If you’re looking to slim down, get fit, and build strength, far too many people think you need to camp out for hours at a time at the gym. Though it may certainly help to train hard in many circumstances—depending on your goals and your fitness level—the truth is, you don’t necessarily need to spend that much time working out to see great results, especially if you’re working hard enough and you’re efficient with your time. After all, most of us nowadays don’t have as much time to focus on our fitness anyway—so we need to stick to routines that will give us the most bang our buck.
If you’ve only got ten minutes to squeeze in a workout, don’t worry: Assuming you’re adhering to a healthy diet, that’s plenty of time to transform your body. The workout I’ve designed below is super-effective at building muscle and slimming down because it targets every major muscle group. Best of all, you can do it anywhere with a pair of dumbbells. (Bonus: if you don’t have any dumbbells, I’ve provided alternative moves you can do instead.) Done right, it will burn fat, elevate your heart rate, and rev your metabolism.
If you’re game, set a timer for 10 minutes and perform as many sets of the following exercises as you can—back to back. And if you’re hungry for even more cutting-edge exercise advice, make sure you’re aware of The Popular Workout That Can Cause Lasting Damage to Your Body, According to a New Study.
Holding a pair of dumbbells up to your shoulders, squat all the way down, and as you come up, press the weight over your head. Lower the weight under control back to your shoulders, then perform another rep. Do 10 reps.
Alternative bodyweight exercise: Burpee with Jump.
Start by getting into a pushup position, then spring your feet forward towards you and jump up. Do 10 reps.
For more great fitness advice, know that This Is What Walking on a Treadmill Does to Your Body, According to Experts.
Holding a single dumbbell, get into a staggered stance. Keeping your core tight, drive your elbow back towards your hip, squeezing your lats. Do ten reps.
Alternative bodyweight exercise: Plank Bodyweight Row.
From the pushup position, take one hand and pull your elbow towards your hip, flexing your back, then with the other arm. Do 10 reps.
Get into a split stance with one foot forward and one foot back. Lower yourself all the way down until your back knee touches the ground, then push yourself up using your front foot. Do 10 reps with each leg.
Alternative bodyweight exercise: Bodyweight Split Squat.
Perform the same movement with just your bodyweight. Do 10 reps with each leg.
Keeping your chest tall and core tight, lower the weights in front of you while pushing hips back. Feel a hamstring stretch, then drive your hips forward, squeezing your glutes. Do 10 reps.
Alternative bodyweight exercise: Hip Thrust.
With your upper back supported on a sturdy surface or bench and knees bent, lower your hips, then extend all the way up, flexing your glutes at the top. Do 10 reps.
Want more great exercise tips? See Why Drinking This 30 Minutes Before Exercising Helps You Torch Fat!
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S., is a fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles. He helps busy men and women lose fat and build muscle without having to live in the gym.