Here’s a hard truth: Sometimes you just won’t be able to fit in an hour-long, balls-to-the-wall workout at the gym. But don’t let an all-or-nothing attitude mean you skip exercise, even if you can only grab a few minutes of it. Instead, carve out 10 minutes, set a timer, and follow one of these quick workouts courtesy of Eric Feigl, a personal trainer and the host of the Fitness Candor podcast. “These workouts shouldn’t be done all of the time,” he says. “In a pinch, they’ll work just fine.”
According to Feigl, this workout is perfect for small spaces, so when you’re stuck in a hotel room or office, make this your go-to challenge.
Set your timer for 10 minutes, then perform 10 push-ups with perfect form, taking three seconds to lower yourself to the ground and three seconds to push yourself back to the top. Next, perform 10 decline push-ups, placing your feet above your head on a chair or bed, following the same rep count and pace. Finally, complete the round by performing 10 incline push-ups with your hands placed on a chair or desk, again following the same rep count and pace. Do as many complete cycles as you can until you can’t perform a perfect push-up.
Burpees for Time
When you want a brutal workout, you can’t beat burpees for time. Because if you thought 10 burpees were hard, try 10 minutes of burpees. That’s all this workout is. Set your timer and don't stop burpee-ing until the clock runs out.
The key here, of course, is not to push yourself so hard you end up injured. Make modifications as you fatigue. For instance, if you start with a full plyometric burpee including a push-up at the bottom and a jump at the top, scale it back, removing the jump or push-up when you see your form start to fail. You can even slow it down further and simply step your feet back from the crouch position to the plank, then step back up to your crouch.
If you have some space — like a decent-sized living room you can move around in — the upper/lower combo routine does a great job of offering a mix of strength training, core work, and conditioning. Complete the following circuit as many times as you can before your time runs out:
- 20 walking lunges (10 per leg)
- 40 mountain climbers (20 per leg)
- As many close-grip push-ups as you can perform with perfect form
- 60-second “super man” hold
- 20 air squats with control