10-Minute Workout Plan

10-Minute workout

In my quest to find effective at-home workout plan, I’ve seen multiple studies showing that high intensity exercise (sprints, etc.) and weight training are twice as effective as running, jogging or cardio not only for weight loss and muscle tone but also for boosting metabolism and healthy hormone production.

In fact, more and more olympic and professional athletes use high intensity interval training as part of their regiment.

For me, the appeal of High Intensity Training is that you can’t do it for very long (and don’t need to) so by its nature it is a fast workout that I can squeeze into my day. For me, this means sprints, weights and kettlebells in a weekly rotation. I also don’t have time to go to a gym everyday, so I focus on ways to incorporate these exercises at home. I wanted to find some 10-minute workout ideas i could do at home and this is the system I started using…

From a recent guest post I wrote at Breaking Muscle:

To qualify for my at-home training regimen, an activity has to meet the following criteria:

  • It must require minimal equipment and space
  • It must be doable without leaving the home/neighborhood
  • It couldn’t require a partner
  • It couldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes a day.
  • There most be some version of it that my kids could do also (this part was semi-optional, but still important)

From this list, I developed a list of possible activities that could fit in to a 10 minute workout and have refined them to meet my needs. My favorite fitness activities based on those criteria are:

  1. Kettlebells– meet all the criteria perfectly. They take up very little space (under my bed), I can do a workout quickly at home, and the kids can dead-lift the smaller size kettlebells.
  2. Pushups, pull-ups, chinups, planks, burpees, goblet squats and other body-related exercises.
  3. Occasional high intensity sprints – when weather allows and I have the time. I use a jogging stroller for this one.

My at home “gym” consists of various size kettlebells, a door mount pull-up bar, 25 and 35 pound dumbbells for squats and lunges, and various children (weighing 20-45 pounds) who are happy to assist in weighted pullups and pushups!

An average workout program with these elements would consist of two days of high intensity kettlebell training per week, two to three days of weight related exercises, and one day of high intensity sprints if weather allowed.

I’ve recently added deadlifts at a neighbor’s home gym, though I only do these once a week.

A weekly workout schedule would look like this:

Monday:

  • Deadlifts: 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps
  • Chin-ups: 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps (started these with assisted or negatives to work up and now working up to weighted)- I love this pull-up bar.
  • Turkish Get Ups with kettlebells: 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps

Tuesday:

  • Kettlebell swings 75-200 swings without rest using maximum weight kettlebell that allows maintained form.

Wednesday:

  • Pushups: 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps (starting with wall pushups if needed and working up to handstand or negative incline)
  • Dumbbell press: 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps
  • Burpees: 20-50

Thursday:

  • Kettlebell swings 75-200 swings without rest using maximum weight kettlebell that allows maintained form.

Friday:

  • Goblet Squats: 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps of maximum weight with maintained form
  • Weighted lunges: 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps with maximum weight with maintained form
  • Pull-ups: 2-3 sets of 5-7 reps (starting with negatives or assisted and working up to body weight or weighted pullups)

Saturday:

  • Hike with family or high intensity sprints if weather allows, or rest day if needed.

Sunday:

  • Rest day

How do you squeeze fitness into your day? Do you involve your kids? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Oh my!  I’m embarrassed to say I don’t think I could do even one pull-up.  Guess it’s something to strive for.  Right now I just swing the kettlebell a couple times/week.  I’d better get on it!!

  2. Here’s the thing…I went right to this post because I love something to guide me to work out in my home…but I don’t even know what a goblet squat is or a dumbell press….where can I go to find out detail of what to do?

    • youtube! or other fitness sites. Body builders, maybe. Just google it and cross reference. That’s how my husband comes up with his work out routines 🙂

    • Be careful on You Tube as there are many trainers teaching incorrect form that can cause injury. Check out Lisa Shaffer or Lauren Brooks Miller (On the Edge Fitness). They both have amazing books and vidoes and are RKC certified instructors.

    • You can just Google them, but I’m actually going to try to post videos of them all later today and I’ll link to them when I do! 🙂

  3. Dear Katie, a quick question: what weight of kettlebell do you use for the swings? I want to order one online but have no idea what weight to use. I could judge better if you tell me what size you own. Many thanks!

    • I started with 20 pounds and now use about 35 or the 55 pound.

  4. We also do this & teach this at our office. We call it burst, surge or Max T3 training. High intensity excersice for a short amount of time. Hope more people catch on to this, especially busy moms!

  5. This book is a huge help, and I checked it out at my library before deciding to purchase. It’ll give descriptions of all the exercises mentioned above, as well as tons of others so you can mix it up periodically  to keep yourself engaged and your muscles guessing!  

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Womens-Health-Book-Exercises/dp/1605295493

  6. Thanks for the ideas…looking forward to the videos

  7. Just the thing I have been looking into at the moment….. ‘the gym’ is just not an option for me as a busy homeschooling mum of 4 – and not the mention the COST of the gym! argh…. Thankyou for the great guidelines. =)

  8. What brand of kettle bells do you use, or are they all about the same?

    • I like Dragon Door and Lifeline personally. They aren’t all the same but most of the metal ones are pretty good. The plastic coated ones are actually cement and usually break.

