Short on Time? Try This Beginner-Friendly 10-Minute Workout

Build strength and stamina with no equipment with this 10-minute full-body workout.
Image Credit: Tempura/E+/GettyImages

When you've left exercise behind for what feels like too long or are embarking on your fitness journey for the first time, getting started can feel like quite the task.

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"When getting back into fitness, many people think they need to start where they left off or maybe where their peers are, but I think any type of movement for any duration is considered a win," Marissa Nargi, CPT, a Boston-based personal trainer, tells LIVESTRONG.com. "You can't change your baseline, but you can find it and improve from there."

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Something is always better than nothing — even just 10 minutes a day can make all the difference.

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"Movement in any form can help improve cardiovascular health, sleep and help strengthen your bones and muscles," Nargi says. "I always tell my clients they can't control where they are today but they can always improve their tomorrow."

Start out light by utilizing body-weight movements to build up your strength and stamina before adding in weights and equipment.

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To do that, start with this 10-minute beginner-friendly routine that works your entire body (with no equipment!) and focuses on a few fundamental exercises, like hip hinges, knee bends, core work, balance and cardio. Once your body gets used to these motions, then you can start adding in light dumbbells or kettlebells to challenge yourself.

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How to do it:‌ Do 1 set of each exercise below for the amount of time or reps listed, resting 15 seconds in between each move. Complete this circuit twice.

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Warning

Always remember to talk with your primary care doctor before beginning a new fitness routine.

1. Squat

JW Player placeholder image
Time 45 Sec
Region Core and Lower Body
  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and brace your core. Focus on keeping your feet rooted into the ground and your core tight the entire time.
  2. Clasp your hands in front of your chest and slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to lower toward the floor. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Lower down as far as comfortable, or until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  4. Pause for a moment at the bottom of your squat.
  5. On an exhale, reverse the motion by pressing through your heels to return to standing. As you stand, lower your arms back to your sides.

2. Push-Up

JW Player placeholder image
Time 45 Sec
Region Full Body
  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees, hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
  2. Step your feet back and straighten your legs so that you're balanced on your palms and toes in a high plank position. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders or slightly wider apart.
  3. Bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body and lower your body to the floor.
  4. Make sure to keep your body in one straight line from the neck through the spine to the hips and down to the heels.
  5. Press into your palms and push the floor away from you to come back up to a high plank, still keeping your body in one straight line.

Tip

To make this move easier, perform knee push-ups.

3. Single-Leg Deadlift

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Reps 5
Region Core and Lower Body
  1. Stand on your left leg with your hands at your sides.
  2. Keeping your left knee slightly bent, perform a deadlift by hinging at your hip and extending your right leg behind you for balance. Make sure your hips remain square toward the floor.
  3. Continue lowering until your upper body is parallel to the ground. Let your arms move toward the floor with your upper body.
  4. Keeping your back flat, return to the upright position.
  5. Perform 5 reps on each leg.

Tip

To make this move easier, hold onto something for balance and support.

4. Plank Reach

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Reps 5
Region Full Body
  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees, hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
  2. Step your feet back and straighten your legs so that you're balanced on your palms and toes in a high plank position. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders or slightly wider apart.
  3. Reach your right hand back toward your left foot to tap your toes, lifting your hips up to a pike or inverted "V" position as you do so.
  4. Return back to high plank position, then reach your left hand back toward your right foot to tap your toes, lifting your hips up to a pike or inverted "V" position as you do so.
  5. Return back to high plank position and repeat for 5 reps each side.

5. High Knees

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Time 45 Sec
Region Core and Lower Body
  1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Drive your right knee toward your chest and quickly place it back on the ground.
  3. Follow immediately by driving your left knee toward your chest.
  4. Continue to alternate knees as quickly as you can, as if you're jogging in place.

Tip

To make this move easier, march in place instead of jog in place.

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