Performing 10 push-ups every hour for 8–10 hours can be a great way to break up your work day when you can’t get to the gym for a regular workout. These micro-workouts can give you increased feelings of energy, improve your mood, and help you learn new exercise movements. A short, hourly workout may even help you maintain your fitness level if you can’t work out that day. However, performing 10 push-ups every hour is not a muscle- or fitness-building workout. The positive effects are mostly mental, not physical.
5 Perks of Doing 10 Push-Ups Per-Hour
If you can’t carve out a dedicated hour for a full workout, you may be considering the idea of sneaking in 10 push-ups per hour across 8–10 hours. Although this activity may not seem like much, it can do a lot of good. There’s even some scientific evidence that suggests working short bursts of exercise into our daily routines has some surprising benefits.
It seems counterintuitive that working out could give you more energy, but the truth is, it can. This scientific study put athletes on a multi-week program where they performed short cycling sprints. Most of the participants reported reduced feelings of fatigue and increased energy after the brief workout. Doing 10 push-ups—or another workout such as squats, jumping jacks, sit-ups, or pull-ups—can have a similar effect. You’ll feel recharged and ready to go.
Lower Triglyceride Levels
Short Interval Training (SIT) may improve your heart health. According to a UK University study, adults aged 66 and older who performed twice-weekly workouts focused on 6-second sprints experienced a reduction in triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels are linked to heart disease. So, while the science is still out on performing 10 or 20 push-ups every hour, there is evidence to suggest that short bursts of exercise improve your heart health.
In addition to increased energy levels, performing a short burst of physical activity is a mood lifter. The bonus to mental health provided by exercise is well studied and is known in psychological circles as “the exercise effect.” The simple act of stepping away from work for a minute or two every hour can boost your mood. These short intervals of bodyweight training may not cause you to build muscular endurance, but they’ll improve your mood and emotional well-being.
Helps Maintain Fitness
Some form of exercise is better than no exercise at all. If an intense schedule caused by work, school, or family has cut into your gym time, fitting micro-workouts into your day can help maintain your fitness levels until you get back to the gym. The physical challenge of regular exercise helps maintain essential mind-muscle links, which makes exercise movements second nature. So, make time for yourself with those push-ups to stay. They’ll help you stay ready for your next big workout.
Develop New Skills
Why stop at standard push-ups for your micro-workouts? Is there a new variation you’d like to try? Perhaps you want to master single-arm push-ups or plyo push-ups? Or maybe you’ve been considering adding archer squats, curtsy lunges, or ab rollouts to your gym routine? Use your exercise time at the top of every hour to work on unfamiliar exercises. You’ll build muscle memory and learn the movement, making it easy to blend new exercises into your workout plan once you’re in the gym.
Where 10 Push-Ups Every Hour Falls Short
Now for the bad news. Performing hourly sets of push-ups won’t significantly build muscular endurance or increase your upper body strength. Without a dedicated 20–90-minute workout, you won’t see true advances in strength or burn enough calories to reduce your body weight. So, while hourly micro-workouts bring many positives, they’re no replacement for dedicated strength training.
- Hourly micro workouts won’t help build muscle or lose weight.
- Micro-workouts are not an adequate alternative to a dedicated 20–90-minute workout.
- If you are considering replacing standard workouts with micro-workouts, reevaluate.
Whether you are beginning a fitness journey or are considering reducing your gym time in favor of hourly micro-workouts, rethink your course of action. Nothing beats a dedicated workout for an extended period of time, mixed with proper rest. If your schedule won’t permit you to regularly attend the gym, attempt to shift priorities so you can get uninterrupted workout time 3–4 times per week. You’ll get far more physical results from a longer workout, while a micro workout provides mostly a mental boost.
How to Use Short, Hourly Workouts To Your Benefit
Use your hourly workouts primarily as a mood lifter, energizer, and skill-builder. Instead of relying on micro-workouts for your physical health, try to think of it as a little time you make for yourself each hour. Use the training routine below to maximize your hourly workout results:
- Choose a time every hour for your micro-workout. Set reminders on your phone or computer to help yourself remember.
- Select a workout for the day—push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, squats, or sit-ups, just to name a few.
- Perform 10–20 reps of your selected workout every hour for 8–10 hours.
- Choose a different workout each day of the week to keep things fresh.
- Every week, make sure 2–3 of your workouts were not included in the previous week’s workout plan.
- Each week, choose 1–2 workouts you have never performed before. Try pike push-ups, T-pose supermans, or side kick squats.
With this schedule, you’ll constantly provide new, fun challenges for your brain at the same time you carve out personal time in the midst of a busy schedule. You may not gain much muscle tone and strength from this routine, but you’ll be happier, more energetic, and have some new exercises to choose from the next time you’re in the gym.
Should You Do 10 Push-ups Every Hour?
Whether or not you decided to incorporate 10 hourly push-ups (or another exercise) into your routine depends on your goals. If your goal is to reduce body fat or increase muscle, these micro-workouts will provide little to no benefit. However, if you’re looking to boost energy, break up the monotony of your work day, or learn new exercise movements, adding hourly workouts to your routine will help you achieve all these goals.