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25-Minute Best-Body Workout

  • Karen Pearson

    Shorter workouts with more intensity allow you to burn more calories and fat

    "Don't believe anyone who says you have to exercise an hour every day for noticeable results," says fitness coordinator Jill Coleman, fitness coordinator at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and coauthor of the workout guide My Gym Trainer (My Trainer Fitness). 

    Shorter workouts with more intensity allow you to burn more calories and fat. "Most people are willing to work harder when they know their exercise routine isn't going to last long," explains Coleman, who designed this plan. "Plus, brief bouts of physical activity are easier to fit into busy schedules. You can reach your goals with just three sessions per week." Strength moves, like those here, boost metabolism for hours post- workout and increase bone mineral density. In addition, strength training is the only way you can change the shape of the body, adding curves and definition.

  • Lunges

    Step forward with a long stride until your front knee is at about 90 degrees and your back knee is down almost to the ground. Alternate sides.

  • Squats

    From standing, push hips back as if you are sitting in a chair. Curl the toes off the ground slightly, forcing your weight onto your heels. Repeat.

  • Squat Jumps

    Begin by performing a squat, as described above, but when coming back up use explosive power to jump a few inches off the ground. Land back down with soft knees and go right into your next squat.

  • Push-Ups

    Begin on the knees or toes with the spine straight and arms almost straight. Bend elbows to a 90-degree angle and slowly lower the chest toward the ground, keeping abs tight. Repeat.

    Originally published in the September 2010 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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  • John Pirman