When You Have 10 Minutes to Exercise
Sometimes, all I have is a few minutes to devote to exercise and movement.
If you have young kids, vocation commitments, and other God-given responsibilities, you know what I’m talking about.
Here are 5 of my favorite 10-minute workout strategies that I’ve used when crunched for time.
1. Farmer’s Carry for 10 minutes
This one is really simple. Grab a heavy weight and walk for 10 minutes. Your weight can be a dumbbell, kettlebell, weight vest, toddler, etc…
What I enjoy about the Farmer’s Carry is that it gets me outside. Too often when I have only 10 minutes, it’s because I’ve been inside at my desk working too long. Being outside with a heavy weight rejuvenates me after a long day indoors.
2. Core Circuit
To my point earlier, typically when I only have 10 minutes, it’s because I have been at my desk working too long… which means I have had extended periods of sitting, which can cause all kinds of hip, core, and lower back problems.
A solution to this is focused effort to strengthen your core (the muscles in your abs, obliques, lower back, etc…). If you follow the 8-week core program on the LF Hub, you will strengthen each of these muscle groups in your core.
A Tabata is a sequence of activity and rest, typically at 20 seconds of activity followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 4 minutes. This is basically a cheat code for getting high-intensity work within a short period of time.
You can be creative with Tabatas. At a 20-second activity interval over 4 minutes, this means you will have 8 rounds of 20-seconds of activity to play with. You can pick one exercise (push-up, pull-up, KB swing, etc…) to do for 8 rounds, pick 4 exercises and repeat them 2x, pick 8 exercises, etc…
Simpler the better, especially when you have 10 minutes. I’d recommend picking 2 Tabatas with 2 compound exercises to strengthen your whole body (i.e. Tabata 1 – Push-Up, Tabata 2 – Body Squat, etc…).
There are several Tabata apps you can download that have the 20-second/10-second interval built in. Here’s a link to the one that I use.
4. 30 – 50 burpees
30 – 50 burpees will likely take you less than 10 minutes, but it will feel like you are working far longer than just 10 minutes. Burpees are a great exercise and have been my go-to when I need quick but effective work.
5. 10-minute EMOM training
EMOM stands for “Every Minute On the Minute”, and it is the simplest way to get work done in 10 minutes. You will do a prescribed number of reps with an exercise on the top of every minute and repeat for a total of 10 minutes.
For EMOM training, it’s important to pick a number of reps that will allow for rest within the balance of the minute. I’d recommend anywhere from 5-15 reps (depending on the movement) and select compound exercises.
Some ideas to get you started:
- 10 Kettlebell Swings, every minute, for 10 minutes (my #1 favorite EMOM)
- 5 Kettlebell Get-Ups, every minute, for 10 minutes
- 10-15 Push-Ups, every minute, for 10 minutes
When You Have More than 10 minutes to exercise
Be sure to visit the HUB and check out the other LF Programs:
Apply stewardship, learn skills, and build strength to the glory of God!
- Threats to the Glory of Young Men
- 3 Nutrition Choices to Win in the Margins
- 3 Problems With Counting Calories
- The One Exercise Goal for 2023
- How to Create Your Own 20 Minute Full Body Workouts, with 3 Examples
- The Home Gym Under Your Bed: 7 Benefits of Kettlebells
- 20 Ways to Steward Your Strength in Your 20s
- Latimer and Ridley: The Strength of Conviction
- When You Lack Motivation to Exercise
- Avoiding Crooked Fitness Paths: Stewardship, Skills, and Strength
Ready to get started?
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