What’s Your 10 Minutes?

Twilight ZoneYou should know by now that I’m a big proponent of getting in at least 10 minutes a day of exercise, be it cardio or strength training, or a combination of both. I advise all my clients to do it, despite hectic schedules and attention-seeking kids. It’s 10 minutes, you can carve it somewhere out of your day, I know you can. (Quit with the excuses, we all got ’em… this is a matter of taking control and time for yourself and we all deserve that!)

How to make that the most effective 10 minutes of your day may be the problem for most, but it’s really quite simple; you push yourself right out of your comfort zone and into that freaky, sweaty place which some may refer to as the twilight zone – no hot Twilight vampires here though, or werewolves.) For many this may be walking briskly for 10 minutes while for others it may be doing an all out sprint on the treadmill for 10 minutes. If you’re at a loss for ideas though, don’t worry, I’m just full of ’em.

The best thing to do in your 10 minutes is to incorporate plenty of combination moves. Example: A squat thrust. Many may remember those from high school gym class. It’s a simple move but works the whole body. Basically you start in standing position, squat low to the ground, place both hands on the ground in front of you and then thrust both legs out behind you, ending up briefly in full plank position (wrists below shoulders, hips, knees, ankles aligned, balancing on toes.) Then you quickly thrust the legs back underneath you and return to standing. Do a set of 10 reps and I’m certain your heart will jump out of your chest!

Another great combo move I do is a reverse lunge with a shoulder press and front kick. Sounds like a lot but again, it’s using all the muscles of your body and making your 10 minutes super effective! Here’s how you do it: From a standing position, step right foot back about 3 feet behind left, then bend both knees 90 degrees. While bending knees, raise both arms up straight overhead (either holding weights or not). As you come back to standing, lower hands back to shoulders while kicking the right leg forward. Then from the kick go right into the reverse lunge and repeat move. Work up to 10 reps and then repeat on other leg. (Again, heart rate will shoot right up and those calories will be a’burning off.)

One more great move is the plank. It’s full body pose and is great for toning your core. You can do either the modified version (which is placing your forearms on the floor) or regular, which is balancing on your hands and toes. There are all sorts of variations you can play around with once you’re in plank pose, like twisting the torso from side to side to work the obliques a little more, or lifting a leg and holding it up for a certain amount of time. Play with stability and place your feet up on a stability ball and hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds, working your way up to 1 minute.

So there you have three great, full body moves that you can do just about anywhere at anytime of the day. Try doing 2 sets in a row followed by jumping rope, jumping jacks or any other cardio move and you’ll be well on your way to tightening up any wobbly bits you may have in no time!

If you already have a 10 minute routine, then please share with me, I’d love to hear the creative ways people are getting in their cardio and strength training!

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. If you have any questions for her, you can reach her at am@littleblackdresspt.com or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo