The 10-minute Workout

RyanHealy100.jpgRyan Healy is a personal trainer for the Lynch/van Otterloo (LVO) YMCA in Marblehead. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and earned her BS in Exercise Sports Science from Elon University. Find more posts by her in conjunction with the LVO YMCA at yhealthandwellness.wordpress.com[1]. She can be reached at healyr@northshoreymca.org[2].

Remember; please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Do you ever have those days when despite your best efforts, because of travel or time constraints it looks like you might have to skip your usual workout? Heres a 10-minute full-body routine that you can easily do in your home, office, hotel room, or at the park with your kids and not miss a beat. Let the excuses fall by the wayside! The Workout: Consisting of five exercises that work most of the major muscle groups in the body, this workout is great when youre short on time and can easily be made more or less challenging. It requires no exercise equipment and very little floor space. Sets: If you have 10 minutes to spare, try doing this circuit of five exercises back to back without any rest, twice. If you have more time then you could add a third or fourth round. Repetitions: When performing an exercise, do each one in a controlled manner with proper form about 15 times before moving onto the next exercise in the circuit. To add some variety to the workout, on occasion you could perform each exercise for a set amount of time instead. Anywhere from 40-60 seconds is a good place to start.

The Circuit: 1. Squat

Starting with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your side, send your hips back and down behind you as if sitting into a chair as you raise your hands straight out in front. Go as low as you can while still keeping a flat back. If your back starts to round youve gone too far down. Return to start position.

Tip: make sure your heels stay in contact with the ground the whole time (keep your weight back) so your knees dont move beyond your toes. Hold dumbbells or raise your arms overhead to make this move more challenging.

2. Push-up

Begin with your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, arms outstretched, on the toes with feet shoulder with apart, and forming a straight line with your body from toes to ears. Keeping the abs and glutes braced and contracted, lower your body down as far as possible with proper form before touching the ground, then push back up to the start position.

Tips: Keep the neck in line with the spine while performing this exercise. Lower and raise the body all together, as opposed to pushing the hips up first and then the chest. Modifications: Perform this exercise with the knees in contact with the floor as featured here or elevate the hands to a higher surface such as a table or step to make the exercise easier.

3. Supine Bridge

Lay flat on your back, bend your knees, arms straight out to either side, with feet in contact with the floor. Squeeze your glutes while pressing through your heels to lift the hips up off the floor until fully extended. Return to start position with hips back down on floor and repeat.

Tip: Keep the palms facing up towards the ceiling so as not to press into the floor. To make this exercise harder, perform with one leg at a time as shown here.

4. Plank

Facing the floor, hold yourself in a position so that the only body parts that will be in contact with the ground will be both forearms on the floor (elbows bent at 90) and the toes (tucked under) with legs extended. Your body should form a nice straight line from toes to ears much like the push-up position mentioned above. Hold still in this position for 30 to 60 seconds while keeping the abs braced and the glutes contracted. There should be no movement to this exercise.

Tip: Keep shoulders packed down and above the elbows. Palms face each other. To make this exercise less challenging, perform with knees in contact with the ground instead of the toes as shown here.

5. Bird-Dog

Start on hands and knees from the floor with a 90 angle at both the knees and hips and a flat back. Simultaneously raise both the right arm and left leg, reaching out to opposite sides with the fingers and toes. After a brief pause, lower down to the start position. Repeat on the opposite side.

Tip: Keep arms and legs straight in the raised position. Squeeze the glute on the active leg as you lift up. Keep shoulder blades away from your ears.

To increase the difficulty, hold a very light (under five lbs.) dumbbell in each hand.


  1. ^ yhealthandwellness.wordpress.com (yhealthandwellness.wordpress.com)
  2. ^ healyr@northshoreymca.org (www.boston.com)

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    • Cwa
    • September 21, 2012

    Workout Tips? I need some workout tips to help me gain some strengh. I am 18 and planning on being a cop i just like tonight wreashled with my dad he weights about 250 and man i had a hard time . so i gonna need some tips on work out. anyone with some ideas and tips please throw them my way
    also i weigfht 150 and i am 6’2′ very tall and skinny guy!

      • HealthNut
      • September 21, 2012

      Keep it clean and simple. You need to dedicate about 4 days a week to your work out routine and about 2 hours for each work out. Each work out should start with a warm up that gets your body streched out and loosened up. This is best with cardio as that helps to build stamina (a cop needs to chase the robber). Get on the tread mill and do about a 30 min jog. Better yet, use a elipitical as this is better for your joints and helps to build “core strength” by woukingout your core muscle group.

      Next, you need to have a balanced work out that includes free weights, machines and others basics.

      Do 5 sets of 30 crunches – Bump this to 5 sets of 50 as you get better.

      Do push ups in the same # as above.

