alive logo

10 Minute Sweat Session

There'’s always room for fitness


10 Minute Sweat Session

Short on time? Time isn't an issue when it comes to being fit. Our 10 minute workouts fit into those few extra minutes we can all find in our day.

It’s recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. While that may seem daunting, there’s no reason why we can’t break up that time into three manageable 10-minute workouts per day, five days per week (or more) that will be as effective as they are fun!

Make it manageable

Any complete fitness program worth its weight in sweat will include four things:

  • strength training
  • cardiovascular training
  • flexibility training
  • balance and stability training

Because these workouts are 10 minutes in length, our goal is to keep our heart rate up (for most people who are clear for exercise). That being said, if at any point you feel dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous, immediately discontinue the workout and sit down or lie down until the feeling subsides.

Good morning, sunshine

Your first workout of the day is cardio. It is sure to get you breathing heavily and sweating freely. This 10-minute workout is based on the principles of interval training—working for 40 seconds and practising active rest for 20 seconds.

The pacing of the exercises is dependent upon your fitness level. If you are a beginner, you may want to take it slower to start; if you are more intermediate, you may want to push the envelope. Remember, to see results, you have to feel out of your comfort zone, so push yourself!

Do two rounds of the following circuit, with 20 seconds of active rest between 40-second sets.

10 Minute Sweat

1: Active rest

Active rest consists of either walking on the spot (beginner) or a boxer hop (intermediate).

  • Walking on the spot is as it sounds.
  • Boxer hops begin with your feet roughly 2 feet (about half a metre) apart and knees slightly bent. Arms should be bent at the elbows with fists just in front of your chin. Bouncing on your toes, hop about 2 in (5 cm) to your left and then without pausing hop back to starting position. Keep shoulders relaxed at all times. Repeat without pausing between hops.

2: Knee drivers

  • Begin in push-up position with arms straight and hands below shoulders.
  • Pick up one foot off the ground and bring that knee into your chest.
  • Replace your foot in starting position and complete with the other leg.
  • Repeat without pausing.

3: Jumping jacks

  • Begin with feet together and arms at your sides.
  • With a slight bend in knees and elbows, jump your legs out about 3 to 4 feet (about 1 metre) apart and bring arms up, making a 45-degree angle above your shoulders. Palms should be facing forward.
  • Return to starting position by lowering arms while jumping feet back together.
  • Repeat.

10 Minute Sweat

4: V-steps

  • Stand with your feet together and hands at your sides.
  • Step forward and out at a 45-degree angle with your left foot, and at the same time punch out to shoulder height with your left arm.
  • Repeat with your right side, with left side still out in position.
  • Step back with your left foot and bring your left hand to starting position. Do the same with your right side.
  • Repeat.

10 Minute Sweat

5: Bear crawl

  • Begin in push-up position, but with hands and feet wider apart than usual.
  • Keeping the distance between limbs, walk your left hand and right foot forward at the same time. Place them on the ground and then do the same with your right hand and left foot.
  • You need some space for this one, so once you reach the end of the room, turn around and continue on the way back.

10 Minute Sweat

6: Half burpees

  • Begin in push-up position, but with a slight bend in your knees and elbows.
  • Hop your toes as close to your hands as possible, keeping your hands on the ground.
  • Hop back to starting position, being careful not to allow heels to touch at any point.
  • Repeat without pausing.

Afternoon delight

The second workout is resistance training. Once again, we want to keep our heart rates up and use our 10 minutes as efficiently as possible. To do this, we must superset our exercises—that is, we partner one exercise with another that works different muscles, so that while one group of muscles is recovering, another is being activated.

This allows us time to exercise every major muscle in the body in just 10 minutes. The best part? We can do it all with one easily found, inexpensive piece of equipment ... the resistance band.

Perform 1 set of each pairing of exercises with as little rest as possible between sets (ideally a maximum of 30 seconds) and then move on to the next pairing. Each exercise consists of 15 repetitions.

10 Minute Sweat

1-a: Squats

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hands at your sides.
  • While keeping your chest and head up, push your hips backward and allow your bum to sink down, parallel to knee height.
  • As you sink down, focus on keeping your weight in your heels and let your arms swing forward to counterbalance your weight going back.
  • At the bottom of the squat, begin to push your hips forward and push through your heels to stand straight up. Allow your hands to return to your sides.
  • Repeat.

1-b: Push-ups

  • Begin by facing the ground, on your hands and toes. Your hands should be underneath and slightly outside of your shoulders, and your hips should be in line with your shoulders the whole time.
  • Let your chest and hips slowly sink down to as close to the floor as you can, but not touching.
  • Exhale as you push yourself away from the floor, back to starting position.
  • Repeat.

