18 different 10-minute workouts (beginner to advanced) that require no equipment
As the great Ronnie Coleman once said, “Ain’t nothin to it but to do it.”
It astonishes me how many people give up on training for the day, just because they don’t have time to go to the gym or they get caught up at the office.
Who says you have to go a “place where fitness is done” in order to work out? Who says it has to be an hour?
All of the workouts below can be done any time, any place, and with no special equipment — all in 10 minutes or less.
Notes about the workouts
Be smart and don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you’re new to training, stick to the beginner-level workouts. And even if you’re not, anyone should get medical clearance by a doctor attempting these. Some of them are high-intensity workouts and can be quite stressful on the body.
On the left hand column you’ll see ‘A1, A2, B, etc…’. This denotes the sequence that you’ll be performing the exercises. The basic rule is to complete the work assigned to each letter before moving on to the next. And letters with numbers are meant to be alternated. Here are a couple examples to highlight what I mean.
In the program below, you’ll perform one set of exercise 1, rest 60 seconds, then perform one set of exercise 2, rest 60 seconds, then perform one set of exercise 3, rest another 60 seconds before starting the rotation all over again. Very simple — you just rotate through all of the exercises.
This is similar to example 1 except you’ll just be rotating between the first two exercises. When all three sets of them are completed then you’ll perform the third exercise, taking 60 seconds rest before repeating.
Maybe you can pick up on how this one will work. Here, you’ll perform your first set of exercise 1, rest 60 seconds, then perform your second set of exercise. Once all three sets are completed, then you’ll proceed to exercise two. Remember, finish out each letter before moving on.
Below are the 18 workouts. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see descriptions and pictures of each one of the exercises. Here’s a quick and dirty guide to the levels.
Beginner: If you’ve got no training experience, or haven’t done anything in the last 6-months.
Intermediate: If you’ve put in a bit of training over the last few months, but don’t feel quite ready to go full throttle.
Advanced: If you’ve put in at least 6 months of consistent training, and are prepared to hit the gas. You must be healthy and comfortable performing a wide array of movements. These workouts will be shorter than what you’re used to, but can be done in a pinch to ramp up your resting metabolism and give yourself a nice little dopamine response. Ahhh…dopamine.
Expert: If you’ve got a very high level of fitness and have mastered the fundamental movements to not get injured during these workouts.
Workout 1 — Beginner
Lunge, jog, walk intervals. As simple as it gets and a great way to get started, requires no upper body work and can be done anywhere.
Keep moving, only take 10 seconds rest between each exercise. If you’ve got the capacity, increase the jog time to 1 min and decrease the walk time to 1:30.
Workout 2 — Beginner
Full body workout suitable for total beginners that can be done any time, any where. Doesn’t require being outside or a ton of space. Perfect for a hotel room.
For the squat, do 10 reps on the first set, 8 on the second, 6 on the third, and 4 on the final set. Squat as quickly as you can.
Workout 3 — Beginner
Good for people with knee problems where lunging, squatting, and running can be an obstacle. All exercises are performed isometrically — no movement, just holding the position. Doesn’t require any extra space.
Breathe deeply and focus on the position. No music allowed.
Workout 4 — Beginner
Another simple one working on the lateral aspects of the body.
Workout 5 — Beginner
Good little workout that challenges mobility as much as it does core strength.
Make sure you hold the end point of each exercise for a second or two. Pause your squat at the bottom and feel it. Hold your hand against your shoulder for a moment and get stable.
Workout 6 — Intermediate
This one moves a little quicker and will definitely elevate the heart rate a bit. Best if performed on a soft surface.
If there isn’t a lot of room to do the bear crawls, just take a few steps forward and then a few steps backward, repeating until the 30 seconds is finished.
Workout 7 — Intermediate
You’ll need to be able to perform at least 5 solid push-ups in order to do this one. Move quickly to get in all 8 sets.
Workout 8 — Intermediate
Nice and simple. Best done outside with a little bit of space to move. Note the change in order compared to all of the previous workouts.
