“A short workout is better than none”, that is now one of the sayings I go by. Before my pregnancy I used to enjoy long workouts. Sometimes I would even workout twice a day. But now that I am a mother, it is different. Trying to combine family life with work and fitness is tough. Even though I am a personal trainer and spend most of my day in the gym. It is difficult to find time between clients and pumping sessions (yes, I am still breastfeeding. Almost 9 months postnatal now).
Instead of giving up my workouts all together, I turned to short but efficient training sessions. “A 10 minute workout, would that make any difference?”, I hear you think. I was doubting about the effectiveness as well. That is why I did some research.
I came across one study in the Journal PLOS ONE that had three test groups. One of the groups did a 10 minute workout, made up of two minutes low-intensity cardio, followed by 20 seconds all-out. This routine was repeated three times, followed by another three minutes of slower cool-down. The group did this workout three times a week for 12 weeks. At the end of the timeframe insulin sensitivity, oxygen consumption and muscle function all improved for the participants.
Looking for more confirmation of my possibly new workout routine I investigated other standards, such as advice from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). They advise 30 minutes moderate intensity aerobic five days a week. This can be anything from walking, swimming, cycling exercise. To make sure I regain and maintain some muscles I would ideally add at least two days of resistance training.
Depending on where you train, you can do resistance training with weights or bodyweight exercises. I prefer free weights, such as dumbbells, over machines because it stimulates your full body to do more work. I would also try to combine a few movements to make it more time efficient. Any routine I would start with some core exercises, because your core connects your whole body. It is good to activate that first before you start with the rest. One of my favorite routines you can find below.
The exercises are a bit sped up; I would suggest doing every movement 30 second to 1 minute. Making it a total of 10-minute workout. If you do this routine at home and you don’t have dumbbells at hand, you could exchange it for 500ML water bottles instead.
10 mins Quick Workout
1. Warm Up
40 seconds – Cross mountain climber/ Mountain climber
10 seconds – rest
1 minute – Side plank rotation alternating
10 seconds – restGet ready for the next phase
2. Get it on!
40 seconds – Ab bike / Skipping
10 seconds – rest
40 seconds – Straight leg raises with hip lift
10 seconds – rest
40 seconds – High knee sit with punch forward
1 minute – rest
Get ready for the next phase
3. Burn it!
1 minute – Sumo squat press up
1 minute – Sumo squat hold with hammer curl
30 seconds – Sumo squat hold heel lifts
30 seconds – Sumo squat pulse
1 minute – Back lunge with triceps extension alternating
1 minute – High knee sit with alternating side raises and shoulder rotation
*In collaboration with SimpleHealth.
Jenna B. Gillen. (April 26, 2016). Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment. From: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075
Kevin L. (Jun 28, 2018). Less than a quarter of Americans get enough exercise, according to a new report — here’s what you should be doing. From: https://www.businessinsider.com/recommended-fitness-exercise-guidelines-cdc-report-2018-6
Alice G. Walton. (May 3, 2016). The Ten-Minute Workout Offers Big Health Benefits, Study Finds. From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2016/05/03/is-a-short-high-intensity-workout-really-as-healthy-as-a-longer-moderate-one/#5e907bb5c2c7