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11 killer 10-minute workouts to transform your fitness routine

Only have a few minutes to squeeze in a workout? Here are some of our favorite options

A man using a kettlebell to exercise in the living room.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Regular exercise serves so many benefits, including those that are physical and long-term as well as impactful mentally. Just checking off this self-care item from your to-do list can feel accomplishing. The best part is that you only need a 10-minute workout to reap the mood- and health-boosting benefits!

Unfortunately, between hectic schedules and limited energy, it’s not always possible to get in a solid 30- to 60-minute workout every day. However, when your schedule is jam packed, and you don’t have a sizable chunk of time to hit the gym or go for a run, rather than abandon ship and nix your workout altogether, you can do a mini 10-minute workout.

Some exercise is always better than none, especially the shortest most effective workout. A quick 10-minute workout can be surprisingly beneficial for your health and mood while still being easy to squeeze in, even on the busiest of days. Keep reading for some ideas and inspiration for the shortest workout routines that will get your heart pumping and body moving on the days that you’re short on time and energy for exercise.

Man doing mountain climbers.
Li Sun / Pexels

1. 4-minute Tabata workout

When you don’t even have 10 minutes to exercise, you can do a 4-minute workout. Tabata is a specific style of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that involves performing eight rounds of all-out exercise for 20 seconds, followed by ten seconds of recovery or rest for a total of just four minutes. You can do any type of exercise for a Tabata, but a few ideas include squats, pushups, burpees, mountain climbers, spinning, sprinting, or high knees.

Man treadmill running
Thai Yuan Lim / EyeEm / Getty Images

2. 10-minute treadmill workout

This short running workout is appropriate for runners of all levels because it’s effort-based. If possible, wear a heart rate monitor to more precisely dial in the intensity. 

  • Warm up with 90 seconds of easy running at 70% of your maximum heart rate.
  • Do 8 rounds of 45 seconds of hard (90% effort) running followed by 15 seconds of easy running.
  • Finish with an extra 30 seconds of easy running.
Man riding exercise bike.
Westend61 / Adobe Stock

3. 10-minute indoor cycling (spin bike) workout

Indoor cycling workouts are a fantastic way to do some high-intensity exercise but in a low-impact manner. This is a progressive effort ride. Every two minutes, you will increase the intensity until the final two minutes, when you will be working at 90%-100% of your maximum effort. Try to keep your cadence at or above 95 spins per minute (spm).

If you have a heart rate monitor, use your heart rate to guide your intensity and effort level.

  • Minutes 0-2: Cycle at 70%-75% of your maximum heart rate or an effort level of 7 out of 10.
  • Minutes 2-4: Cycle at 75%-80% of your maximum heart rate or an effort level of 7-8 out of 10.
  • Minutes 4-6: Cycle at 80%-90% of your maximum heart rate or an effort level of 8-9 out of 10.
  • Minutes 6-8: Cycle at 85%-90% of your maximum heart rate or an effort level of 8-9 out of 10.
  • Minutes 8-10: Cycle at 90%-100% of your maximum heart rate or an effort level of 9-10 out of 10.
Man doing squats at home.

4. 10-minute AMRAP workout

AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible. In this workout, you will perform as many rounds of three exercises as possible, giving you a cardio and strength training exercise in one.

  • 15 burpees
  • 20 up-down planks (lead with the right hand 10 times and the left hand 10 times)
  • 20 alternating reverse lunges (alternating legs with each rep)

Keep going for ten minutes and see how many rounds of the requisite number of reps you can get through. When you return to the workout in the future, try to beat your previous performances.

A man in white shirt, black jogging pants, and white shoes doing push-ups on a concrete platform.
Westend61 / Adobe Stock

5. 10-minute bodyweight workout

You don’t need any exercise equipment for this quick bodyweight workout, so it’s a good option if you want to exercise at home, at the park, or when traveling and staying in a hotel without a gym.

Warm up with 60 seconds of jumping jacks.

Complete two rounds of the following:

  • 45 seconds of jump squats
  • 45 seconds of pushups with shoulder taps
  • 45 seconds of cross0ver mountain climbers
  • 45 seconds of burpees
  • 45 seconds of up-down plank
Persevering when his body says no
N Katie / / Adobe Stock

6. 10-minute core workout

Looking for a quick core workout? Here’s a great 10-minute core workout that targets your abs, lower back, pelvic floor, and hips.