      Free weight dumb bells 5 sets of 20
      Bench press 5 sets of 10
      Use the butterfly machine and a few other machines (I forget each name)

      At the end of your workout, do another 15 mins of cardio or better yet, swiming.

      As well, you need to start eating smart. Without trying to diet, eat what you normally eat but try not to eat processed foods (hot dogs, junk foods, NO BEER).

      Good luck

    • J
    • September 21, 2012

    Workout Tips? I need some tips on how to maximize my workout. I’m 15, stand 6ft 1in, and weigh 172. I’ve got a curlbar, 60 lbs worth of weight in 10 lb ingriments, 2 15 lb dumbells, 1 35 lb dumbell, and a machine that supposedly goes up to 200 lbs to work with. What should I eat, what supplements should I drink (I’m on some whey protein that you pick up at vitamin shoppe), what execises should I do to maximize results and gain muscle and lose some weight. I’m pretty active, especially at running and weightlifting, so I’m not a beginning exerciser. I’d just like to see some better abs, bulkier biceps/triceps, a nicer back and shoulders, and most of all, a good looking chest. I really need to work on my chest and abs. It’s hard for me to get good results in those areas. So if you don’t mind, give a little help. By the way, is it okay to weightlift every week day, or should I switch between running and weightlifting daily? Been wandering about that.

      • HealthNut
      • September 21, 2012

      Alternate between running and weightlifting everyday. It’ll help your muscles and give your workout some variety. For your chest and shoulders: benchpress, benchpress, benchpress.

      Squats. Hold your arms in front of you and put your hands together. Squat down, back straight and keep your feet shoulder width apart. Start with 2 sets of 20.

      Crunches. Do 3 sets of 33 and a different kind of crunch for every set. Start by laying on the floor and propping your legs up on the mattress (cross your ankles). Do a set of 33 crunches that way. Scoot back and hold up your legs in the same position as before. Do a set of 33 that way. Now do bicycle crunches (a set of 33).

  1. Reply

    Is There An Online Site That Gives Free Workout Tips? I’m looking for a site that gives free workout tips and tips on getting abs. I don’t need a so-called “quick trick” that will supposedly get me a six-pack in 2 days. I just want tips on how to work out and what to eat to get in shape.

      • HealthNut
      • September 21, 2012

      If you want to stay in shape, you need to adopt healthy eating habits and make exercise a part of your daily life.

      How to start?

      Choose exercises you enjoy according to your fitness level. Aerobics exercises move the muscles fairly continuously and strengthen the heart and lungs. Examples of such activities are brisk walking, jogging, aerobic dancing, swimming, badminton, cycling and football.

      If you have not exercised for a long time or just started, start slowly and increase gradually over a period of 3 to 6 weeks.

      For those who are above 35 years old, overweight, or have medical problems, you need to check with a medical doctor before you embark on an exercise programme.

      Frequency or How often?

      Exercise for at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week or more

      Intensity and duration?

      Do exercise until you perspire and breathe deeply without getting breathless. You should be able to talk or whistle while exercising.

      Do warm up and stretch for at least 5 minutes before exercise. Also not to forget to cool down and stretch after exercise.

    • XP
    • September 21, 2012

    Can I Have Some Good Workout Tips? Hey could I get some good workout tips. I’m medium built but i want to be lean and fit. I also want to tone and shape my legs a lot. Please tell me if you have any good tips!

      • HealthNut
      • September 21, 2012

      Yes,visit the following sites for fitness.You may not need a full-fledged diet right now, but you can still incorporate some slim-down strategies into your daily life.

      Eat breakfast. Studies show that eating breakfast is associated with keeping weight off once you’ve lost it.

      Fill up on low-cal foods. Start every meal with the items on your plate that are lowest in calories. By the time you get to the other foods, you won’t be so hungry, possibly decreasing your total intake.

      Begin with soup. Starting lunch or dinner with a broth-based, vegetable-filled soup will curb hunger so you’ll be less tempted to eat higher-calorie foods.

      Arrive fashionably late. Without as much time near the buffet table at parties, you’ll eat less.

      Divide your lunch. Afternoon snacker? Cut your lunch in half: have part at mealtime and the other half later in the afternoon.

      Swap mustard for mayo. A tablespoon of mayonnaise has 100 calories, compared with 10 calories for a tablespoon of yellow mustard.

      Duration of Exercise
      You may not be exercising long enough. The rule of thumb is cardio for 30 minutes, three times per week. If you really want to reach your goal, try five 45-minute cardio workouts per week. That sounds like a lot of exercise, but remember this is in order to meet your goal, not necessarily maintain it.

  2. Reply

    Can You Guys Suggest Me Some Workout Tips? I dont want bulky. Just a skinny type. With chest, arms and abs. Please suggest some diet tips and workout as well. I am 20 years old 66 kg hight 5ft 6inch.

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