10-Minute Full-Body Workout for Small Spaces (Video)

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10-Minute Full-Body Workout for Small Spaces (Video)

As a professional soccer player for both the Houston Dash and the Canadian national team, I’ve become an expert in quick, no equipment needed workouts that I can do in small spaces. Below are five of my favorite on-the-go moves from my “Fit As A Pro: Workouts for Small Spaces” DVD. In this video, I use a pillow in place of a weight. Work your way up to doing 3-4 sets.

1. Med Ball Chop Start by standing with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Take the pillow in your hands and raise it above your left shoulder. While engaging your core, chop the pillow across and down towards your right knee. You should really feel this exercise in your obliques. Perform 10 chops on that side then perform 10 chops on the opposite side.

2. Overhead Squat While standing with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart, take the pillow in both hands and hold it above your head. While in that position slowly go down into a squat as low as you would like while keeping your core tight and digging your heels into the ground. It is important to make sure your knees are not going past your toes as you squat. It is also important to keep your chest up and to sit into the squat. Your quads and glutes should be on fire here. Perform each of these squats at a slow pace and hold for a few seconds at the bottom to really work the legs. If your arms get tired you can also hold the pillow in both hands straight out in front of you to change it up! Perform 10 reps.

3. Knee Push-ups Place the pillow on the ground and put your knees on top of it while crossing your ankles. Get into a pushup position making sure your back is making a nice straight line. Don’t hunch or arch your back. Make sure your core is engaged, feet off the ground, elbows are in and hands are shoulder width apart. Lower your upper body down for two counts. Push the floor away to come back to the starting position in two counts. Perform 10 reps.

4. V-ups This is one of my favorite ab exercises, I love to do this with a soccer ball or stability ball. While laying on your back, place whatever object you are using between your feet and squeeze it tight. Place your arms over your head. At the same time, lift into a V with both your arms and legs in the air. As you engage your core grab the object from your feet and go back down into a straight line. Make sure your feet and arms stay off the ground until you have completed all reps. Continue switching the object from arms to feet, and feet to arms. Perform 10 reps.

5. One Legged Glute Bridge Lay with your back on the ground and your knees bent. Place the pillow between your knees and squeeze into it. Remember to keep that engagement throughout the exercise. While pushing your left heel into the ground, extend your right leg out straight and hold it there. Raise your glutes off the ground while keeping your core tight. Continue to squeeze the pillow with your knees while pressing your left foot into the ground. Your body should be in one line from your knees to your shoulders. Then, keeping everything tight, bring your glutes back to the ground. Perform 10 reps each leg.

How did you like this small spaces workout? Tell me what you think in the comments below.


  • Gemma

    This is brilliant, just what I need to start taking small steps into being fit and healthy.

  • Jessica

    Great activities!
    Is this listed in the exercise database? If not, is there anyway these workouts you post could be? It would be great to have an estimate of calories burned by participating in these workouts.

    • Anna

      I couldn’t find them. Couldn’t even find how many calories you would burn on google doing them

      • DannielleFarmerona

        just as Kyle said I am dazzled that a person able to get paid $8791 in 4 weeks on the internet . view it now

    • SarahJay55

      This would be great. I can’t even get it to find ‘crunches’ in the exercise database!

  • Tina

    I like this quick and easy workout. Love the idea that you can get fit with a weight as light as a pillow!!! Did you play at zzz UCLA?

  • Br00ke

    I love the tips because one of the main reasons people don’t workout is because of not having enough time on there hands!!! So this is a great idea for people who are always on the go 😉

  • Marian

    Great workout!!! Surprisingly challenging! I could easily add this after my dog-walk… I can tell myself ‘Anyone can spare ten minutes…’

  • Cher

    Love these!!

  • Cher

    Love these!!

  • Jessica Tice

    Love this! Wish there was an option to log it directly!! Those V-ups are brutal!

  • JofJLTNCB6

    Did anyone else find the idea of a “pillow workout” funny? No one?

    (So I’m the only one here who occasionally thinks like a 12 year old boy? Hmph.)

    • Elaine Robles

      Cheaper then weights and the body resistance in the exercises adds the strength part. You can get strong and toned with this workout. Pushups, says work up top three or 4 sets of these.

