Blog Fitness Workouts Mini Workouts Throughout The Day: A New Effective Way To Get Your Workout In 

Mini Workouts Throughout The Day: A New Effective Way To Get Your Workout In 

What would you say if someone told you that instead of spending 30 minutes to an hour at the gym to either lose weight or gain muscle, you could instead do multiple mini workouts throughout the day and achieve the same results? You, like most people, would probably think that this was highly unlikely.

While this does sound incredible, scientific studies, as well as testimonials from people are showing that 10, 5 or even as little as 2-minute workouts throughout the day can provide great results.

Read on to find out how this is possible, how to do mini workouts throughout the day at home, how to make a mini workout routine and much more.

Are Mini-Workouts Throughout The Day Effective?

Yes, they are. Doing workouts in small bursts throughout the day can be just as effective as doing a long continuous 30, 45 or even 90 minute workout. 

When it comes to exercising for a weight loss, muscle gain or simply a better, healthier life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Department of Health & Human Services advise that every adult should make it a goal to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise — or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise – plus 2 strength training days a week (3, 5).

For most people, this means doing about 30 consecutive minutes of exercise a day. However, if you do not have 30 minutes to spare, breaking this down into 2, 5, or even 10 minute intervals can help you achieve this goal.

Several studies have shown that mini workouts can help you improve your health and have the same benefits as longer workouts

  • A study published in 2016 looked at the effect of short workout bursts vs longer continuous exercise in sedentary individuals.
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The shorter workouts involved 20-second ‘all-out’ cycle sprints (~500W), interspersed with 2 minutes of cycling at 50W, whereas longer workouts involved 45 minutes of continuous cycling at ~70% maximal heart rate (~110W).

At the end of the 12 week study period, researchers found that the cardiovascular health, the skeletal muscle mitochondrial content, as well as the insulin sensitivity, had improved in similar capacities in all groups (12).

mini workouts throughout the day  

  •  Another study looking at the effects of sprint mini workouts throughout the day found that these cycling bouts had the same effects as traditional sprinting workouts.

The mini workout routine group did 3 × 20-s ‘all out’ cycling bouts, separated by a 1 to 4 hours rest period. The more traditional group did 3 × 20-s bouts, interspersed with 3-min rest within a 10-min training session.

At the end of the 6 weeks study, researchers found that not only had the performance of all parties involved improved, but so did their volume of oxygen uptake during peak exercise. All these changes happened with no difference between the groups’ participants (9).

  1. In a review published in 2019, researchers found that, when comparing multiple short bouts dispersed through the day, versus a single bout of exercise, there was no difference in how these two options affected fitness, blood pressure, lipids, insulin and glucose (10).
  2. In an older review, published in 2001 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found that in overweight female subjects, doing short burst exercise routines (i.e. 2 times a day for 15 minutes and 3 times a day for 10 minutes) provided the same results as exercising for 30 minutes straight.
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Not only did their oxygen intake improve, but their weight and circumferences decreased (2).

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What Are The Benefits Of Mini Workouts Throughout The Day For Beginners?

Here are some reasons why you as a beginner may want to choose to do mini workouts at home (or at the office), instead of finding time to go to the gym for a longer workout.

  1. Health and weight loss benefits of mini workouts are the same as from longer workouts – As evidenced by the studies listed above, short bursts of exercises all through the day have the same health, mental and weight loss benefits as longer workout sessions.
  2. Great for time management – Sparing just 30 minutes a day to workout may be a no brainer to some, but to others, freeing up a consecutive 30 minutes is something that they simply cannot afford to do. 

However, they may be able to free up 5 to 10 minutes here and there throughout the day. For such people, mini workouts are a lifesaver, as they allow them to keep up with their demanding schedules, yet still live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Can work as motivation – The hardest step to doing anything is simply the first. Starting something is usually hard, either due to fear, procrastination, a lack of knowledge or other.

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However, as a beginner with a hesitation to start exercising, the fact that you are able to complete mini bouts of exercise throughout the day – say as little as 2 minutes at a time, can help you slowly but surely push yourself to do more and eventually change your health, physique and even, your life.

4. It’s a great stress reliever and mood booster – Life itself can be stressful, while exercise has been proven to help reduce stress levels. Instead of waiting to clock out so you can hit the gym and exercise your stress away, take 3 to 5 minutes away from your desk to do some light exercises.

This will  increase blood flow to your muscles and brain – which can  increase alertness and improve concentration. Stepping away from the stressful situation and concentrating on something else could even help you solve the issue.

Note, the less stressed you are, the more likely you are to be in a good mood (11, 6).

Read more: Micro Workouts for Weight Loss: A Game Changer In Your Fitness Journey

Can You Build Muscle With Mini Workouts?

In the same way that you can improve body composition and health through mini workouts, so you can also build muscle. Muscle grows when a stress or stimulus is applied, causing microscopic tears – with rest, adequate  protein intake and nutrition – it rebuilds and repairs itself.

In a study published in 2019 in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise researchers found that doing mini workouts, just 13 minutes a day, can help build muscle. 

While participants did a varying number of sets per workout, they all worked out for 13 minutes a day and in 8 weeks their muscles all grew by the same mass, strength and endurance, with no significance between-groups (7).

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mini workouts throughout the day  

Can I Do Cardio 3 Times A Day?

