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Health and Fitness

The ultimate 10-minute workout for bikini confidence

Maria Bell
by Maria Bell Published on 8 July 2013
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Fast and effective workouts are every woman’s dream. Nobody wants to be sweating away in a gym for longer than they have to. So when we heard that 10-minute exercises can actually be the most effective way to keep fit, we jumped at the chance to find out what they were.

As adults it’s recommended that we get 150 minutes of cardio per week, which translates to 30 minutes per day. But getting from work, going to the gym, can turn that 30 minutes into a 2-hour slog. So if you break that down into 10-minute workouts that you can slot in 3 times a day, things start to get a lot more realistic.

So we spoke to a leading fitness pro - Jacqueline Wilson - from Energ-Eyes Fitness to find out the ultimate 10-minute circuit workout for fat burning.

Better get that sportswear on, this might get intense…

The ultimate 10 minute workout:

Jacqueline says: “This is a great little workout that you can do every day as it’s only 10 minutes long. It works all parts of the body and will give you a fantastic body ready for the beach this Summer.”

The beauty about this exercise is once you’ve learnt it you can use it as much or as little as you like, with great effects for both options!

“You can do it just the once or if you do it 4 times with a 90 second rest in between you have done a total workout. Just remember that the more you do, the better it is for you. I have included easier and harder versions of each exercise that you can build up to. If you wish to keep to just doing it once then make sure you do it every day and try to build up to the harder versions of each exercise."

Just warm yourself up to it first, if you’re not used to doing quite such an intense burst of exercise then it is much better for your overall health and safety to start small and work your way up. No-one’s going to judge!

Jacqueline says: “Please make sure you warm up first by doing a few step ups on your stairs, a few swings with the arms making sure you twist your body with each swing and a few shallow squats (only half way down). Just make sure you don’t do it if you have not been moving about.”

What you need to remember is timing is everything for this exercise so make sure that you keep your eye on that clock or set a timer.

“Each set is 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest for each exercise for 2 minutes.
Then 30 seconds of rest between each set. You will need a chair, a mat, water and suitable working out clothes.”

Ready to start?

Set No 1: Squats & Press Ups
Squats
Jacqueline says: “Stand with your feet hip distance apart, feet facing forward. Lower yourself down pushing your backside out behind you as if you were to sit on a chair.

"Make sure your knees are in line with your feet and they don’t go in front of the toes. Then return to the starting position.

"In the lowered position your thighs should be horizontal. If this is too hard then start off shallower until you feel you can improve to the lower position.”

Want to push yourself even more? Well don’t let us hold you back!

“To make this harder you can do a power squat. Same as above but when you are in lowered position use your arms to jump up so your feet leave the floor,” suggests Jacqueline.

Press Ups
Jacqueline says: “Place your chair up against a wall. Place your hands on the chair so they are in line with your shoulders. Make sure your body is in a straight line and your head is in line with your back.

"Bend at the elbows to lower yourself and descend until your shoulders go just below your elbows, then return to the starting position, keeping your body straight at all times.

"If you find this too hard to do then find a higher surface to work on like a table for example.”

Don't worry if you can't do this straightaway, just keep at it and don't give up, these exercises are supposed to be hard.

“When you can do this effectively you move lower and eventually move to the floor doing a full press up. Stay in the correct position at all times for effectiveness,” she continues.

Set No 2: Lunges and Tricep Dips
Lunges
Most of you will know how to do a simple lunge so you can breathe a sigh of relief at this point in the workout.

Jacqueline says: “Standing with your feet hip distance apart step forward with your left leg and bend both legs together so that both legs are bent at a 90° angle (right angle) and then bring your left leg back to the starting position.

“Repeat again with the right leg. Make sure that the movements are flowing and that you keep your body as upright as possible and your tummy tucked in.”

Tricep Dips

For this exercise you’ll need a few props so make sure you’ve got plenty of room.

“Sit on a chair and place your hands on either side of you. Holding onto the chair, with your hands facing forward, slip your bum off the end of the chair.

“Lower your body using your arms, keeping your elbows behind you and bending at the elbows and then using your arms, lift yourself up so that your arms are now straight and repeat,” she says.

Set No 3: Sit Ups and Wall Squats
Sit Ups

It’s time to get your mat and lie down on the floor.

“Lying on the floor with your body outstretched and your arms up above your head slowly raise your body keeping your arms up and roll yourself forward to aim to touch the toes then slowly roll the body back down to the floor and repeat,” Jacqueline says.

It’s tempting to cheat with sit ups and raise your legs but Jacqueline says it’s important to keep them firmly on the floor throughout the exercise.

Wall Squats
If you’re looking for a way to tone up your legs then this is the exercise for you. Just prepare for those thighs to really feel the burn.

“Leaning your back up against a wall, slowly lower your body down so your legs are at a 90° angle (right angle) as if you are sitting on a chair. Keep this position for the 20 seconds then raise yourself back up,” says Jacqueline.

Set No 4: Step Ups and Ball Pass
Step Ups
If you used to go to a step aerobic class in your youth then this exercise should be pretty easy for you. Targeting your legs and great for cardio, the step up is a really efficient exercise.

“Using your stairs, place one foot on the first step and then the other foot, then bring the first foot down and then the other one. Making sure you place the whole foot on the step. Repeat, speeding up as much as possible,” says Jacqueline.

Ball Pass
Ball passes are notoriously hard work but that said, they work so just keep going.

Jacqueline says: “Lying on your mat with your body in a straight line. Using only your core muscles, making sure they are engaged, raise your arms and legs up off the floor at the same time, making sure that the rest of your body stays on the floor.

“Keeping your arms and legs straight, raise them up together until they meet each other. Then lower back to the floor keeping the tension and not touching the floor until all ten have been done. You can do this with a stability ball if you have one but this is not necessary.”

If you don’t have a stability ball then there’s plenty of things around the house that you can substitute for it. Try a can of baked beans or even a cushion as weights; they’ll help to steady you as you complete the exercise.

“You can pass the ball from the arms to the legs with one move, then legs to arms on the next move. If this is too hard, start with moving your left arm and right leg together then right arm left leg until you are strong enough to do both,” she says.

See, that wasn’t so bad!

by Maria Bell