woman climbing stair

Ten Minute Exercise Routines For Busy People

According to CDC only about 20% of Americans are achieving the minimum recommendations for aerobic and strength exercise each week.

Statistics published by government agencies like the CDC are always based upon the need to prevent disease. However, preventing disease is not the same as achieving good health. The gap between these two states is huge.

Our cells require MORE than the disease prevention minimums to actually attain purity and sufficiency, so we can assume that only a small segment of that 20% is truly exercising enough for wellness.

I could go on and on about all the studies outlining the benefits of exercise, but you already know it’s important. Instead, I’m going to help you find time to work short exercise routines into your daily life.

Short Duration, High Intensity Exercise Routines Are Best

If you don’t have an hour to spend on the treadmill every day, you’re in luck. There are more effective forms of exercise for fat loss and optimal health. Studies show that short bursts (10-15 minutes) of high intensity exercise like sprints, running up hills, plyometrics, kettlebell routines, and bodyweight calisthenics burn more fat than jogging or using an elliptical machine.

It is important to mimic the movements that are genetically programmed into our body. Although calf raises and bicep curls are not designed to condition the body for everyday tasks, natural movements like crawling, pushing and pulling, jumping, crawling and sprinting will help you build functional strength as well as joint stability.

You can actually perform these types of exercise routines during your daily life if you get creative enough. All you need is a few square feet of space and a sweat towel.

10 Minute Exercise Routines You Can Do Anywhere

Concentrate on the 4 primal movements: push-ups, pull-ups, planks, and squats. There are literally hundreds of routines that can be constructed from these 4 basic exercises, so mix it up to get a well-rounded variety of challenges in your workouts.

Note: Talk things over with a trusted health professional before starting or attempting a new exercise regimen.

Routine 1: Stairs

I love stairs. Stair sprinting will get your legs, butt, and abs in shape fast!

Use the stairs if you are working in an office building. You should arrive 10 minutes early and walk or run up the stairs, then return down for ten minutes. Stop only to take a breather. Repeat this during lunch and again after work. You can do this for 30 minutes, five days per week. You will achieve more if you move faster.

This works just as well if you live in an apartment building or near a high school sports stadium.

Routine 2: Planks & Squats

A plank is one of the best exercises for your body. It strengthens every major muscle group, stabilizes your joints, and blasts your abs without the need for spine-damaging crunches.

Perform a plank by getting on the floor in a push-up position, arms extended, body straight as a board (or plank). Now hold yourself in this posture as long as you can. When your form begins to fail, stop. This can be done on your knees at first if you lack the upper body strength to do a full plank. Hold for 1 minute and build up from there.

Alternate between planks and squats for 10 minutes. Squat slowly at first until you’re strong enough to pick up the pace. Eventually, add a small hop as you come up.

Routine 3: Burpees & Standing Sprints

If you don’t know what a burpee is (also known as the squat-thrust), you’ll hate me for telling you. However, there are few exercises as challenging and as effective. Here is a video tutorial to master your burpee technique.

Note: Performing burpees with bad form can cause injury, so go slow until you’re fit enough to increase your speed.

The second part of this exercise routine is the standing sprint which is great for your abs. Run in place as fast as you can, raising your knees above your waist.

Alternate between burpees (10 repetitions) and standing sprints (30 seconds) for 10 minutes.

Routine 4: Push-Ups & Squats

Push-ups can be done in many different ways. You can start with the basics, and then move on to more advanced moves. Push-ups can also be done on your knees until you gain enough strength to perform the movement fully.

Alternate one minute of push-ups and one minute of squats for 10 minutes, or alternate 10 push-ups and 10 squats (or your own number according to your ability) for 10 minutes.

Routine 5: Wall Sit & Plank

To do a “wall sit,” lean your hips and back against a wall with your feet about 12 inches in front of you, then lower your butt until you look like you’re sitting in a chair. Hold yourself there for as long as you can.

Alternate the wall sit and plank until failure for ten minutes.

Wall sits are also great while you’re at the computer answering emails, reading an article, or watching TV.

Routine 6: The Primal 4

This 10 minute exercise routine includes all four primal movements. You’ll need to be able to do a pull-up, so find something sturdy. If you don’t have a pull-up bar, some acceptable options are support beams, playground equipment, or even a tree limb. It’s okay to vary your grip to accommodate your surroundings.

Note: If you aren’t yet strong enough to do a pull-up, jump into the “up” position and lower yourself slowly. This will increase your strength until a full pull-up can be performed.

For 10 minutes, alternate between pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and planks. Set a goal for either a certain number of reps or for time.

Going Forward On Your Own

You can see that exercise doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or require expensive equipment, or a gym membership. You can move your body anywhere. Dance or wrestle with your kids/grand kids, play on the playground equipment with them, have running races, shadow box, take a martial arts class, play hopscotch, jump rope, or do tricks on a trampoline.

The possibilities are endless. Look around your environment for ways to challenge yourself.