Whether you’re hoping to shed a bit of weight after the holidays or you’re simply looking to tone up all over (who isn’t?), these eight moves will have your heart pumping and your muscles working in overdrive.
By combining full-body strength training moves with cardio intervals, you’ll blast fat and burn calories at an exponential rate.
If you really want to kick things into high gear, perform these moves in a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) circuit.
1. Sumo Squat And Overhead Press
This full-body move starts with the lower body and ends with the upper, requiring many muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, butts, abs and shoulders) to do the work.
- Start in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes pointed out.
- Begin with a weight in each hand or a medicine ball in both hands.
- Lower into a deep squat and hold. Don’t let your knees pass your toes.
- Push through your heels to stand up, pressing the weights or medicine ball up over your head as you stand.
- Return to the starting position. Do three sets of 15 reps.
2. High Knees
Get your cardio pumping between strength moves for an even greater calorie burn.
- Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides.
- Run on the spot, raising your knees as high as you can up to your chest.
- Don’t forget to get your arms pumping for extra momentum.
- Do this for 30 seconds to a minute.
This is a foundational exercise move that belongs in any workout to target your upper body and core.
- Kneel on a mat with your palms slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Straighten your arms and legs into plank position.
- Bracing your abs, push up onto your toes.
- (For added difficulty, do a slow push-up as you lift your right leg, and do another slow push-up as you raise your left leg.)
- Alternate sides and repeat.
4. Jump Squats
Now it’s time to really target your butt and thighs with this explosive move. Trust us, you’ll feel the burn in your lower body.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Inhale and raise your arms overheard with your palms facing each other.
- Exhale and sit back as if you’re sitting in a chair. Your legs should be bent at about 45 degrees.
- Keep your knees behind your toes, abs tight, and look forward.
- Make the move easier by keeping your feet hip-distance apart with your hands on your knees and bend only about 30 degrees.
- Make it harder by lifting your heels off the floor after you sit back, balancing on the balls of your feet and gazing up at your fingertips.
We know you dread them, but there’s a reason why they end up on so many of these lists: burpees are insanely effective. A full-body, no-equipment move you can do anywhere, burpees will get you fit, fast.
- Start in a standing position. Reach your hands down, place your palms on
the ground, and kick your feet back, landing with your chest on the ground.
- Push with your palms and raise yourself up into a squat.
- Jump off the floor and clap your hands overhead. Repeat until you’re exhausted.
6. Single-Leg Bridge Chest Press
This two-part move targets the chest, arms, abs and butt.
- Starting by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. (Alternatively, you can place your feet on a box to increase the difficulty.)
- Hold a weight in each hand at chest level.
- Squeeze your butt and lift your hips off the floor as you extend your arms and press weights toward the ceiling, forming a straight line from chest to knees.
- At the same time, straighten one leg out in the air.
- Return to start and do two sets of 10 to 12 reps for each.
7. Walking Lunges
If you want to make this move more difficult, hold weights in both hands.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms by your side.
- Step forward with your right foot. Lower your left knee toward the floor at about 90
- Keep your right knee over your right ankle and don’t let your knee go past your toes.
- Step forward, balance yourself, and switch feet. Repeat 15 to
8. Plank To Push-Up
End with another full-body move. This one targets your upper back, abs, butt and shoulders, but especially your core, so make it count.
- Start in a plank position on your forearms with your feet shoulder width apart and your lower back flat,
- Press your body up to a push-up position and then lower yourself back down into the plank.
- Do all the reps on one side or alternate sides for the recommended number of reps.