Published August 02, 2013
Got 600 seconds? You could run a mile...or get creative. Try any of these fun ways to squeeze in a calorie-torching workout, indoors or out.
1. Mix stairs and burpees
If you've only got 10 minutes, keeping your heart rate up throughout is important, Kristen Stehly, a personal trainer and fitness blogger at StuftMama.com, said. But that doesn't mean you need to do the same thing at the same intensity the whole time.
"Intervals work better at blasting calories than steady-state exercise," she said. And one of her favorite quickie workouts requires nothing but a set of stairs: Run them at full speed, then do five burpees at the top, then run back down and repeat as many times as you can.
2. Climb a rock wall
You may not be covering much ground horizontally, but scaling a vertical surface takes plenty of energy: Ascending can burn about 118 calories in 10 minutes. You'll also earn you a toned butt and sexy, sculpted legs. It may look like it's all arms, but the real secret to success is finding good foot holds and pushing yourself upward with your lower body.
Related: 20 Superfoods For Weight Loss
3. Take a spin
A high-intensity Spin class—complete with lots of standing up in your saddle and cranking the resistance up and down—will burn about 139 calories in 10 minutes.
"If there's no class going on but you can still hop on a bike at the gym, pick three fast-paced songs on your iPod and just go all out," Stehly said. If you're outdoors with a real bike, 10 minutes of vigorous cycling (pedaling at 14 to 16 miles per hour) will burn about about 100 calories.
4. Score a goal
You won't burn much just standing on the field, but if you're dribbling, shooting and defending during a competitive game, soccer can burn about 107 calories in 10 minutes. Besides the fact that it requires pretty much constant running, soccer is a great workout because it involves so much lateral, back-and-forth movement—which will work different muscles than what you're probably used to using.
Related: Secrets To Firing Up Your Metabolism
5. Pair dumbbells and plank jacks
Sohee Lee, a trainer at New York City's Peak Performance fitness center, reaches for a pair of dumbbells when she only has 10 minutes to spare.
"Most women can handle 10 to 15 pounds in each hand," she said. Hold them at your shoulders and do seven squat presses—it should take you between 20 and 40 seconds. Then take the rest of that minute to rest and recover. Then switch to plank jacks: Start in plank position and jump your legs out wide, then back in—like you're doing a horizontal jumping jack with your legs. Again, do seven reps, and spend the remainder of that minute resting. Repeat the sequence 10 times.
6. Jump rope
There are few ways to get your heart rate up quickly (without moving far from the spot you start in) than jumping. Even jumping rope at a moderate pace—one at which you break a light sweat and can carry on a conversation, but your breath is quickened and you wouldn't be able to sing—will burn about 107 calories in 10 minutes; add in some fast-paced intervals to torch even more. And if you can't jump for 10 minutes straight, Stehly said, that's okay.
"Go as hard as you can for 40 seconds and count how many jumps you can do, then rest for 20," she said. "Every minute, go again and try to top your previous count."
Related: 2013 Best Healthy Beauty Buys
7. Step it up
Step aerobics have been around for a while, but they're still one of the best ways to burn a lot in a little bit of time. Choose a 10- to 12-inch step platform and you'll sizzle about 107 calories in 10 minutes. No Step class at your gym? Find a plyo box and create your own 10-minute workout Stehly said: Warm up for three minutes by stepping up onto and down off the box, one foot at a time—quickly enough to break a sweat but not so quickly that you're compromising form or safety. Then add in five explosive box jumps every minute, on the minute, to really get your heart rate up. Remember: It's only 10 minutes; you can take a break afterward, not during!
8. Try plyometrics
You don't need a rope, a step or a plyo box to get the benefits of a jumping workout. An equipment-free 10 minutes on level ground can still burn 100 calories if you're keeping your intensity levels up and doing the right weight-bearing exercises. Try trainer Sean Burch's plyometrics routine, with moves like the pop-up and the pogo stick (they're just what they sound like). The secret is to transition quickly from move to move, and to fit in as many reps as you can (without compromising form) for each.
9. Throw some punches
Kickboxing's combo of strength training and constant movement blasts more than the punching bag: It sizzles away about 107 calories in just 10 minutes. For the best overall workout, look for classes that emphasize cardio, rather than just boxing technique. (Want to burn even more? Add a 15-pound kettlebell to the mix and try our kettlebell-kickboxing workout to burn 300 calories in just 22 minutes.)
10. Add sprints to any cardio
If you don't feel like going for a boring old run, adding some intervals will help you pass the time—and burn more calories. Find a hill, Lee suggests, and sprint up it for 15 seconds. Take 45 seconds to recover slowly back down; repeat 10 times. These types of speed intervals can be added to any cardio exercise—the elliptical at the gym, swimming in the pool (minus the hill, obviously), or biking in the park, she adds. And science shows they work, too: Tabata training, a type of four-minute interval that alternates 20 seconds all-out effort with 10 seconds of recovery, has been shown to blast 13.5 calories a minute!
This article originally appeared on Self.com.