Complete two rounds of the following exercises:

  • 30 seconds to forearm plank
  • 30 seconds of reverse crunches
  • 30 seconds of right-side plank
  • 30 seconds of left-side plank 
  • 30 seconds of Russian twist
  • 30 seconds of V-ups
  • 30 seconds of up-down plank
  • 30 seconds of bird-dog
  • 30 seconds of plank jacks
  • 30 seconds of bicycle crunches
Athletic man doing high knees at a gym.
Kawee / Adobe Stock

7. 10-minute cardio workout

This is a good at-home cardio workout because it doesn’t require any equipment.

  • 60 seconds of mountain climbers
  • 60 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 60 seconds of high knees sprinting in place
  • 60 seconds of jump squats
  • 60 seconds of fast feet performed by lowering into a squat/athletic position and shifting your body weight from foot to foot as quickly as possible
  • 60 seconds of side-to-side lateral hops over a line
  • 60 seconds of burpees
  • 60 seconds of cross-over mountain climbers (right knee towards the left shoulder and left knee towards the right shoulder)
  • 60 seconds of tuck jumps
  • 60 seconds of alternating jumping lunges
Man performing dumbbell chest press near the ocean

8. 10-minute upper body workout

You’ll need a pair of adjustable dumbbells, regular dumbbells, or resistance bands for this quick upper-body strength training workout.

Complete two rounds of the following exercises:

  • 30 seconds of dumbbell chest press
  • 30 seconds of right arm bent-over rows
  • 30 seconds of left arm bent-over rows
  • 30 seconds of overhead presses
  • 30 seconds of bicep curls 
  • 30 seconds of lateral raises
  • 30 seconds of dumbbell chest fly
  • 30 seconds of dumbbell bent-over reverse fly
  • 30 seconds of dips 
  • 30 seconds of dumbbell punches 
A shirtless man doing split squats using a dumbbell.
DjordjeM / Shutterstock

9. 10-minute lower body workout

Just like with the lower body workout above, you’ll need a pair of adjustable dumbbells, regular dumbbells, or resistance bands.

Complete two rounds of the following exercises:

  • 30 seconds of dumbbell goblet squats
  • 30 seconds of dumbbell sumo squats
  • 30 seconds of right-foot-forward Bulgarian split squats with dumbbells 
  • 30 seconds of left-foot-forward Bulgarian split squats with dumbbells 
  • 30 seconds of jump squats
  • 30 seconds of right-leg single-leg Romanian deadlifts with a dumbbell or kettlebell
  • 30 seconds of left-leg single-leg Romanian deadlifts with a dumbbell
  • 60 seconds of kettlebell swings
  • 30 seconds of weighted calf raises
Jump rope legs.
balouriarajesh / Pixabay

10. 10-minute jump rope workout

Jumping rope is an excellent cardiovascular workout, and it also strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and core while torching a lot of calories per minute.

Even if you don’t have jump rope, you can do this 10 minute jump roping workout by simulating the movement, jumping over an invisible rope as you engage your core and upper body to “swing” the phantom rope.

  • Warmup: 1 minute of easy rope-jumping
  • Complete six rounds of 60 seconds of fast rope jumping followed by 30 seconds of easy rope jumping.
Man doing a pushup
Keiji Yoshiki / Pexels

11. 10-minute full-body workout (with warmup and cooldown)

This quick workout hits your upper and lower lower body and your core.

Warmup (2 minutes)

  • Jumping jacks: 20 repetitions
  • High knees: 20 repetitions
  • Butt kicks: 20 repetitions
  • Arm circles: 10 repetitions forward, 10 repetitions backward

Workout (7 minutes)

  • Squats: 15 repetitions
  • Pushups: 10 repetitions (or modified pushups on your knees)
  • Lunges: 10 repetitions per leg
  • Crunches: 15 repetitions
  • Plank: 30 seconds

Cooldown (1 minute)

Stretch arms and legs, holding each stretch for 15 seconds

Tips for getting the most out of your short workout

  • Focus on proper form. This will help you avoid injuries and get the most out of each exercise.
  • Breathe deeply throughout your workout. This helps you get more oxygen to your muscles and improves your performance.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.

Remember, you don’t need to have a full 30-60 minutes to make your workout worthwhile. Every minute adds up!

Editors' Recommendations

Amber Sayer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
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