New York City

Your Ten-Minute Apartment-Friendly Workout

By Leyla Shamayeva

It was almost zero degrees outside. Even though it’s slightly warmer now, the puddles around the city are not feet-friendly. I won’t blame you if you’re reluctant to venture outside. I will blame you if you’re idle in your apartment, using winter as an excuse to do nothing all day.

Even though NYC apartments have a reputation for being small, the square footage of your space shouldn’t limit what you can and cannot do. The smallest kitchen space is enough to make homemade versions of your favorite Russian food. The narrow strip by your bed is enough to do a full-body, sweat-dripping, calorie-torching workout…that’s only ten minutes long.

Although the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans dictate that adults need 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week, it’s easier and just as effective when the time is broken up into 10-minute intervals, just like this.

PrecautionsAs always, consult with a health professional when trying a workout for the first time, especially if you have injuries, illnesses, or relevant health conditions.

Equipment neededYour body and a watch or clock. Make sure you’re wearing shoes for proper foot support, too!

General outline and directionsChoose 5 exercises to perform from the list below. Perform 50 seconds of the activity of your choice, followed by 10 seconds rest before continuing on to the next activity. Once you complete the 5, repeat.

Plank – Start off in one of the variations pictured and hold for the 50 seconds. Make sure your abs are engages and your back is straight in line with your butt and shoulders (no drooping allowed!).

Plank 1Plank 2

Push-up – Choose one of the variations pictured as your starting position. As with the plank, keep your abs engages and back straight. Lower as much as possible, making sure your elbows are pointing slightly inward (toward your  core) and not out.

Push-up 1Push-up 2

Squat – Start off with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders and your arms out, parallel to the floor. Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground (no tippy-toes!) while you pretend to sit back into a chair. The motion will result in your hips dropping first, then your knees bending.


High-knee jumps– Start off standing straight. Begin jumping, alternating between raising your knees up. Your knee should go above your belly button when you bring it up, and your arms can swing from side to side to assist you with the movement.

High-knee Jumps

Wall sit – This move will have your quadriceps burning. Keep your back against a wall and your feet firmly planted on the floor a few inches in front of you. Slide down until you form a box (or a 90 degree angle) with your lower legs, upper legs, the wall, and the floor. If you have access to a mirror next to the wall, practice in front of it to help you achieve the box shape.

Wall Sit

Leg balance –If you choose this, I recommend cooling down with it towards the end of your ten minutes. Stand straight, with feet firmly planted on the ground. Then lift one leg up and place your foot on the inside of the other leg’s inner thigh. You can lift your hands above your head to help with balance.

Leg Balance

Mountain climbers – Thought burpees were good? Mountain climbers are better. They engage your whole body! Start off in the plan position and then alternate between bringing your knees in towards your chest. Make sure you keep your back straight!

Mountain Climbers 1Mountain Climbers 2

Shadow boxing – Sounds silly, but this move is a fun way to get your heart pumping. Choose an imaginary target in front of you and focus on it. While on the balls of your feet and with knees bent, give that target all you’ve got!

Shadow Boxing

1 reply »

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.