Fast burn

Appears in the April 2019 issue.

By Steve Hlavac, CSCS

With spring right around the corner, this “Bodyweight Burn” workout will help you build muscle and elevate your metabolism, which will ultimately help you burn fat. The best part? No equipment is needed!

GOAL These two circuits include four movements each. The first is designed to help you get stronger and build muscle—it’s important you do this part first. The more muscle you have on your body, the more fat you’ll burn throughout the day at rest. The second circuit is designed to get your heart rate up and help you burn more calories throughout the day.

PLAN For each circuit, use a timer and allow it to keep running once you get started. You will perform each exercise for 20 seconds, followed by an immediate 20 second rest period. When the 20 seconds of rest is up, you will begin the next movement on the list. Once all movements are completed, you can either take a break or—for more of a challenge—go right into the next round.

Repeat the first circuit three to six times, then move on to the second, high-intensity circuit. This second circuit is designed to get your heart rate up, so make sure you go at your own pace and be safe.

Circuit 1 Strength & Core

Lunge Hold
Begin in a half-kneel position with your right leg out and your left knee on the ground. Lift your left knee off the ground and keep it as close to the ground as you can and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Yoga Pushup
From plank position, drop into a pushup, keeping elbows tight to body. Drive body away from the ground, leading with hips toward ceiling. Sink heels down and push head through arms, as in downward dog yoga pose. Return to pushup position and repeat.
Plank & Elbow Drive
Begin in a plank position with elbows slightly out in front of your shoulders. Once knees are lifted, squeeze glutes and drive elbows toward toes. If you’re doing this correctly, you’ll feel your abs fire up in a plank like never before!

Circuit 2 High Intensity

Squat Jump
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Bend knees and squat, push ground away quickly, and reach up with your hands. Repeat for the entire 20 seconds.
Lateral Mountain Climber
Begin in a pushup position with one knee bent in towards your chest and the other leg straight. (The foot of the straight leg should be wider than shoulder width apart.) Jump feet in the air and mirror the starting position with the opposite leg. Land softly on feet and continue for 20 seconds.
Elephant Walk
Begin in a pushup position. Walk hands in as close to toes as possible, while keeping legs straight. Walk hands out away from feet, back into pushup position. For an extra challenge, see how far out you can walk your hands past your shoulders. Hips stay at shoulder height throughout the exercise.
Imaginary Jump Rope
In a standing position, hold hands next to thighs, as if you are holding a jump rope. Begin hopping up and down off the ground, landing softly on your toes. The faster you go, the harder this will be!

Illustrations by Ievgenii Volyk