Start here if you’re a beginner.
Finding the time to work out causes me stress. By the time I debate if I should sacrifice an hour of sleep in the morning or wait until the evening, I usually just give up and say I'm too busy. But when the pandemic hit, I had — quite literally — all the time in the world to exercise in the comfort of my own home. Since then I've tried to dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to move, but I know how hard it can be. If you're looking to get moving for the first time — maybe you had an injury or have just ignored workouts all together — here's an easy 10-minute workout anyone can do from certified personal trainer and CEO of Love Sweat Fitness, Katie Dunlop.
Dunlop insists you don't need a lot of skill or balance to do these moves and the routine is not high impact. Before starting this workout, Dunlop says you have to adjust your mindset; make a commitment to move 10 minutes a day. Then, you have to find your “why" — why do you want to move? Whatever reason you come up with, remember that for motivation when the exercises get tough.
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10-Minute Workout Routine
“I think the most important thing for people to know is their body is all they need. Your body is a machine — you don't need equipment or trendy workouts to make an impact," says Dunlop.
Complete each circuit below one time and take breaks as you need them.
This group of exercises targets your glutes, hamstrings, back, core, and lower body.
This group of exercises strengthens your upper body, arms, pelvic floor, core, and legs.
As you begin to feel stronger, you can add more reps to your exercises. You can also increase the time that you are exercising. “It will depend on your physical ability and schedule, but set a goal to spend 30 minutes a day, five days a week exercising," says Dunlop. As you continue to workout you are “going to feel stronger, get your endorphins going, and [it will become easier] to start to build new habits in your life," says Dunlop.
Should You Warm Up First? What About Cool Down After?
Since this workout is only 10 minutes long, Dunlop says you can skip the warm up because the low-impact moves will warm your body up while also working it out. If you move beyond a 10-minute workout or up the intensity, then you should definitely warm up beforehand to get your body prepared.
“Cool downs are often skipped, but are very crucial," says Dunlop. Post-workout, take some time to do static stretching. Static stretches allow your body to recover, bring your heart rate down, and can help prevent injuries.
How Many Times a Week Should I Do This Workout?
“Starting with a 10-minute workout, five days a week is a good goal to set," says Dunlop. But if you haven't moved in a while and think that might be too much, you can always start with three times a week and increase when you're ready.
Dunlop also advises to switch up the moves you do daily. If you do the same workout every day for weeks and months your body will get too comfortable with the moves. There are plenty of free fitness resources online like Fitness Blender, HAS Fit and Dunlop's own Love Sweat and Fitness that can give you varied workouts. You may also want to supplement these exercises with cardio. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week. So go for a walk, or a jog if you're up for it, a few times a week as well.
“The biggest mistake people make is jumping in too hard, too fast," says Dunlop. This can cause burnout and make you lose motivation to continue because you're too tired, too sore, or maybe even injured. Starting slow is the key to making lasting changes. “I would rather you do less and feel accomplished so you show up ready the next day. Start with things you know your body can do like going for a walk or simple squats to build up your momentum to take on more."