refrigerator and counter, and getting things out of the cupboard, added up fast. This is a meal, after all, and it needs to have all the nutrients any meal would.
Now I prepare plastic bags full of smoothie ingredients so that I always have several waiting in the freezer. I can grab one bag and my almond or coconut milk, dump, blend, and enjoy. It easily saves me five minutes a day. Assemble your protein, frozen fruit, greens, chia seeds or flax, nuts or nut butter, ice, even avocado and you can have a variety of breakfast options that are ready when you are in the morning.
How many times have you read that laying out your clothes the night before cuts your morning get-ready routine? Agreed. Beyond that, however, I realized that even with two advanced degrees and 50 years experience getting ready, I was still failing at this simple daily necessity. I had workout clothes all over the place. With shorts and tops in one dresser, socks across the room, visors in another drawer, and long-sleeve warm ups in a closet, it took me five minutes to pull an outfit together! I was spinning around the room in what could have served as my warm up.
I ended this madness by completely rearranging things. I put jog bras and tops in a top drawer, shorts and workout pants in the next, socks in the bottom, and visors and headbands in the cubby above. I can now pull my whole outfit together standing in one place in less than a minute. Hello, five more minutes. Think through your work day and weekend clothes the same way.
Now you have time to do the workout. Insert any of the substitutions so you have workout routine variety. You’ll need a pair of dumbbells or some kettlebells to complete this, and make sure to find a weight that allows you to fatigue from doing 10 to 15 repetitions. This will help keep down the amount of time needed to complete your workout.
These exercises come from my Muscles in Minutes guide, which includes 17 more exercises with photographs and clear instructions of each. Choose three exercises for every 10 minutes you can exercise.
I like Bent Over Rows best. In a standing position, they engage your core and your gluteal muscles, as well as those major muscles of your back.
Set Up for the Bent Over Row:
Substitute: Bent Arm Pullover, Seated Bent Over Row, or One-arm Row Kneeling on a bench. If you have access to more equipment, do Lat Pulldown, Seated Rows, or Standing Cable Rows.
I like the Chest Press using a ball for a bench. If you don’t have a ball, you can use a bench or the floor.
Set Up the Chest Press:
Substitute: Chest Press with one arm or alternating arms, or Push-ups. If you have access to more equipment, a Cable Press, or Machine Chest press.
I love the squat. This plié squat provides a little more inner and outer thigh focus. Even if you must limit the range of motion to avoid joint pain, the squat works with major muscle groups and you use them daily to sit and stand. Choose a substitute if you can’t perform this exercise pain-free.
Set Up the Plie Squat:
Substitute: Narrow stance Squat, Rear Lunges, Side Lunges, or to reduce joint issues do a Hip Bridge with a ball. If you have access to more equipment, do a Leg Press.
Complete all three exercises, and repeat the sequence up to three times. Each exercise should take about a minute. Your 10-minute workout is now complete and it will be easy to stay consistent with this workout routine!
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