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If you have 5 minutes...
YOU CAN: Get your heart rate soaring, jolt your energy level, tone all of your muscles, and help your bones. The key? Plyometrics, or jumping exercises, which are best when done in small doses, so they're perfect for a micro-mini workout.
ESTIMATED CALORIES BURNED: 43
ROUTINE: Do all moves, then repeat sequence 1 time, resting as needed between exercises to catch your breath.
If you have 15 minutes...
YOU CAN: Target your biggest trouble zone. Fifteen minutes is just enough time to effectively work either your upper or lower body, says Lang.
ESTIMATED CALORIES BURNED: 96
ROUTINE: Complete either all of the shoulders/arms exercises or all of the butt/legs exercises, using a pair of 5- to 10-pound dumbbells. Work both muscle groups twice a week.Shoulders & Arms
(Perform as a circuit; do 4 sets, 12 to 15 reps each)
If you have 30 minutes...
YOU CAN: Get an amazing total-body workout, says Lang. Each of the following moves targets multiple muscles (think arms, legs, butt, and core) at the same time. Moving from one exercise to the next without resting, and adding in quick cardio bursts, will help you tone up and burn more calories.
ESTIMATED CALORIES BURNED: 256
ROUTINE: Use dumbbells that will keep challenging your muscles for 15 to 20 reps (5 to 10 pounds). After each move, do 1 minute of cardio (jumping jacks, jump rope, fast walking, jogging, step-ups, etc.), working at an intensity level of about a 7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Do the circuit 3 times.
If you have 45 minutes...
YOU CAN: Blast more than 400 calories while sculpting every muscle. Doing a steady-paced cardio session after each strength circuit will burn fat, improve your heart health and get you strong all over, says Lang.
ROUTINE: After completing 1 set of the strength moves in the 30-minute circuit (skip the cardio bursts), do 10 minutes of the aerobic activity of your choice (running, riding a stationary bike, using the elliptical or stairstepper machine, walking on an incline, etc.). Work at an intensity level of about a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 (you're slightly breathless, but able to maintain your pace). Do this strength/cardio circuit 3 times through.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July 2007.