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High-Intensity Interval Training: 10 Exercises That Will Warm You Up Instantly
It's time to heat things up, and we don't mean by piling on the layers. Skip the itch and break a sweat instead with high-intensity interval training. Do these moves in fast, explosive sets to spike your heart rate and calorie burn, leaving behind one hot bikini body before the snow even starts to melt. So go ahead, shrug off that Snuggie and start getting toasty and toned.
Love your legs with these alternating lunges that zone in on your quads and glutes, giving you that to-die-for definition that's LBD-ready all year long.
Targets arms, abs, and legs
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding handle of kettlebell in left hand, arms by sides.
- Lunge forward with right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees, and pass kettlebell under right thigh to grab handle with right hand.
- Pushing off right heel, return to start position.
- Repeat, lunging forward with left leg and passing kettlebell under thigh to left hand. Continue, alternating sides, for 1 minute.
Toe Tap 360
Start doing this move regularly and you won't need heavy knits to hide winter pudge. Trade in trekking along on the treadmill for some soccer drill–inspired cardio to get your heart thumping and blood pumping in a flash.
Targets butt and legs
- Place medicine ball on ground in front of you.
- Alternately tap toes of left and right foot on top of ball, moving around it as fast as you can until you've made a complete circle.
- Continue for 1 minute (or 30 taps), changing direction with each rotation.
Give your body a one-two punch of fat-melting cardio and muscle-shaping toning in one swoop shot. Make sure to squeeze your glutes to add resistance to each squat, helping you to crush more calories with controlled movements.
Targets abs and legs
- Stand with feet wide, toes turned out slightly, elbows bent by sides, fists near chin.
- Lower into a squat and, keeping fists near chin, hinge forward from hips until torso is near parallel to floor; then fluidly sweep torso to the right as you straighten up (as if ducking a punch).
- Return to center squat and repeat, this time ducking to the left.
- Continue alternating sides for 45 seconds.
Burpee Box Jump
This one's going to burn, but the results are so worth it. Combine these two CrossFit cult favorites for a killer core and booty workout. Warning: Stairs are not going to be your friend a day or two after doing this one. But you and your skinny jeans? BFF4L.
Targets arms, abs, butt, and legs
- Stand behind box and squat, placing palms shoulder-width apart on floor in front of feet.
- Jump feet back into full plank position.
- Quickly jump both feet forward near hands.
- From squat position, jump onto box (step closer to box first if necessary).
- Jump back down from box and repeat.
- Do 14 reps.
Single-Leg Mountain Climbers
Take a cue from Jillian Michaels—the queen of high-intensity interval training—with this lower-body blaster. By isolating each leg as you bang out these sets, you'll combine strength training, cardio, and core work. Stick with this one for a tighter, toned total body you'll love showing off.
Targets shoulders, chest, upper back, triceps, abs, and legs
- Start in full plank position, balancing on palms and toes, body forming a straight line.
- Pull left knee in toward chest, keeping right leg extended.
- Keeping palms planted firmly on ground and left knee tucked into chest, jump right leg forward.
- Jump right leg back to full plank position.
- Continue hopping forward and back with right leg for 30 seconds. Switch legs for second set.
Alternate between high and low jumping jacks to fire up your muscles and metabolism in under a minute flat. Make sure to engage your abs as you drop down to your plank for a little bonus burn.
Targets shoulders, abs, butt, and legs
- Stand, feet together, then squat, crossing wrists in front of knees.
- Jump up, sweeping arms overhead and bringing legs out wide (body forms an X).
- Land in squat, place palms on floor in front of you shoulder-width apart and jump feet back so that legs are wide (in a modified plank).
- Hop both feet forward between hands; repeat, doing X jump.
- Continue for 30 seconds.
Plié Squat Jump
The higher the jump, the bigger the burn. Use power from your thighs to launch up and land softly in a plié squat to hit those pesky lower-body trouble spots.
Targets abs, butt, and legs
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out. Lower into a deep plié squat with hands clasped in front of chest.
- Jump as high as you can, tapping heels together in midair.
- Land with knees soft in plié squat position.
- Repeat for 45 seconds.
Think of this move as your hot body hat trick. It burns fat, sculpts shoulders, and boosts your biceps just by using your own body weight.
Targets shoulders, triceps, abs, butt, and legs
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then lower into a squat, placing palms on floor in front of feet.
- Kick your legs out to the side, as if you're doing a side burpee.
- Return to the center, stand up, and repeat on the other side.
Double Snap Kick
Do a rapid double-kick as high as you can to cook some serious calories. By pulling your abs in tight, you'll work your middle and transform your outer thighs and glutes all at once.
Targets abs, butt, hips, and thighs
- Stand with feet staggered, right foot forward, hands in fists near chin.
- Bend left knee, bringing heel toward butt as you turn hips to left so that left hip is stacked above right. Leaning your torso back slightly to counterbalance, kick out with left leg, straightening knee with toes pointed.
- Without lowering leg, bend left knee again (bringing heel toward butt) and do another snap kick, attempting to kick slightly higher than the first kick.
- Touch floor briefly with left foot and repeat.
- Do 10 to 15 double kicks. Switch sides and repeat.
A simple way to sculpt, wherever you are. The fast agility "zigzag" move is sure to leave you super sweaty. Do three sets of one minute each, aiming to beat your last set every single time. Don't have a jump rope? Use a rolled up towel or no equipment at all, jump back and forth from a fixed point to get the same results.
Targets abs, butt, and legs
- Straighten jump rope on floor. Stand with feet together to right of rope at one end, facing opposite end.
- Jump diagonally to left side of rope, keeping feet together, then quickly jump diagonally to right side of rope.
- Continue hopping forward in zigzag pattern until you reach other end. Reverse jumps back to start.
- Continue jumping forward and backward for 1 minute.