      • JofJLTNCB6

        Did you actually read my post? I mean, actually read the words I typed and posted? I never argued against the supposed effectiveness of this workout.

        (…but that said, I got strong and “toned”…and nary a single pillow was used…except the one on which I laid my head at the end of the day…and I sincerely doubt I could have gotten the same results relying on pillow resistance.)

        Now that I think about it, I disagree with your assertion that it’s cheaper than weights. How much does five pounds of pillows cost?

        • Elaine Robles

          don’t need weights your body weight is the resistance

  • TG

    I saw this online and wanted to share.
    Different 10-Minute Trainer workouts burn different numbers of calories, but none will burn 500 calories in 10 minutes. For example, performing yoga exercises for 10 minutes will burn between 40 and 60 calories in total, while strenuous cardio exercise may burn between 80 and 120 calories in 10 minutes, depending on what you weigh. Vigorous resistance training workouts such as the 10-Minute Trainer total body and lower body workouts will burn about 80 to 120 calories in 10 minutes, as well. It will take you between one and two months to lose 1 pound if you perform only one of these every day and don’t cut back on calories.
    (So doing this 10 min video 3x/day would be about a good 350 cal burnt) every 3,500 is equivalent to 1lb of weight

    • Elaine Robles

      Pulse stays up after doing this workout for awhile it is good for toning. Gets everything adds strength. How about a mile walk added on?

      • Elaine Robles

        Says to work up to three or 4 sets of these. 4 sets would be 20 minutes. 20 minute cardio this could be the strength and resistance training part. great workout

  • Pingback: Watch the Pillow Workout in FULL! | FIT AS A PRO()

  • Melinda Holmes

    Great workout especially after my morning jog!

  • Cheryl

    Good ones for those of us that work and have small areas to work out in at home

  • darlene

    I have two knee replacements and a rebuilt back so find it hard to excersic that’s why I do lots of walking and walk stairs but you can’t put in the stairs that you do

  • Cassy

    I have a bedsit during the working week so these ideas are fab! Thanks

  • Annaw

    Great excercise to do in the home, found it quite hard by the last rep!

  • LeeAnn

    Looks like a great work out…especially for me cuz I’m 58. I think I can do this. Thank you

  • disqus_e9ijTyLH1I

    These look great, but I have recently (3 months ago) had a anterior hip replacement with a subsequent (2 weeks ago) dislocation.. now I’m afraid to do anything, even walking is a challenge. Any exercise suggestions besides the rehab ones I’m doing?

  • disqus_e9ijTyLH1I

    These look great, but I have had an anterior hip replacement (3 months ago) & subsequent dislocation (2 weeks ago) and find even walking a bit of a challenge.. Do you have any exercise suggestions for me? Dislocation happened while teaching yoga!

  • Lin

    I have a real challenge for you, Lauren. Design exercises for an older woman with balance problems and an ostomy. Too much strain in the core causes colon prolapse. And yet I dislike the lack of balance weak core muscles give me. Any idea?

  • Saabaa

    The Pillow is the key! Like it! Thanks!

  • A lot of my favorite exercises here! Amazingly, they’re effective even with a pillow!

  • MareBare

    LOVE THIS!! Thank you so much!!

  • Angelo

    Very and smart

  • alyssa

    How many calories do you burn just doing the reps of 10 of each

  • Kristina Wilson

    How do I log this in my fitness pal?

  • Lindi

    I shall be trying these tomorrow. I say trying, I bet that my son will have plenty of fun in stealing the pillow from me and running off up the garden with it. Hopefully this will be a routine that I can add in to help me tone up 🙂

  • John Long

    I had same comment as Jessica. Regarding calories burned and as far as in the database, I could just add manually for time spent and guesstimate calories. It’s quite a jolt to my sedentary lifestyle first time around. Thanks for the tip.

  • Merrilyn Tattersall

    Couldn’t open on YouTube to save so easy to find 🙁

  • Dave

    Ima road warrior and in hotels all the time, these tips will really help “hotelers”

  • Freddie

    The workout is great; thanks for that. I just wish writers would use correct grammar and tell us to “lie down on the floor,” rather than “lay down.” Drives me nuts.

  • Jim

    Thanks Lauren! Not only are they good exercises for tight space, but also for the coming winter weather, when it’s cold outside and hard to get motivated for a run, jog of brisk walk.