Can A 12-Minute Workout Really Cut It? A Fitness Pro Breaks It Down

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There are so many fantastic benefits that come from making movement a part of your regular routine, from the rush of endorphins that boost your mood and banish stress, to the satisfying feeling of strength and accomplishment. And while admittedly everyone's fitness goals are different, experts do actually believe that an important factor in sticking with yours — and getting the most out of it — is how long you work out a day.

You've probably seen a ton of suggestions for 10-minute workouts you can do either at home or in the gym, and while it's certainly a step up from sitting on the sofa all day, is it actually enough to get the results you're craving (like improved energy and endurance and total body strengthening)? Well, sort of. According to Juliet Kaska, celebrity trainer and Vionic Innovation Lab member, a quickie workout can work — but you better use your time wisely and keep it consistent. Depending on what you can squeeze into your day and what level of fitness you're starting with (from not-so-active to super-athletic), there is a timeframe that's perfect for your lifestyle, starting with just 12 minutes. If you can swing that — or maybe even longer — read ahead to hear how the pro suggests splitting your time for a seriously effective sweat session that you can stick with.

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12 Minutes

"It's important to create a habit, and if 12 minutes daily is all your life allows for at this time, then make that commitment to 12 minutes a day seven days a week," Kaska says. "Check back in with yourself or your coach in 60 days and see if you can increase the time. For these 12 minutes, focus on cardio such as a light jog or even a full body fitness video (such as this one). The important thing is to make a commitment and stick to it every day."

20-30 Minutes

If you've got a bit more time with, Kaska suggests that 20 to 30 minutes, six days a week is a good place to start. "The workout could look something like this: 10 to 20 minutes of gentle cardio (a bike ride or moderate walk) where you can feel your heart rate rising but you are not exhausted," she explains. "The remainder of your 20 to 30 minute workout should be dedicated to strength training." To make sure your full body is worked equally, she recommends alternating days for upper body (with pushups and bicep curls, for example) and lower body (squats, lunges).

45 Minutes

No stranger to regular workouts? Go for 45 minutes, 6 days a week to really challenge yourself suggests Kaska. "Spend 30 minutes minimum doing a rigorous cardio workout — less important is what type of cardio, more important is getting your heart rate up," she explains. "The additional 15 minutes will be dedicated to strength training. Break [this up] into three separate workouts each done twice a week and each workout will work multiple body parts at once. For example, on the first and fourth days, your focus will be lower body with back and biceps (reverse lunges while simultaneously doing doing cable rows), the second and fifth days you could do chest and triceps (holding a bridge position while doing weighted chest presses), and the third and sixth days would be core-focused exercises such as forearm plank walks."

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