Blast your body in ten minutes flat with these short sharp workouts.
Not having enough time is one of the most common reasons people give for not exercising, and even though that’s rarely literally true, finding a moment to squeeze in a workout among all the other work and life commitments can be tricky.
The answer could lie not in cancelling your other appointments or getting up obscenely early, but simply making your workout shorter, because you can still do yourself a whole load of good with a brief bout of exercise.
It has to be the right kind of exercise of course. Ten minutes of very slow jogging is better than nothing, but it’s probably not going to have that much of an effect. High-intensity interval training, on the other hand, is perfect for short stints of exercise. Power through short intervals working as hard as you can and you’ll rack up the reps, raise your heart rate and burn a boatload of calories. You’ll find five great ten-minute HIIT workouts below, each of them working different parts of the body. Enjoy.
10-Minute Kettlebell Workout
If you want to make big progress in a short time, take on this ten-minute kettlebell blast. Using two kettlebells increases the load and therefore the training stimulus of the exercises. The squat to overhead press is a thoroughly demanding exercise because you move the weights through a big range of motion, which also makes it good for fat loss. The press-up renegade row will work your entire upper body while also helping to sculpt your abs.
How to do it
Do 40 seconds of exercise 1, then 40 seconds of exercise 2, then rest for 40 seconds. Do this mini-circuit a total of five times.
1. Squat to overhead press
Hold a kettlebell in each hand at shoulder height, then squat down by simultaneously bending at the hips and the knees. Keep your torso upright and don’t let your knees come inwards as you lower. Power back up to the start, then press both kettlebells directly overhead. Return the weights under control to the start, then go straight into the next squat.
2. Press-up renegade row
Start in a press-up position with your hands on the kettlebells’ handles. Perform a press-up, taking advantage of the increased range of motion, then row one kettlebell up to your side, leading with your elbow and minimising torso rotation. Lower the weight back to the floor and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Perform as many reps as you can in the allotted time.
When you’re doing a renegade row, taking a wider stance will make the move more stable and therefore easier to perform. To make the move more difficult, simply bring your feet together.
10-Minute Fat Burning Workout
This fat-burning workout, inspired by the US strength and conditioning coach JC Santana, lasts just a couple of minutes but forces your body to burn extra calories long after you’ve finished it. Do the exercises in order without stopping. Complete one round at first and build up to doing three rounds, resting for two minutes between rounds.
Reps 12 each side
Take a stride forwards and bend both knees until they are at 90°, then push back up.
Lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Reps 6 each side Lunge, then jump up. Swap your legs in mid-air and land softly to perform the next rep.
Squat, then jump up. Land softly and do the next rep.
10-Minute Pec Workout
This is another Santana-inspired session, this time focusing on the upper body, and the pecs and triceps in particular. Do the moves in order and keep going until you fail on the press-ups. If you can’t complete ten reps of each move, lower the rep count to something achievable. Build up to doing three rounds in total.
Lower into a press-up, then push up explosively so that your hands leave the floor.
Place your hands together so your index fingers and thumbs are touching.
Place your hands double shoulder-width apart.
Reps To failure
Perform as many standard press-ups as you can.
10-Minute Sprint Workout
For the full version of this workout you will need a stretch of sand, so if you’re not already on a beach adding the time to get to one will probably push the workout length well over ten minutes! Fortunately, while sprinting on sand is super-tough, sprinting pretty much anywhere is still really quite hard, so you can always do this workout on grass at a local park if sand is in short supply.
This workout focuses on maximum effort and minimum distance. The sprints get shorter as you move through the circuit because your ability to go all-out will diminish. Complete five rounds in total, resting for one minute between rounds. To make it harder, lie on the ground before the start of each sprint.
Run a 40m course, building up gradually from gentle jogs to reps of 95% effort.
Perform an all-out sprint, pumping with your arms with your elbows bent at 90° to drive your legs. Walk back to perform the next sprint.
10-Minute Six-Pack Workout
Give your abs a quick blast with this 60-second circuit. The first move works your upper abs, the second works your lower abs and the final move works your side abs. Do as many reps as possible with good form in the allotted time, then move on to the next exercise. Do five circuits, resting for a minute between them.
Time: 20sec Exhale before you crunch to engage your abs.
Lie on your back, then raise your legs as high as you can, keeping them straight. Lower under control.
Knees to elbows
Lie on your back. Bring your left elbow up to your right knee, then bring your right elbow up to your left knee. Continue, repeating that sequence.
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