If you’re anything like me then time for yourself is at a premium. Often times working out is one of the things that gets chopped off of the long list of things to do. Getting a fat burning, full body workout in 10 minutes is easier than you think. These compact workouts can be very effective when done correctly. I’m going to give you a few simple rules to follow and the principals behind them so you can design your own 10 minute workout and enjoy the benefits of extra free time.
Here we go. Five simple rules to follow and you can’t go wrong:
- Use compound/multi joint exercises
- Combine exercises
- Keep your rest periods low
- Use the appropriate size weight
- Work in a circuit
Okay, lets explore the rules in more depth.
1. Compound /multi joint exercises are those that work several muscle groups and involve multiple joint movements. A few examples are swings, squat, lunges, cleans, snatch and push press. Swings alone will work the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and wrist joints. Just about all the exercises we do with kettlebell training are compound exercises. So what makes these exercises so effective?
- They allow you to do more work in less time
- They allow you to lift heavier weight to build more strength with out bulking up
- They work more muscles all at the same time which means you will burn more calories
- They keep your heart rate up for a better cardio workout to burn fat
- There is more carry over to real world movements
2. Combine exercises. Combining two or more exercises to make one rep is a great way to blast yourself fast. The design of the kettlebell is great for dynamic movment. It flows well with the movement of your body making it easy to combine several exercises together to make one. For example the clean and press; you clean the kettlebell to the racked position before each press overhead. You work your entire body with that one combined exercise; glutes, hamstrings, quads, abs, lower back, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and upper back. As long as the exercises flow together easily the sky’s the limit.
Here are a few more examples of combining exercises:
- Clean, Push Press, Windmill
- Swing, Snatch, Overhead Squat
- Clean, Squat, Military Press
3. Keep your rest periods low. If you only have 10 minutes to workout you need to get as much work done as possible in that 10 minutes to make the workout effective. One way to do that is to keep your rest periods low. You won’t get much work done if you are resting 2-3 minutes between sets. A good goal is 15-20 seconds break between sets. You will be in great condition if you can do that. Even better, pick up the kettlebell and workout 10 minutes straight without putting it down. When you can workout 10 minutes straight with no rest then you need a heavier kettlebell to make these short workouts effective.
I suggest you get a Gymboss timer to keep track of the time worked and to control your rest periods. We all have a tendency to rest longer than we think. When the timer goes off and the rest period is over you should have the bell in your hands and ready to go as soon as the timer beeps. You waste more time than you think getting ready for the set. Part of your rest period should be getting ready for the next set so when that timer beeps you are moving immediately. No wasted time here.
4. Use the appropriate size weight. You can’t grab the lightest weight you have or the heaviest. You need a weight that is going to be challenging but not so challenging that you have to increase your rest periods to get through the workout.
5.Work in a circuit. Keeping with the goal of getting as much work done as possible; circuits are your best bet. So, what do I mean by that exactly? I’ll give you a sample workout so you get the idea.
- Swings – 15 reps
- Clean and press – 5-10 reps per arm
- Front squats – 5-10 reps
- Snatch – 10 reps per arm
Work each exercise one right after the other with little or no rest. That is one set. Do as many sets as you can using the whole circuit in 10 minutes.
Here is another example using combination drills in a circuit:
- Swing, Clean and Press, Overhead Squat = 1 rep (one new exercises)
- Clean, Front squat, Push Press = 1 rep (another new exercise)
Here’s the workout in a circuit.
- Swing, Clean and Press, Overhead squat x 3 reps each side
- Clean, Front squat, Push Press x 5 reps per side
All the above is one circuit. Do as many sets as you can in 10 minutes with very little rest.
There really is no reason to miss a workout when you know how to structure an effective 10 minute workout. It’s definitely worth the thought and effort. It will help keep you on track to reaching your goals in 2009. Not to mention the mental benefits of getting a great workout in when you could have easily blown it off because “you didn’t have time”.