How to Get Your Body Beach-Ready in 10 Minutes a Day

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How to Get Your Body Beach-Ready in 10 Minutes a Day
Photo by Tobias Lindman.

In a perfect world, immediately upon waking every morning I would exercise for a whole hour, then toss back a fresh green smoothie – with ZERO cravings to wash it down with the bag of peanut butter cups that’s hidden on the top shelf of my pantry. Then I would sit down to write for an hour and feel incredibly fulfilled and energized and ready to tackle the day, all before my newborn and 5-year-old wake up.

All this would mean having to wake up at 4:00 am.

Ah, well.

A Typical Morning

I am lying in bed, blissfully unaware that the sun has come up. I have successfully tuned out the alarm going off twice and Ty hitting the snooze button. But then he nudges me, and I open my eyes to see a 4-foot blonde girl staring at me over the edge of the platform king bed. Then come the grunty sounds of the newborn waking up.

Photo by Evan.

I squint over at the alarm clock and see that I have exactly 22 minutes to get myself and the big girl ready and out the door to school. The baby gets a diaper change from her papa then enjoys a lazy breakfast with me tickling her every couple minutes to get her to hurry it along – which eats up 15 of my precious minutes.

Luckily, by then Abby is also done with her breakfast. I’m left with 7 minutes to nag her to get dressed and brush her teeth, and to throw on clothes myself – which is totally doable.

We made it! Who needs an alarm clock anyway?

And then I remember that I forgot to pack her lunch the night before.

As you can see: No workout.

But I can’t wait to get out of my transition postpartum wardrobe and back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, so something has to change.

This New Thing I’m Trying

I’m addicted to Pinterest. Checking for new pins is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do before I go to bed. And in between that, I spend roughly 3.2 hours of the day on that blasted web site.

So I made a rule. I’m not allowed to check Pinterest until I have completed a 10-minute workout. NOT. ALLOWED.

A 10-Minute Workout?!

How could you possibly see results from just 10 minutes a day?

Before I got pregnant this go-round, I had been exercising 2-4 times a week for 20-40 minutes a pop. Walks up and down crazy big hills, P90X workouts, Jillian Michaels’ yoga meltdown (which shouldn’t be classified as “yoga” at all, on account of the zero percent relaxation and 100 percent kicking your butt).

No results.

So because I am a fan of spreadsheets and data and doing stuff that’s proven out by research, I started looking around for something better. And I found The 4-Hour Body.

The subtitle? An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. Oh, heck yeah.

The Road to a Better Butt

This book isn’t designed to be read straight through. Instead, the author Tim Ferriss encourages you to read the introduction and then whichever chapters speak to you. Here’s the one that grabbed me: Building the Perfect Posterior (Or Losing 100+ Pounds).

I like the idea of a better butt. And the intro to the chapter sealed the deal:

The 4-Hour Body

This chapter will teach both men and women how to build a superhuman posterior chain, which includes all the muscles from the base of your skull to your Achilles tendons.

In the process, it will also teach women how to build the perfect ass and lose dramatic amounts of fat.

For maximum strength and sex appeal in minimal time, the posterior chain is where you should focus.

He goes on to tell the story of Tracy, a mom of two who lost 45 pounds of fat in 12 weeks by doing ONE VERY SPECIFIC workout twice a week for an average of 15-20 minutes. Another woman Fleur did that same workout three times a week for 5 minutes a session. In five weeks, she went from 21.1% body fat to 18%, and lost 3 mm of waist fat and 2 mm of tricep fat.


Especially if I can do it in 5 or 10 minutes a day, just three times a week.

What Is This Magical Workout?

The Kettlebell swing.

It looks like this:

As soon as I get the 6-week postpartum all-clear from the doctor, that kettlebell won’t know what hit it. I mean, swung it.

Want More?

For more realistic tips for getting in shape, follow my Pinterest board Quotes & Smartness.


Your Turn

What’s your trick for fitting workouts into your routine? Which workout has given you the best results? Share your tips in a comment below!

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  • Farmbunny

    Do you have any updtes on how you are getting on with the workouts?

    • Kelly @

      Oh wow.

      Okay, here’s my update: The first week I did this 3 times. AND I HURT SO BAD. Walking up stairs hurt the worst of all, but really just walking anywhere hurt. The next week I didn’t hurt as bad. But then the next week? I got sick and fell off the bandwagon.

      Between going back to work after maternity leave and Abby starting kindergarten and EXCUSE EXCUSE EXCUSE – I haven’t restarted in earnest yet. How lame is it that I can’t make the time to exercise for 10 minutes a day? Life is kinda crazy at the moment, but that’s really no excuse. Help! How can I get back on track?

      • Katie S

        I banned myself from Pinterest until I finish my current projects. My baby is three months old and his furniture is still not completely painted… Oops.

        You can try to find someone else who wants to get in shape. Call or text every day for motivation and to hold one another accountable.

        Have you tried taking the stairs at work, or trading your desk chair for a yoga ball? From what I understand, your co-workers already think you’re a goober (I’m paraphrasing here), so who cares if you sit on a giant inflatable bouncy chair? :)

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