About This Workout
Celeb trainer Brett Hoebel from The Biggest Loser, Season 11, has perfected the cardio-plus-toning quickie in his 20-Minute Body plan. (Seriously, if we were stuck on a desert island, this is the routine we would be banging out to keep it tight until help arrived.) His mad-simple formula — four exercises done four times through — will whup every inch of you before you even realize it. "During the first two circuits, you may think it's a piece of cake, but by your third, you'll be dripping sweat," Hoebel says. Give yourself a two-minute warm-up (six reps each of jumping jacks, lunges, squats, and push-ups), then do each exercise for a minute without resting in between. Complete the circuit four times and end with a two-minute cool-down stretch. Hoebel is here with the soundtrack and motivate-you mantras that will see you through. Do the workout four times a week to be leaner, stronger, and lighter in less than a month.
Capoeira Reverse Lunge and Push Kick
Targets abs, butt, and legs
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and lower into a squat, elbows bent with hands in front of chest, palms facing each other. Step left leg back into a low lunge, placing right palm on floor and bringing bent left arm across chest, left hand near right ear.
- In one motion, press through right heel to stand on right leg, bringing left knee toward chest.
- Leaning back slightly, extend left leg forward, foot flexed. (As you kick, arm positions switch sides.)
- Return to reverse lunge, then step left foot forward into a squat position, feet about shoulder-width apart and hands in front of chest.
- Repeat move, this time lunging back with right leg. Continue alternating for 1 minute.
- MAKE IT EASIER: If you can't get your palm on the floor, lean slightly more to the side and touch down with your fingertips.
Targets shoulders, back, chest, arms, abs, butt, and legs
- Crouch with feet slightly staggered, right in front of left, and place palms on floor, left hand ahead of your right, with elbows slightly bent.
- Crawl forward advancing right hand and left foot at the same time so that left knee is bent out to side and right hip pivots toward left. (Try not to let knees touch floor.)
- Crawl forward again, this time left hand and right leg advancing.
- Crawl forward a third time, switching sides, then do a push-up with hands staggered, right in front of left.
- Reverse motion, crawling backward 3 steps, and do another push-up. Continue alternating for 1 minute.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Skip the push-ups.
Targets shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, and legs
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and lower into a squat, elbows bent, with hands in front of chest. Place right palm on floor beside you.
- Engaging abs, kick right legs diagonally forward and low to floor; hold left forearm in front of chest. (Keep left foot flat on floor for stability.)
- Spring back to starting position.
- Switch sides, placing left palm on floor and lifting left foot.
- Repeat kick, using left leg. Continue alternating for 1 minute.
Capoeira Sit-Up to Half Handstand
- Lie faceup on floor, knees slightly bent, heels down, elbows bent by sides, and fists in front of chest. Crunch up.
- In one motion, sit up tall and place right palm flat on floor beside you as you pivot body toward right to fluidly flip over into an inverted-V position with knees bent; place left hand on floor once you're facing downward.
- From inverted V, push off floor with both feet and, using core muscles as you keep knees bent, try to stack hips over shoulders and shoulders over wrists.
- Return feet to floor. From inverted V, roll back into start position.
- Crunch up and repeat, this time rolling toward left. Continue alternating for 1 minute.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Simply jump your feet a few inches off the floor in the inverted-V position rather than do a half handstand.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2013.