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Bodyweight HIIT Workout: Burn Fat & Build Muscle

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A great way to bust boredom is to combine cardio and resistance exercise into one short intense workout. The benefits of this exercise combo are immense.

This way of training allows you to simultaneously burn fat and build muscle. Because the workout never lets up, your heart rate remains elevated improving your endurance and allows you to burn as many calories as regular cardio.

Indeed, research shows that you can get equal or better fat burning benefits compared to treadmill running. This workout is short, but intense. Not only are you saving time, but it also has a pronounced effect on EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), boosting it significantly.

EPOC is also known as the afterburn, and basically means you continue to burn calories after you’ve completed your workout – for up to 48 hours afterwards! In other words, this workout will blast fat, boost your metabolism, tone your body and increase strength. Lastly, this workout does not require any fancy equipment and you can do it in the comfort of your own home.

The workout lasts about 25 minutes. It is a HIIT workout, in other words, short and sweet, but intense. During the workout you need to keep moving. The overall aim is to switch exercises, but to never stop moving.

Don’t forget to warm up before and cool down afterwards. If you have any injuries or health condition, see your doctor before doing this workout.

Do each of the following exercises for one minute. If you are a beginner do the routine just once, otherwise repeat 2 times. Between each exercise allow for a 1 minute recovery  interval. During the recovery interval keep moving:

  • Level 1: Skip from foot to foot or march in one place at a pace that allows you to recover and catch your breath.
  • Level 2: If you are more fit make the recovery interval a little more challenging. Do side to side skater steps, jump from foot to foot at a vigorous pace or climb up and down the stairs at a moderate pace.
  • Level 3: If you are very fit, do side to side skater jumps,  jump rope or briskly climb up and down the stairs.

If you can, do the routine twice. It’s better to keep the cardio recovery intervals easy and repeat the routine 2x than to make it hard and just do it once. As you get more fit you can make the cardio intervals more challenging. This will ensure that your body doesn’t get used to the routine, allowing you to keep burning the maximum amount of calories.

1. RUNNING A’S/ RUNNING KNEE LIFTS

  • Run in place.
  • During each stride, bring your knee up to hip level.
  • Your thighs should be almost parallel to the floor.
  • Your back should be straight.
  • Use your arms to help stabilize your body and to power you through the exercise.

2. STAR JUMPS/ JUMPING JACKS

  • Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides.
  • Squat halfway down and in an explosive movement jump up as high as possible with your arms and legs extended out in a star shape.
  • As you land on the ground, bring your limbs back and bend your knees so that your hands can touch the ground.
  • Bounce right back into another star jump.

3. TUCK JUMPS

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Bend your knees and powerfully spring off both feet, brining your knees towards your chest.
  • Use your arms to help control your movement.
  • Do this exercise on a flat, preferably soft, surface.

4. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

  • Get down into the pushup position, with your hands and feet bearing the weight of your body. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • During this exercise your upper body is going to remain in the same position, with your legs doing all the movement.
  • Bending one leg, bring it forward under your body and rest it on the ground.
  • Alternate leg positions.
  • If you want to make this exercise more difficult, rest your hands on a step or to make even more challenging on the hard side of a BOSU Balance Ball

5. BURPEES

  • Start in the standing position.
  • Drop down into a squat with your hands touching the ground, with hands bearing your weight.
  • Push your feet backwards in one smooth move such that you’re in the plank position.
  • Jump forward, reverting to the squat stance and bear your weight on your legs.
  • Jump up into an upright standing position

6. BUTT KICK RUNS

  • Run quickly taking small steps.
  • Your feet touch your butt with each stride.
  • Keep your torso upright
  • Pump your arms back and forward, and keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle.

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