Quick 10-minute workouts to build into your daily schedule

You don’t have to do a one-hour sweat session in order to be healthy

Climb the stairs for 10 minutes in a day to get your step count up. Getty Images
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The general consensus is that as long as you get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity in every week, then you’ll have a healthy heart and body.

That doesn’t mean you have to do lengthy workout sessions a few times a week – studies show that you can actually break it all up.

So even if you’re doing short bursts of exercise throughout the day, it’ll have the same effect.

We reached out to a few UAE fitness trainers, who provided us with a series of 10-minute workouts you can build into your day while staying at home.

Baraa El Sabbagh, personal trainer

The UAE-based trainer has put together a 10-minute workout, as well as shared ideas on how to build easy exercise routines into your day.

10-minute routine:

  • Air squats – repeat for one minute
  • Lunges – 30 seconds each leg
  • Plank – hold for one minute
  • Jumping jacks – repeat for one minute
  • Glute kickbacks – 30 seconds on each side
  • Repeat the whole routine again
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Other easy ideas:

  • Wake up and stretch for 10 minutes. "It'll get you nice and relaxed before the day begins," says El Sabbagh
  • Walk to the grocery store and only buy what you can carry. You'll be coming back with at least two kilos of weight in each arm that way
  • Got a Zoom call without video? Stay active by having walking meetings, even if it's just pacing around your living room
  • Household chores require energy, so take it up a notch by moving vigorously when you vacuum, dust or sweep

Paul Holder, personal trainer at GymNation

Paul Holder has put together three workouts anyone at any fitness level can do using items in their own home.

Water bottle squats

Grab two 1.5-litre water bottles and hold them in each hand, stand in front of your sofa with your legs just over shoulder-width apart. Squat down until you reach the sofa and then push back up through your legs. Repeat this movement 15 times and then rest for a minute. Try and go through three to five sets of 15 reps. You’ll feel this exercise in your upper legs, particularly your quadriceps.

Paul Holder

Water bottle shoulder press

Take those same water bottles and hold one in each hand by your shoulders. Press them up to the sky and then bring them back down to your shoulders again. Repeat this movement 10 times going through three sets of this shoulder and tricep-focused movement.

Stair climbs

Live in an apartment block or multi-storey villa? Start at the bottom of the building and aim to walk up the stairs for five minutes before you turn around and come right back down. Most staircases will have a rail, so use it if you need or if your legs start to get tired. For variation, or to increase the intensity, you can go up two steps at a time, alternating legs as you go.

Pedro Miguel Marques, fitness manager at Fitness First Middle East

Pedro Miguel Marques has put together this 10-minute workout.

Pedro Miguel Marques
  • High knees or skipping – 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeat three times
  • Jumping jacks – 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeat three times
  • Chair squat – 20 repetitions, two sets, rest 20 seconds
  • Hand release push-ups – 20 repetitions, two sets, rest 20 seconds
  • Mountain climbers – 20 repetitions, two sets, rest 20 seconds
  • Low row with water bottle or dumbbell – 20 repetitions, two sets, rest 20 seconds
  • Dead bug – 12 repetitions, two sets, rest 20 seconds
  • Stretching: push your hands against a wall with one leg stretched out, then swap legs; stand straight, bring your arms together straight over your head and lean to the right, then the left – 15 seconds per stretch

Sandra Koeder, senior master trainer at Technogym Emirates

This 10-minute high-intensity interval training routine can easily be done at home, says Sandra Koeder.

30 seconds work / 30 seconds rest x 2 rounds

  • Inchworm; start standing, reach your arms down toward the ground, walk your hands away from your feet, entering a plank-like position, before stepping your feet forward toward your hands and finally returning to a standing position.
  • High knees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Backward lunge
  • Back extension prone; lie flat on the floor with your palms facing upwards and your toes touching the ground. Slowly raise yourself off the ground by pulling your shoulders back and lifting your legs up as far as they can go. Look straight ahead throughout the move. Return to starting position and repeat.
  • Repeat the whole routine again