Torch calories, fry fat, and sculpt lean muscle with this anytime, anywhere body-weight routine
There are lots of machines that can help you get slim and sculpted, but there's one that is sometimes overlooked: you! "Your body is the best piece of equipment you have," says New York City personal trainer Amanda Russell.
But while banging out pushups and squats means never waiting in line (or even stepping foot in a gym), you can make any home workout better with a simple tweak. This bodyweight workout, created by Russell, is based on a concept called complex training, which piggybacks a strength move with a quick, explosive one. Research shows that this one-two punch works so well because it requires your muscles to work overtime. The strength move tires out your muscles, which means your body has to recruit even more muscle fibers to power through the plyometric move. Training this way not only makes you stronger, faster, and fitter but also boosts your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories during and after your workout.
Try this routine two or three times per week. Do the first move for 30 seconds, then do the second one for 30 seconds. Rest one minute; repeat three more times. Perform the third and fourth moves in this same pattern. Push yourself to do more reps during each successive workout.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands behind your head, and elbows out to the sides (a). Bend your knees and sit back as far as you can (b). Push back to start, then kick your right leg in front of you, foot flexed (c). That's one rep. Repeat, kicking with your left leg, and continue alternating.
Step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge (a). Jump straight up off the floor (b), swinging your arms forward and switching your legs in midair, like scissors. Land in a lunge with your right leg forward (c). That's one rep.
Get into a pushup position and place one foot on top of the other so that only the lower one supports your body (a). Lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the floor (b). Pause at the bottom, and then push back to the starting position.
Get into a pushup position with your arms straight (a). Bring your right knee toward your left elbow (b), return to start, and then bring your left knee to your right elbow. Continue alternating legs at a fast pace.