Resize your thighs, flatten your belly, and firm your butt—in record time
Here’s the thing about the relationship between time and exercise: Even if we could all find five free minutes each day (and it’s safe to assume most of us can), we likely wouldn’t use it to work out.
That’s because many women assume that five minutes isn’t long enough to actually help drive results; plus, not many workouts are created for super-short time frames. What ends up happening: The women with a something-is-better-than-nothing attitude do a few minutes of crunches, pushups, and lunges in their living room. Better than nothing? Sure. Best they can do? Not even close.
Whether you’re short on time or motivation—or you’re tired, or can’t make it to the gym—this routine will keep you on track to a hot body. It’s five exercises, five minutes, but that doesn’t mean it’s a breeze: Just as with sprints on a treadmill, you’re going to have to push hard. (That’s what helps dial up the calorie burn and your metabolism.) Plenty of moves can leave your lungs and muscles burning, but this workout is designed to build functional, balanced total-body strength—and, of course, kick-start your fat burners—in as little as five minutes.
Think of this as a piece of your weekly puzzle: Do it when you’re traveling or stuck at home with no equipment. Or, if you’re thinking about skipping your planned 45-minute workout, commit to finishing this (even at half speed). When you’re not pressed for time, do the circuit three to five times for a longer sweat session. (It’s also a great back-pocket workout, for when you get to the gym with no plan and need something effective and easy to remember.)
The following workout is from my new book, Shape-Up Shortcuts. It’s a shortcut, fat-burning workout that actually works. It’s also one that leaves you with zero excuses.
The workout couldn’t be simpler: Choose one of the interval patterns here and complete the following exercises in order. Both of them burn calories, build muscle, and blast fat, but the different work-to-rest ratios generate a slightly different metabolic response. Alternating between them can help speed up results and offer just enough variety to fight mental fatigue.
30:30 Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. (Rest 60 seconds at the end if you’re doing more than one round.)
50:10 Complete as many reps as you can in 50 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. (Rest 60 seconds at the end if you’re doing more than one round.)
MOVE 1 Marching Glute Bridge
Lie faceup with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees (a). Lift your right knee toward your chest (b). Hold for two seconds; lower and repeat with your left leg. That’s one rep.
MOVE 2 Inverted Shoulder Press
Place your hands on the floor outside your shoulders and raise your hips so that your torso is nearly perpendicular to the floor (a). From that position, bend your elbows to lower your body until your head almost touches the floor (b). Pause, then push back to start. That’s one rep.
Quick Tip: Place your feet on a step or bench to increase the challenge.
MOVE 3 Alternating Switch Lunge
Step your right leg forward and bend both knees to lower into a lunge (a). Press through your right heel to return to standing, keeping your foot lifted, then immediately step your right foot back and lower into a lunge (b). Press through your left heel to return to standing. That’s one rep.
Quick Tip: Make it easier by placing your foot on the floor each time you pass the starting position.
MOVE 4 Skater Hops
Stand on your left foot with your left knee slightly bent and your right foot slightly off the floor (a). Jump to the right and land on your right foot, bringing your left foot slightly off the floor (b). That’s one rep. Jump to the left and continue alternating as quickly as possible.
MOVE 5 Rotating T Extension
Start in a pushup position (a). Keeping your arms straight and your core engaged, shift your weight onto your left arm, rotate your torso to the right, and raise your right arm toward the ceiling so that your body forms a T (b). Hold for three seconds, then return to start and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.
Quick Tip: Make it harder by adding a pushup every time you move from side to side.