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The 9 Most Effective Ways to Get Your Best Body

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The country's top exercise scientists tell you their favorite shortcuts to sculpt muscle, boost metabolism, and blast up to 65 percent more calories.

Blast Fat, Firm Muscles

What do the world's top fitness authorities know about getting a better body? Plenty, thanks to hundreds of studies, thousands of hours in the lab, and countless real-life success stories. We've asked nine cutting-edge exercise experts for their favorite tips on blasting fat, sculpting muscle, and improving each and every workout. Choose your top fitness goals, then read on for the research-proven strategies that get results.

Goal: Blast fat and firm muscle

Winning Strategy: Full-body cardio

Researcher: John Porcari, PhD, professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Adding upper-body movements to activities like walking or running is a surefire way to both blast extra calories and sculpt more muscle. The most effective device, according to Porcari's research, is the power belt, a strength-building apparatus worn around the waist, featuring spring-loaded handles for pumping your arms ($90 at walkerswarehouse.com). When it's set at a high resistance, you'll burn up to 65 percent more calories than by walking alone -- without the same wear and tear on your joints.

Another option is to use walking poles or hand weights, both of which burn up to 25 percent more calories.

No taste for tools? Even pumping your arms while walking (bringing your fists up to chin height) can burn 5 to 10 percent more calories than a typical arm swing. Swimming, cross-country skiing, and rowing and elliptical machines with movable handles also provide good full-body workouts.

Next:  Get Strong, Fast

 

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