How This Workout Works
Boost your flab-melting power right now as you shape sexy muscles. "To really stoke your engine and help you lose fat faster, this workout ramps up the intensity of strength training with blasts of cardio," says Zen Nguyen, corporate trainer for 24 Hour Fitness gyms, who teamed with the chain's head of fitness, Ingrid Owen, to create this speedy sculpting routine. You'll torch up to 10 calories a minute while targeting virtually every area of your body. (Our five testers lost an average of 8.2 inches all over!) Simply do these moves in a circuit, performing the Cross Jack, shown on the following slide, after each toner, three times a week on nonconsecutive days. Repeat the circuit once or twice. Mix these strength-and-sweat sessions with the "Cardio: Easy as 1, 2, 3!" formula for a hot body and a smokin' metabolism.
Do this calorie crusher between moves.
Targets: Arms and legs
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides. Jump feet wide as you raise arms overhead, crossing one wrist in front of the other.
- Jump feet together, crossing one foot in front of the other as you cross arms in front of hips.
- Continue for 30 seconds to a minute, switching arm and foot positions each time you jump.
Targets: Abs, butt, and legs
- Balance on right leg, left leg bent with foot slightly off floor in front of you.
- With hands on hips or extended in front of you for balance, lower into a squat on right leg, keeping right knee aligned with toes.
- Maintaining squat throughout, extend left leg out to left, toes facing forward and foot flexed; lower left leg.
- Do 10 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Trainer's Tip: Lift your leg as high as you can while staying balanced and without having to lean to the opposite side.
Targets: Back, chest, arms, abs, butt, and legs
- Get in full push-up position on floor, arms extended with wrists under shoulders, body forming a straight line from head to heels.
- Step right foot forward to bring right knee toward right elbow as you reach forward with left hand.
- Switch sides, bringing left knee toward left elbow as you reach forward with right hand.
- Remaining in crouched position throughout, continue crawling forward for 30 seconds and then reverse movement to return to start. (No space? Alternate crawling two steps forward and then two steps back.)
Trainer's Tip: Don't let your hips rise too far up as you crawl.
- Lie on left side next to a wall with back facing the wall, head resting on left hand, right hand on floor in front of body for balance. Extend legs forward so that they're slightly in front of body.
- Press right heel back against wall behind you, foot flexed with toes pointing forward. Keeping hips and shoulders squared forward, keep pressing heel against wall as you slide foot up as far as you can. Lower leg (still pressing heel) to start position.
- Do 10 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Trainer's Tip: If your hips shift forward during the leg lift, you've gone too high.
Lunge to Push-Up
Targets: Chest, shoulders, arms, abs, butt, and legs
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Step forward with right leg and lower into a lunge, both knees bent 90 degrees.
- Lean forward over right thigh and place hands on floor on either side of right foot. Step right foot back so that you're in full push-up position and then bend elbows, lowering chest toward floor. MAKE IT EASIER: Simply hold push-up position for 1 count without lowering.
- Press up, bring right foot forward again, rise up into a lunge, and step back to return to start.
- Switch legs and repeat. Do 10 reps, alternating sides.
Targets: Back, shoulders, arms, abs, and butt
- Sit on floor with hands behind hips and knees bent, feet flat. Lift hips into tabletop position (torso is parallel to floor) so that ankles are aligned under knees and wrists are aligned under shoulders, fingers pointing forward or slightly out to sides.
- Walk forward 4 steps, then stop and extend right leg up as you reach left hand toward right toes. Switch sides and repeat, then continue walking forward another 4 steps.
- Continue for 30 seconds to a minute, then reverse the direction to return to start.
Trainer's Tip: Look slightly forward or up as you walk, whichever is most comfortable for your neck.
Rolling Sit-Up Step 2
Cardio: Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Your aim in this lose-weight game is to accumulate 100 points' worth of weekly aerobic exercise — run, walk, hike, swim, bike, whatever you like — in addition to your sculpting sessions. Here's how it works: For every 10 minutes of cardio at a moderate intensity (that's one at which you can talk in choppy sentences), give yourself 10 points. For every 10 minutes at a vigorous level (at which you can't maintain a conversation), make it 20 points. The goal is to compile 100 points during the course of the week; for faster weight loss, shoot for 150 points. We'll get you started with some examples of how to dice up that cardio to fry calories in no time.
- Three 30-minute moderate sessions + 5 minutes of vigorous exercise
- Two 30-minute moderate sessions + one 40-minute moderate workout
- One 20-minute moderate session + two 20-minute vigorous workouts
- Two 25-minute vigorous sessions (time-saver!)
- One 30-minute vigorous session + one 40-minute moderate workout