Is there any point working out when I’m short on time?

10 minute workout

Do you struggle to find the time to workout? Especially now during lockdown whilst you are trying to juggle working from home (and have possibly been homeschooling too prior to the children going back to school!). 

It is more important now, than ever to prioritise some time for yourself to exercise. Exercise is not just a fun luxury anymore, it is a necessity!  We don’t train to be trendy – we train to keep fit, strong and healthy, so that we can look forward to being able to maintain our energy and strength as we get older. It is as important for our health and fitness as brushing your teeth is to keep them clean and healthy. 

We are now a nation who, over the past few decades spends more time sitting down than we do moving. Lack of exercise leads to lack of energy, therefore the less that you do, the less that you will want to do, and this can lead to diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s time to realise that what is happening on the inside of our bodies is far more important than what is happening on the outside. Yes, we all like to look nice, have our hair and nails done and find the perfect outfit that looks great, but none of this is any good if we don’t look after the organs inside our bodies that are keeping us alive.

It’s important to do some movement, activity or exercise everyday so I thought I would share my go to workout routine which I use when I only have 10 minutes spare to exercise and not my usual 30 minutes (you can also follow us on Instagram to see our 10 minute follow along home workouts by our sister company TonedIn10). Short intensive workouts done regularly are great – they help with weight loss, lowering body fat percentage, lowering blood pressure, fitness, health, strength and energy and they are easy to fit into a busy day so there’s really no excuse for not doing them. 10 minutes – that’s all!

The best type of short workout is a high intensity one where you exercise for a number of seconds and then have a short rest in between, thereby raising and lowering your heart rate. The shorter the workout, the harder you should work. I pick exercises and time them with rests to total 5 minutes, then repeat them so that it gives me a 10/15/20 minute workout depending on what time I have. The fact that you can repeat each set 2 or 3 times make these very versatile workouts. High intensity workouts also mean that you will continue burning calories for longer after you have finished, also known as the afterburn.

I’ve included a warm-up/cardio workout along with an upper body, lower body and ab workout. You can mix and match these depending on what time you have but always warm up first and stretch at the end.

Make sure you warm up first using a combination of: 

  1. Side to side jog
  2. Knee bends and arm circles
  3. Side bends reaching the arm over the head
  4. Alternate toe touches
  5. Lateral shuffle – 2 or 3 small side steps one way, then back in the other direction

Add in some cardio, gradually increasing the intensity. For this set a timer going and complete 20 seconds of each exercise with a 10 second rest in between. 

  1. Jump lunges – start in a lunge position and jump switching legs
  2. Star jumps – taking arms out to the side 
  3. Knee raises – lift arms above the head and bring down as you raise alternate knees, making sure to really use the arms and the core
  4. Squat and floor touch – jump squat and touch floor on each landing
  5. Jog and punch up to the ceiling

Repeat twice = 5 minutes


Upper body

Set a timer going and complete 45 seconds of each exercise with a 15 second rest in between. If you have more time, you can repeat the set.

  1. Push-ups – these can be done against the wall to start, then on your knees before progressing to full push-ups. Make sure to keep your back straight and squeeze your core
  2. Chest Press – lie on the floor with arms out to the side and elbows bent and a little lower than shoulders. Holding a dumbbell or water bottle in each hand push the arms straight up over the chest and bring back to the start position. Repeat without touching the floor in between. You can add a mini chest press in between so one full chest press and one mini (taking arms halfway up)
  3. Front/side arm raises – stand with arms in front of thighs, holding either a dumbbell, can of beans or water bottle in each hand. Raise arms forwards until at shoulder height, then keeping arms up, take out to the side and lower back down. Take arms back up to the side from this position, then move back to the front and lower. Keep alternating
  4. Bicep curl into back pull – hold dumbbells and curl arms up into a bicep curl, then when arms are lowered, turn dumbbells so palms of hands are facing inwards and pull the dumbbells up and back, squeezing the shoulder blades together
  5. Kneeling triceps extension – kneel on all fours. Hold a dumbbell in one hand at the side of the body and with elbow bent.  Push arm backwards until it is straight. Lower slowly back to start position. Do half the time on one arm and half the time on the other


Lower body

Set a timer going and complete 45 seconds of each exercise with a 15 second rest in between. If you have more time, you can repeat the set.

  1. Squats – lower for a count of 3 and then push up through the heels, taking care not to let knees come in front of the toes
  2. Hip raises – lie on the floor with legs bent. Push the hips up to the ceiling, then lower to the floor but push up again without touching the floor
  3. Donkey kicks – kneel on all fours and keeping the leg bent, kick up to the ceiling. Bring back down and repeat. Do half the time on one leg and half the time on the other
  4. Lunge with twist – hold one dumbbell in both hands. Take a step forward into a lunge and twist torso across the bent leg. Twist back to facing forwards and push back through the heel and repeat on the other side
  5. Crab walk with resistance band – pop a resistance band around the ankles, lower into a squat position and take 3 large steps to one side and then 3 back to the start



  1. Russian twists
  2. Weighted sit up – hold a dumbbell in both hands near the hip. Sit up slowly, taking care not to move the dumbbell (don’t use it to help swing you up). Roll back down through the spine (do ab crunches, lifting the head and shoulders off the floor, if the full sit up is too difficult)
  3. Bicycle crunches
  4. Toe taps – lie on your back with legs at 90° and lower one leg to the floor then taking it back up and alternating sides (keep knees above hips)
  5. Standing side oblique crunch – stand with hands by your head and elbows out, then bring your knee up, to the side and crunch your elbow to meet your knee on the same side. Alternate sides


Try it today and you will start to see a difference very quickly! If you are wanting other ideas for 10 minutes workouts, take a look at our Tonedin10 website.

Much Love 

Caroline & Hannah xx