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 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.)
EXERCISE 1MARCHING 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.
EXERCISE 2INVERTED 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.
EXERCISE 3ALTERNATING 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.
EXERCISE 4SKATER 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.
EXERCISE 5ROTATING 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.