Yes, you can. Cardiovascular exercises are some of the easiest workouts that you can do 3 times a day. One study done on the benefits of mini workouts, using jogging as the exercise of choice, showed that doing short bouts of cardio 3 times a day has the same body composition and health benefits as doing a longer and continuous 30 to 60 minute workout routine (1).

Ps. If you choose to do any workout 3 (or more) times a day make sure that it is limited to mini workouts – up to 15 minutes at most per bout. Doing longer workout sessions multiple times a day could lead to overtraining and negative side effects, rather than the benefits from properly managing your time.

Some of these side effects may include (4)

  • Prolonged fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Unexplained mood swings, irritability and agitation
  • Reduced appetite
  • Reduced performance
  • More injury
  • Unwanted weight gain, weight loss or muscle loss
  • Loss of motivation

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What Are The Most Effective Mini Workouts?

Cardio and strength training exercises make up the list of the best mini workouts to do throughout the day. Because space may be limited, it is also best to choose exercises that do not require a lot of space to complete.

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Some exercises that we recommend adding to your mini workout routine include:

  • Jogging in place – For at least 1 minute
  • Calf raises x 10
  • Jumping jacks x 10
  • Bodyweight squats x 10/15
  • Forward and/or reverse lunges x 10 per leg
  • 30 second elbow plank
  • Mountain climbers x 20
  • Burpees x 15
  • Jump rope – As many as you can in 1 minute
  • High knees x 20
  • Tricep dips x 10
  • Push ups x 10
  • Sit ups/crunches x 10 – Remember that these two are not the only abdominal workouts for women or men. Other core workouts include options like leg raises, planks, flutter kicks, squats, lunges, etc. Core workouts do not only have to be those that directly target the core muscles.

Choose up to 5 workouts and do them in short bouts throughout the day.

Is 20 Minutes Of Exercise 3 Times A Day Enough?

Yes, it is. 20 minutes of exercise thrice a day equals to a total of 1 hour of exercise. Most continuous workout sessions tend to last anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes – so a cumulative workout session of 20 minutes 3 times a day is perfectly okay and enough to transform your body.

Read more: How 10-Minute Micro Workouts Can Improve Your Fitness?

mini workouts throughout the day  


  • How Often Should I Do A 10 Minute Workout?

It depends on the cumulative amount of time you wish to spend working out.

For example, if your goal is to use mini workouts to exercise 30 minutes a day, then doing 3-ten minute workouts will help you accomplish this goal. If the goal is 60 minutes of exercise a day then you will have to do 6-ten minute workouts every hour for six hours to hit this goal.

  • Is 10 Minutes Of Exercise Enough?

It can be. A 10 minute high intensity interval training can be enough to help you  transform your body. For sedentary people, a 10 minute workout routine like something as simple as a walking treadmill workout, can also help change your body. Remember that 10 minutes of exercise is better than nothing. Start with 10 minutes and work yourself up from there.

  • Is Working Out For 10 Minutes A Day Effective?

Yes, it is. Doing any sort of exercise, whether for 5, 10, 20 or even 45 minutes a day is better than leading a sedentary lifestyle, which has been linked with an increased risk of obesity, chronic illnesses, cancer and more (8).

However, it is important to note that if you want to see drastic changes in terms of weight loss or muscle gain, your 10 minute workout for the day needs to be suitable to your level and gradually increased over time.

Maintaining a calorie deficit will be a vital component to supporting weight loss and influence changes to body composition.

  • Can You Do A 10 Minute Workout Everyday?

Yes, you can, but it should still be well-planned. Workouts only work if you give your body and muscles time to rest and repair. This, however, is not the only benefit of rest days. Rest days also help:

  1. Prevent injury – Overworked and stressed muscles increase the risk of injury
  2. Reduce muscle pain and soreness
  3. Improve performance – Muscles like the rest of the body and mind work better after rest
  4. Improve sleep

Try having 1 or 2 rest days per week.

  • Which Are The Best Glute Exercises To Do As Mini Workouts Throughout The Day?

Some of the best glute exercises you can add to your routine include basic body weight squats, hip thrusts, Bulgarian split squats, donkey kicks, glute bridges, wall sits, jump squats, lunges, etc.

The Bottom Line

Mini workouts throughout the day are a good way to stay active and improve your body and body composition. If you feel like you do not have the time to do a long workout, try incorporating the above mentioned exercise in mini/short bursts to your schedule. Get up and try it. You do not need to try a 10 minute routine at first, even 2 minutes will do.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Effect of moderate-intensity exercise bouts lasting <10 minutes on body composition in sedentary Kenyan adults aged ≥50 years (2018,
  2. Effects of long versus short bout exercise on fitness and weight loss in overweight females (2001,
  3. How much physical activity do adults need? (2022,
  4. Overtraining Syndrome (2012,
  5. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (n.d.,
  6. Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults (2014,
  7. Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men (2019,
  8. Sedentary Lifestyle: Overview of Updated Evidence of Potential Health Risks (2020,
  9. Sprint exercise snacks: a novel approach to increase aerobic fitness (2019,
  10. The Effects of Continuous Compared to Accumulated Exercise on Health: A Meta-Analytic Review (2019,
  11. The Role of Exercise in Stress Management (2013,
  12. Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment (2016,
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