Stay on top of the rest intervals to get all of the work done in under 10 minutes.
Workout 9 — Intermediate
Another good one for someone with rough knees that can’t lunge or run.
Workout 10 — Intermediate
Squats and sprints, pretty simple one here. The number of squats drops by 2 reps each set. You’ll need a bit of open space to get the running done.
Try to push hard, but hold back just a little bit on the sprints. Make sure to do full range of motion squats.
Workout 11 — Intermediate
The goal here is to just keep moving the whole time. Will need at least 30 yards of space.
Workout 12 — Advanced
Best done at a track or with a lot of open space. Just a simple high intensity interval session involving sprints. Stay on the rest time and try to complete in exactly 10 minutes.
Workout 13 — Advanced
Time to start getting competitive. Do as many pushups and reverse lunges as possible in the first round, then try to match your numbers in the second (but with a larger time window). Take as little rest as possible. Requires no space or equipment.
Workout 14 — Advanced
The goal is to complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. Take as little rest as possible in between each exercise. You’ll need access to a track or larger outdoor space.
Workout 15 — Advanced
This is called a breath ladder. Read carefully. For every rep you do, you are allowed only the same number of breaths during your recovery. You’re going to start with one squat jump, after which you can take one breath. Then immediately go into your second set of two squat jumps, followed by two breaths. Then three, all the way up to ten, and then work your way back down to one. The trick is to take long, deep breaths in order to maximize the length of recovery. Oh and don’t perform little sissy squat jumps…jump hard. You can also attempt this workout with push-ups.
Workout 16 — Advanced
Best done at a track, but a large park will work as well. 60-second sprints (about 300–400m in distance) with only 90 seconds off to between. After your third sprint, try to get all 8 sets of squats and push-ups done before the 10-minute interval ends.
Workout 17 — Expert
Escalating sets. Complete as many rounds as you can, your score is the number of reps from the last round you fully completed. So if the clock hits zero while you’re working away at 11 push-ups, your score is 10.
Workout 18 — Expert
For the runners out there. Best done at a track or somewhere your distance can be measured. Will also work on a treadmill. Perform as much work / reps in each of the sets and record what you were able to do.
Exercise descriptions and notes
Listed in order of appearance.
Key points: Descend as low as possible while keeping your bodyweight on the middle part of your foot. Back straight and don’t allow your knees to collapse in.
Key points: Take a big step backwards, and on the return try to use as much of the front foot to *pull* yourself back to a standing position.
Key points: Hold the top position of a push-up. Elbows locked. Keep your body as aligned as possible.
Hip flexor stretch
Key points: Performed on one knee, or in a split stance position. Flex your glute as you do this, don’t be too aggressive pushing your hips forward.
Key points: Push through the heels and flex your glutes at the top.
Key points: Keep your body as aligned as possible.
Key points: Basic yoga move. Hips to the ceiling, chest and heels to the floor.
Key points: Sit back, don’t lean to the side. Keep bodyweight on the middle of the foot.
Key points: Keep body aligned and glutes squeezed.
Key points: Drop body straight down, keep your front foot flat.
Key points: Keep arms and chest as upright as possible, squat as low as you comfortably can.
Key points: The goal is to touch your shoulder while staying in alignment and not letting the hips move too much.
Key points: Hands on the hips, descend into a half squat and jump as high as possible.
Key points: This is a core and shoulder stability exercise. Move opposite hand and foot in unison, trying to keep the hips as level as possible.
Key points: Keep body aligned, glutes tight, and lead from the chest.
Key points: Step forward, control your descent and drive off the heel to return to standing.
Key points: Slightly unlock the knees and push the hips back until the hamstrings are on stretch. Keep lower back neutral.
Key points: Knees are at a very large angle here. Push off the heels until the hips rise a few inches off the floor. Don’t let the back arch up.
Down dog push-up
Key points: Move from a push-up position to a downward dog position, driving from the shoulders.
Split squat jump
Key points: Drop into a split squat, jump up, switch feet in mid air and immediately go into the next rep.
Key points: Don’t let the lower back extend in the push-up position.