How To: Do a 10-Minute Workout

Time Inc. StudiosTime Inc. StudiosFitting exercise into your life is essential, but it can be a challenge. This workout is so quick, it can be done while you boil water for pasta. Follow this fun, practical routine for a toned, healthy body in just minutes a day.

What You Need: Yoga mat, light dumbbells (two to five pounds), jump rope

Follow These Five Easy Steps

1. Jump rope for two minutes
To warm up and raise your heart rate, start by jumping rope. To do this, hold the handles of the jump rope in each hand and stand with your legs together and your arms out at your sides at about a 45-degree angle from your body. Beginning with the rope behind your legs, swing it up over your head and under your feet, jumping a few inches to let the rope pass underneath. Continue for two minutes.

Try this At-Home Workout from Real Simple.

2. Lift weights in a rowing motion for one minute
Hold a weight in each hand. Stand with your feet a few inches apart and your knees slightly bent (but not locked). With your stomach muscles tight, bend down from the waist and lower your arms straight down so that both weights are at knee level. Keeping your stomach tight and your neck aligned with your spine, bend at the elbows, bringing the weights up toward the top of your ribcage on either side of your body. At this point, your upper arms will be at about a 90-degree angle to your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Lower the weights back down to the starting position in front of your knees, separating your shoulder blades. Continue this exercise in a slow, controlled motion for one minute.

Tip: When starting a new workout routine, begin with lighter weights and increase them as your body builds muscle.

See Real Simple's Gym Essentials.

3. Work your inner thighs for one minute
Lay down on your yoga mat on the right side of your body, with your lower (right) leg straight. Your right foot should be flexed and facing forward. Bend your left leg and rest your left foot flat on the mat in front of your right leg, as high up toward your body as is comfortable. Rest your right forearm on the mat perpendicular to your body. With your weight on your right hip and your right arm, and with your stomach muscles tight, slowly raise your right leg straight up toward the ceiling a few inches, squeezing the leg muscles. Continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Aha! In this exercise, your legs provide the resistance, acting as weights.

Tip: You don't have to wait for alone time to do this workout. If your kids are around, have them count out your reps as you exercise.

4. Do bicycle crunches for one minute
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet about hip-width apart. Bring your hands up so that your fingers rest loosely behind your head with your elbows pointed straight out on either side. Holding your stomach muscles in, bring your knees up so your thighs are pointing toward the ceiling and your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Raise your head and the tops of your shoulders off the mat. Straighten your left leg while bringing your right knee closer to your chest. Twist your torso gently so that your right knee and your left elbow touch. Now straighten your right leg while bringing your left knee up, twisting your torso the other way so that your left knee and your right elbow touch. Continue, switching sides each time, for one minute.

Tip: As with all exercises, don't forget to breathe.

5. Repeat each exercise
For a 10-minute workout, repeat the whole circuit.

More from Real Simple:
How To: Do a 5-Minute Workout
Weekly Workout Plan Checklist
How To: Do a 15-Minute Workout