This is the ultimate 10-minute workout, according to a fitness trainer

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If you use workouts or crash diets for quick weight loss, you might have the wrong idea about what a lifestyle of fitness truly means. However, fitness expert Jessica Mazzucco, NYC Certified Fitness Trainer and founder of The Glute Recruit, has some different notions about how to mentally reframe fitness – along with an exclusive circuit crafted just for Ladders readers.

Thinking about workouts in the wrong way

With a Master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University and seven years of experience in the fitness industry, Mazzucco uses her skills in empathy and communication to approach training. So while you might want to work out in order to shed those quarantine pounds, Mazzucco states that a mindful lifestyle of health and wellness is worth so much more than that.

“When people think of exercising, they automatically think of losing weight,” Mazzucco says. “Although exercising is a great way to lose weight, there are so many other reasons to exercise… mental health benefits, boosting mood and energy, and celebrating all your body can do.”

Additionally, while losing weight is an added benefit of exercise, one’s main goal should be increasing their ability to accomplish various activities without a huge amount of physical effort. Mazzucco notes that exercise and movement are “essential for many of our body functions,” and in a way when we begin to reframe the way we think about activity, we can change our whole lives.

“When you shift your mindset and think about the other benefits of exercise,” Mazzucco adds, “this can help you stay motivated and make you want to work out, rather than making it feel like a chore.”

The 10-minute workout

That being said, just walking to your kitchen and back doesn’t count as a workout – you need to set some time for yourself throughout the day, and approach working out with the intention of building strength and stamina. Mazzucco has provided an exclusive 10-minute workout option, just for Ladders.

“You are going to start with a squat with bicep curl to overhead press with calf raise,” Mazzucco says. This means that you start holding your dumbbells in a squat, then do a bicep curl, and finally finish with an overhead press, raising your calves by shifting your weight to your toes as you execute the overhead press.

“This is a great workout for those who haven’t exercised in a while. This exercise works the glutes, biceps, calves, and shoulders. Try using dumbbells that are anywhere from three to five pounds, and if this feels too easy, increase the weight of your dumbbells. Complete 10-15 reps, and repeat one to three sets.”

“Next,” Mazzucco says, “you will perform a bent-over back row.” She specifies that within your 10-minute circuit, this particular exercise focuses on your rotator cuffs, rhomboids, and lats.

“During this exercise, you want to ensure that your back is not rounded,” Mazzucco instructs. “If you find that your back is rounding, lie chest down on a bench that is at a 45-degree angle. Then row the weights up to your chest, pause, and then lower them. Once you have mastered this, you can try standing and performing the exercise, increasing the difficulty. Perform seven to twelve reps, and repeat one or two sets.”

Mazzucco’s next exercise for Ladders readers is a glute bridge, which targets the hamstrings, gluteus minimus and Maximus, and abs.

“First, start with your knees flat on the floor and complete one or two sets of 14 to 24 reps. If this starts to feel easy, lift your toes, and press through the toes. This way, you are forcing your quadriceps muscles to do more work.

The second to last exercise on your 10-minute circuit is a single-leg Romanian deadlift. This also works your glutes and hamstrings but also focuses on your spinal erectors, the muscles on each side of your spinal column.

“Start with lightweight dumbbells,” Mazzucco says, “and perform six sets of six repetitions per leg. As your fitness level progresses, switch to heavier dumbbells, or try using a heavier kettlebell.

Your last exercise is the tried-and-true plank, a stable for those looking to improve their shoulders and core muscles.

“Try holding a plank for ten seconds,” Mazzucco recommends, “and then repeat three times. Increase the amount of time you hold the plank when this exercise is no longer challenging. The plank can be modified by dropping to your knees.”

The takeaway

One 10-minute workout can’t change your entire life, or the way you may dread working out. But if you stop putting so much pressure on yourself to lose weight through working out and instead enjoy the benefits of exercise as you go through your fitness journey, you may start to see the pounds fall off on their own.

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