  9. Did you take a kettle bell class to learn how to do your form correctly? I want to do kettle bells but everyone that is certified is far so I want to do it home plus it would be a lot cheaper. What DVD do you recommend for home and sizes of kettle bells? Also do they teach you how to do it correctly in the video? Or would I be alright doing it on my own?

    • They do teach you correctly on the videos… I’ve seen some of the ones from Dragon Door. I’m also working on getting some how-to videos done.

  10. When I was a tween, a friend and I made up dance moves to a face-paced song. It’s quite a good workout so I do it still just for that. Hahaha. My daughter likes to dance too, though she is only 20 months.

  11. 10-30 minute workouts are what I go for.  My crumbling spine and aching knees can only handle so much right now, so I go as hard as I can and make it count.  I cannot stand cardio, but walking, dancing, and karate drills are my go-to’s.  Yoga/Pilates, squats, pushups, and dumbbells make up my strength training routine.  For now.  

    • @ Sherrie Thompson, hi, Sherrie, I too have back and knee and hip issues, I bike 3-5 times a week and it helps so much. Try it , I ride outside on a three wheeler for better stability.

  12. Any ideas for high intensity pregnancy workouts?

    • I did kettlebells and swam sprints during my pregnancies.

  13. bodybuilding.com has great videos of every exercise with correct form. It’s been a great tool for me, I do a home work out similar to yours, I work push muscles chest and triceps, pull muscles back, biceps, and legs and abs, on alternating days with cardio drills in between. Another good way to get your cardio in quickly is to do jumping jacks or high knees for 30-60 seconds between exercises. Rest for 60 seconds between sets 🙂 takes me about 30-40 min depending on how much I’m lifting.

  14. I use the kitchen counter for push-ups when I’m cooking dinner and use a chair to sit down and stand up in, in a circuit. I manage about 125 push-ups and sixty sits/stands in as many sets as it takes to get them done. When I can do 200, I will move to doing push-ups with the chair instead.

  15. I started doing classical stretch every morning about 2 weeks ago and the changes are phenominal! My hubby bought me these amazing boots online about 6 months, the last pair and they were size 9 1/2 anyway, one week ago they still wouldn’t zip all the way over my calves, and yesterday I thought I would just try again with no hope for them actually going on haha and they did! All the way up. Its amazing what 30 minutes a day can do. Classical stretch is amazing and life changing and the only equipment you need is yourself. Its helped me become so much more flaxible and stronger and almost all of my back pain is gone!

  16. I’m looking at your workout plan and thinking, “God, do I really have time for this?” It sounds good, I’ll have to see if I can modify some of it to use no equipment since I don’t have anything to work with. 

  17. I just found your site, and am instantly in love with it!! I am always thrilled to see anyone promote kettlebells!! They are the absolute BEST all inclusive exercise tool, and I wish more people knew how phenomenal they are! Great site, and great info, good job!

  18. i would love to see the videos or even just some pics of each exercise. Hope you are still planning on doing this..pretty please 🙂

  19. My husband and I would really like to try this workout. What size kettlebell should a man start with? Ideally, we would like to use the same weight (since our Christmas budget only allows for 1 at this time). What would you suggest?
    By the way, I am having a “Wellness Mama Christmas.” Everything on my list is to make natural recipes from your blog:-D Thank you!

    • My husband and I both use one that is around 35 pounds, though he now has a bigger one too, but it is a good size for both of us and he can usually just do a lot more reps…

  20. Hi would this exercise routine be beneficial for a guy? Also could I use my usual pre workout supplement for this 10 minute workout? This one Jack3d

    • It definitely works for guys (probably faster in fact) and you should see the same effect with supplements…

  21. Have you posted any video yet? I would love to see for proper form!

  22. Also, why are kettle bell exercises so effective?

    • Working with a trainer to develop the videos right now so hopefully soon. Kettlebells use a unique combination of aerobic, strength and functional movement for a really intense workout that can be done quickly.

  23. For at home exercises, I will do cardio during a 30 min. show and isolation type moves during the commercials. For ex. run in place, jumping jacks, knee lifts during the show and squats, planks, lunges, push-ups during the commercials.

  24. I know this is an older post but I joined your wellness challenge and am going to give this a go. I was just wondering about the weighted lunges and Turkish get ups. Do you do 2-3 sets per side or total? And the dumbbell presses are those shoulder or chest presses? I’d love to know. I’m excited to start this!

  25. I love the sound of these ideas, particularly as I’m overweight and unfit and can make it suit my strength. Thank you.

    What results have you had? And do you weigh yourself? Lots of people say not to, but the awful number on the scales or my clothes is all I can think about.

  26. Thats a great program. Detailed in all the reps etc. Thanks

  27. I am interested in buying some kettle-bells, but have no idea how much weight they should be, how would I know what size to buy?

  28. Your Monday routine is very similar to my go-to workout. When I’m pressed for time I do a circuit with deadlifts, kettlebell cleans, and then Turkish get-ups. With 30 seconds between sets, it’s amazing cardio!

  29. I have struggled with back pain for 4 years now on and off and am worried about doing dead lifts with this issue in mind. Does anyone know if this is good for your lower back or is it something to hold off until I have not experienced any pain for a long time? I have done a lot of research in this area and have found nothing conclusive. I have tried several different exercises, gone to the doctor, etc. and have found little to no relief. I would really like to get into weight lifting and using kettlebells but am very hesitant. Any suggestions or advice?