15-Minute Fat Blaster: 5 Moves for Fast, Full-Body Workout

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Published: April 27, 2015

Fitness

Time is arguably the most valuable commodity – even more precious than gold and diamonds! And when time is in short supply, exercise is often the first casualty as work and family commitments generally have to take priority. Unfortunately, this means that all too often, many people never get around to getting in shape, losing weight or enjoying all the other benefits of being fit.

However, did you know that a short, sharp, 15-minutes of intense exercise can deliver the same if not greater benefits than a longer, less intense workout? It’s true!

Short, intense workouts are not only more time-friendly, they also…

  • Maximise fat burning by triggering something called EPOC, short for post-exercise oxygen consumption. EPOC is basically describes how your metabolic rate is elevated for hours and hours after an intense workout
  • Burn more calories per minute than slower-paced workouts
  • Develop a high level of fitness and muscular endurance

No gym? No Problem!
And you don’t need a whole lot of expensive, unwieldy gym equipment to develop a good level of fitness. Bodyweight exercises work every bit as well if not better than many of the machines you’ll find at the gym. In fact, with as few as five simple bodyweight exercises, a stopwatch and some determination, you can perform a workout that will get you fit, tone all of your major muscles and burn a whole lot of fat – guaranteed!

The workout
Start your stop watch and do each of the following exercises for 30-seconds. Move quickly from one exercise to the next to keep your heart rate up and save time. The clock keeps running between exercises so simply do as many repetitions as you can of each exercise and move to the next one when the timer hits the next 30-second mark. Enjoy a brief rest when you finish the fifth exercise and then go again. If you don’t have a stop watch, just make sure you can see the sweep hand of a clock or use one of the many countdown apps that are now available.

table-15-minute-fat-blaster

High knee sprints
Works: Your legs, heart and lungs – a terrific calorie burner
How to perform: Making sure you have plenty of space around you, run on the spot as fast as you can. Lift your knees and pump your arms vigorously. Keep your body upright and think tall thoughts! Bring your knees up toward your chest and not your chest down toward your knees.
Modifications: Only lift your knees as high as is comfortable. If you have a skipping rope, you can skip with high knees instead.

high-knee-runs-sprints

Russian twists
Works: Abs and waist muscles
How to perform: Sit on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Sit up so that your upper body and legs form a V-shape. Extend your arms straight out in front of you. Without sitting forward or back, rotate your upper body from left to right; keep your abs tight!
Modifications: Cross your arms over your chest to make this exercise easier or hold weights in your hands to make it more demanding. If you find it hard to keep your feet on the floor, anchor them beneath piece of furniture e.g. a sofa.

Prisoner squats
Works: Thighs and butt
How to perform: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your temples. Push your elbows back to really open up your chest. Push your hips back, bend your knees and sit down until your legs are bent to around 90 degrees. Stand back up and repeat.
Modifications: Squat down as far as your flexibility allows – always stop before your lower back becomes rounded. Make this exercise harder by jumping into the air or easier by lowering your arms to your sides and not squatting as deeply.

Press ups
Works: Chest, shoulders and the back of your arms
How to perform: Adopt the press up position with your arms straight, hands directly under your shoulders, body extended so your feet, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Keeping your abs tight, bend your arms and lower your chest to within an inch or so of the ground. Push back up and repeat.
Modifications: Bend your legs and rest your knees on the floor to make this exercise easier. Put your feet on a chair for a more demanding workout.

press-up

Hip bridges
Works: Butt and thighs
How to perform: Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor – you should be able to touch your heels with your fingertips. Without using your arms, press your feet into the floor and lift your hips up toward the ceiling until they are fully extended. Lower your butt back to the floor and repeat.
Modifications: Use one leg at a time to make this exercise more challenging.

Rest
Works: Everything!
How to perform: Without sitting down, grab a quick drink of water, mop your brow, catch your breath and get ready for the next lap of your circuit.
Modifications: If you want to make your rest period more productive, walk or jog on the spot instead of standing still.

A short workout can be every bit as effective as a longer workout and is always going to be better than not exercising at all. The next time you are short on time but desperate to have a workout, remember that workouts like the one described above will deliver great results in 15-minutes flat.

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Radiant is a bi-annual print and digital health magazine dedicated to the discerning African woman and her journey to wellness through health, beauty and culture. Available at Barnes & Noble stores and other retailers (see stockists) and online. Ships worldwide. Subscribe to our newsletter and get a free digital copy of issue No.06.

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