The perfect 10 minute workout

The right exercises for the mini workout

Perform these 3 exercises when you have limited time

Getting to the gym, including finding a parking space, changing room and with all the bells and whistles hardly works without planning. In our busy everyday lives, we can’t help but consciously prioritise training times if we want to take care of shopping, doctor’s appointments, friends and family in addition to our jobs.

But does it always have to be the gym or isn’t a little workout with your own body weight enough – just a little workout for in between? And if so, which exercises are particularly recommended?

Markus Bremen, personal trainer and owner of the move better studio in Cologne, gives concrete tips for exercises that are as universally suitable as possible so that you can challenge your body as comprehensively as possible in a short time.

Basis for your mini-workout: fundamental movement forms

What basically applies to a reasonable selection of exercises based on functional training can also be applied to a short workout in a few minutes. Take into account the different movement patterns of the human body and the associated muscle groups, and you can challenge your body holistically with just a few exercises. Enough of the introduction, let’s go!

Holistic mini workout with only three exercises

Exercise #1

Knee dominant movement: SQUAT

The “mother of all exercises”, the squat, uses all the major muscles of your legs: the calves, the rear and front thighs and the glutes. Your abdominal muscles are also involved to ensure a stable body position during the centre of gravity shift.

Alternative exercises without training equipment: lunge, different variations of squat



Pull exercise: LAT PRESS

A much less common exercise is the lat press on the floor. You lie on the floor or mat with your back, arms and legs bent and push yourself up 20-30° with your back straight and both elbows.

Your back muscles, especially the latissimus, have to work, as well as the higher trapezius and the rhomboids underneath, and – again – your abdominal muscles.

Alternative exercises without training equipment – a little inventiveness is required here: rowing underneath a (stable!) table, bent-over reverse flys with a bottle or other weight, rowing on a towel around a bar or other fixed point, bent-over single-arm rowing with an ordinary object (e.g. detergent box).


Exercise #3

Push exercise in combination with core exercise: PUSH UP with SHOULDER TAP

The combination of the good old push-up as the push movement and the shoulder tap, in which you tap the opposite shoulder with one hand at a time without rotating your hips and shoulder girdle, puts a large part of your muscles to work. Besides your arm extensors including the shoulder area and your chest muscles for the push component, your entire core area including abdominal, gluteal, lower back and front thigh muscles are involved to keep your body board stable and parallel to the floor.

Alternative pushing exercises without equipment: push-up variations in all their forms (changing the angle by increasing the hand or foot position, variation of hand position), dips on a chair


With these three exercises or alternatives of the respective movement pattern, you can achieve an effective full-body workout in just a few minutes. This mini-workout is characterised by the fact that it uses a lot of muscles and has a high energy metabolism.

Pack these exercises into a circuit and use a workout timer app on your mobile phone (available here for Android or iPhone). Depending on your performance level, choose a load time of 30-50 seconds of load and 15-25 seconds of rest. Repeat this protocol for 3-5 rounds. In an example calculation, that makes a total of a 9-minute workout for three exercises of three rounds of 40/20 second load/break. That leaves you exactly 23 hours and 51 minutes for your remaining to-do’s during the day.