There can be days when you neither have the time nor access to a gym for your full workout. This 10-minute workout routine, although not easy, is effective and suitable for beginners as it uses bodyweight only, and focuses on the lower body and abs. The lack of equipment required means it can be done any time and anywhere, even on your lunch break at work!
This is a great fat burning routine as the plyometric exercises will keep your heart rate elevated while the abs exercises in-between will give you some time to recover before the next high intensity exercise begins.
It is best to perform this routine circuit style with no rest in between exercises, but if you need a rest take one whenever is necessary and as your fitness grows you will find you require a break less and less.
The routine consists of ten exercises, aiming to spend a minute on each. If you have an interval timer on your phone, this is an excellent aid to your workout as you will know automatically when it’s time to move on to the next exercise!
1) Sumo squat
a) Position your feet so that they are wider than shoulder width apart in a wide stance.
b) Angle your toes so that they are facing outwards.
c) Lower your body downwards until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
d) Hold this position, breathe out and push through your feet to raise your body back to the starting position. Repeat this movement for one minute.
Don’t allow your knees to go beyond your toes and squeeze the glutes and abs as you perform the exercise.
TIP: Can be done using your bodyweight or implement free weights or a barbell.
2) Bicycle crunch
a) Begin this exercise by lying on your back. Bend your knees and keep your abs squeezed tight.
b) Your lower back should be pressed against the floor – place your hands behind your head with your thumbs behind your ears.
c) Breathe outwards as you extend your left leg outwards until it is straight. At the same time, lift your shoulders off the ground while keeping your elbows in their open position, bringing your left armpit and right knee towards each other.
d) Breathe in then out as you repeat the movement with the opposite arm and leg. Perform this movement in a controlled manner.
3) Knee tuck jumps
a) Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart – the knees should be slightly bent, and allow the arms to relax by your sides.
b) Keep your stomach muscles tight and jump off both feet as high as you can.
c) Bring both knees to the front of your body so that you can grab them.
d) When you are in the air, release your knees and land with a bend in them so that you are back to your starting position.
TIP: As with the other exercises it is important to keep the back straight.
a) Start with your feet hip width apart – your weight should be placed on your heels.
b) Squeeze the stomach and glute muscles tight, lift your left leg and step forward.
c) As your foot makes contact with the ground, bend both of your knees so that your right thigh is parallel to the ground – your right heel should be off the ground at this point.
d) Breathe out and press off the ball of the right foot, stepping backwards so that you return to the starting position. It is important to never allow the knee to go beyond the toes in this exercise.
TIP: To make this movement more challenging, begin this exercise by dropping down into a lunge position with your left leg in a forward position and your right leg behind you.
– Breathe out and jump upwards, pushing both legs off the floor so that they can switch positions with each other in the air.
– You should land with your right leg forward and your left leg behind you. Drop back into a lunge position and repeat.
5) Reverse crunch
a) Begin this exercise on your back on the ground with your feet off the floor and your knees bent with your ankles crossed.
b) Bring the tops of your quads inwards and onto your stomach so that you do not use momentum during the movement by swinging the legs.
c) Relax your head shoulders and neck and allow them to rest on the ground.
d) Lift your pelvis off the ground and curl it inwards towards the ribs.
TIP: By fully breathing out while you carry out the crunching movement you can maximise the contraction in the abs.
6) Side lunge
a) Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart
b) Step your left leg sideways while keeping it in line with your right foot.
c) Lean on your left leg, bending at your hip so that your left thigh is now at a parallel angle to the floor.
d) Using the left leg, breathe out and return to the starting position. Repeat this movement on the opposite leg.
a) Begin this exercise by lying on your stomach with your face towards the floor and your arms stretched out straight in front of you.
b) Breathe out, and at the same time lift up both your legs and arms a few inches away from the ground.
c) Pause for a few seconds while keeping the muscles tight then lower your legs and arms back to the starting position.
d) Breathe out as you lift your body up and in as you return to the ground – keep your eyes focused on the floor as lifting the neck in this position may cause injury.
It is also important to keep the spine straight throughout this movement.
a) Begin this exercise in a plank position (your favourite…)
b) Place the feet shoulder width apart – bend the knees and explode upwards powerfully in a jump.
c) As you land, form a squat position low down so that your hands are able to touch the ground if your flexibility allows.
d) From this position, jump back into a plank pose.
Keep the stomach muscles squeezed tight for extra core reach and keep the back straight throughout the movement.
9) Boat pose
a) Begin sitting on the floor with the legs straight out in front of you.
b) Keep the legs straight and lift them off the ground so that they are at a 45 degree angle from your torso.
c) Your upper body will fall back naturally, but it is important not to allow the spine to collapse.
d) Make a v shape with the body and stretch the arms out straight, palms towards the ceiling to help balance yourself.
10) Side plank
a) Begin on your left side, legs fully extended and with your left foot stacked up upon your right foot.
b) Use your left elbow and left hip to hold up your bodyweight – relax your right arm on top of the side of your body.
c) Squeeze all your muscles tight and imagine that you are pulling your belly button back towards your spine.
d) Raise your hips up so that your body is in a straight line from your head to your toes. Hold for thirty seconds and then swap sides.