Note: for a beginner version, simply follow the same directions, but from your knees.

10 Minute Sweat

2-a: Lunges

  • Take as big a step forward as possible with one foot while leaving the other in place. Stand nice and tall with your weight in your front heel. This is your starting position.
  • Simply drop your back knee to just above the floor while remaining in a tall upper-body position.
  • Raise your back up to a straightened-knee position while keeping feet in the same position.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

Note: be mindful to allow your body and leg to only travel straight up and down. Limit forward and backward swaying.

10 Minute Sweat

2-b: Resistance band row

  • Loop your resistance band around a secure anchor at roughly hip height.
  • Align yourself in a half-squat position with a tall posture and shoulders pushed down.
  • Have one handle in each hand and pull the handles back to your hips. Be sure to keep your elbows close and tight to your body, with your neck and shoulder muscles pushed down.
  • Repeat.

3-a: Diver

  • Lie on the ground on your stomach with your arms outstretched in front of you and your legs behind.
  • While keeping your limbs straight, raise your arms, chest, and legs as high off the ground as possible.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

10 Minute Sweat

3-b: Resistance band lateral raise

  • With a resistance band of low- to moderate-resistance, grasp a handle in each hand and step on the middle of the tube with both feet. Step back with the other foot.
  • While keeping a tall upper body posture, your arms with a very slight bend, and your palms down, raise your arms up to shoulder height.
  • Lower your arms back to starting position and repeat.

Note: be mindful not to let your neck muscles creep up around your ears.

10 Minute Sweat

4-a: Resistance band skier kickbacks

  • Stand as though you were a downhill skier trying to get speed. Feet should be below bent knees, hips are pushed back, and chest is parallel to the ground.
  • With resistance band fastened to an anchor at hip height and with a handle grasped in each hand, keep your elbows at your side and extend your arms until they are straightened behind you.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

4-b: Resistance band X-hammer curl

  • Grasp a handle in each hand with a thumbs-up position and step on the resistance band with each foot, directly in the middle of the band.
  • Trade handles so that the band forms an X in front of you.
  • Begin with your arms relaxed in front of your belt. While keeping your elbows at your sides and starting with your fists touching each other, raise your fists up and out at a 45-degree angle until they reach shoulder height.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

Try some evening floga

Once we have fought our battles for the day and the weight of the world has us tense, we are ready for our third workout. Yoga incorporates flexibility, core strengthening, balance, and mind-body connectivity (also known as kinesthetic awareness).

To accommodate those who don’t dig traditional yoga, this workout leaves the spirituality to the real yogis, but incorporates all of the benefits of a legitimate yoga workout. Let’s call it floga (flexibility and yoga).

Take deep breaths in and long breaths out while you extend the stretch. Never stretch to the point of pain and always settle in to each pose carefully.

Complete two rounds of the entire sequence.

10 Minute Sweat

1: Mountain pose

  • Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, and arms at your sides.
  • Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight.
  • Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips. Hold for 30 seconds.

2: Downward dog

  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders and knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a palm’s length in front of you and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press your hips toward the ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing your shoulders away from the ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold for 30 seconds.

3: Cobra pose

Lie face down on the floor with elbows bent and hands directly under shoulders. Legs are extended with the tops of your feet on the floor.

Tuck hips downward as you squeeze your glutes. Press your shoulders down and away from the ears. Push through your hands as you raise your chest toward the wall in front of you. Hold for 30 seconds.

10 Minute Sweat

4: Warrior pose

  • Stand with legs 3 to 4 feet (about 1 metre) apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly.
  • Relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down.
  • Bend right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; gaze out over right hand. Hold for 60 seconds.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

5: Downward dog

  • Hold this for 30 seconds, as described above.

6: Cobra pose

  • Hold this for 30 seconds, as described above.

7: Triangle pose

  • Stand with feet about 3 feet (roughly 1 metre) apart, your right foot turned out 90 degrees, left foot to 45 degrees. Extend arms out to sides, then keeping your back straight, bend from your hips over your right leg.
  • Allow your right hand to touch the floor or rest on your right leg below or above the knee, and extend the fingertips of your left hand toward the sky.
  • Keeping your neck long and shoulders relaxed, turn your gaze toward the ceiling and hold for 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on opposite side.

8: Child’s pose

  • Sit comfortably on your heels.
  • Roll your body forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the floor in front of you.
  • Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and breathe.

Ten-minute workouts, when done properly, are fast and effective. Of course, no workout plan is effective on its own, so consult your local health and nutrition store for the best ways to augment your workouts.



Taking Care of the Body’s Supercomputer

Taking Care of the Body’s Supercomputer

Suzanne MethotSuzanne Methot