Workouts To Help You Burn Fat
High intensity interval training. My favorite type of training.
This style of working out is the reason I became a trainer. It opened my eyes to how powerful our bodies really are, and how quick, intense intervals can condition us in ways beyond belief.
I specialize in high intensity interval training (or hiit). More specifically, in something called Tabata. Tabata uses 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by a 10 second rest period, repeated continuously for 4 minutes straight. Your heart rate shoots up, and just when you feel like you’re going to collapse, it’s time for your (very short) rest. Because the intensity is so high, your body is working extra hard to fight through it. As a result, your metabolism speeds up, which in turn, melts fat. This process continues for hours after training, leaving you burning excess fat and feeling incredible. Another up-side to Tabata is that less time needs to be spent with this style of exercise, providing you with a quick, effective and challenging workout. In his original study, Professor Izumi Tabata’s control group completed a total of 1,800 minutes of moderate intensity over six weeks, and the test group completed a total of 120 minutes of Tabata training. Guess which group yielded better results? You know it.
The beauty of Tabata is that anyone can do it. Whether you’re a first-time exerciser or a conditioned athlete, you’re only competing against yourself. It’s quick, it’s effective and it’s fun. I like to break up the 8 rounds by alternating between two different exercises. If you haven’t tried this style of exercise yet, what are you waiting for?! Download an up-beat, motivating Tabata song from iTunes and give this 16-minute workout a try:
Bench Jumps & Planks
Bench Jumps: Find a bench, rolled up yoga mat, or large piece of drift wood. Position your hands directly under your shoulders with both feet on one side of the bench. Squeeze your abs as you jump your feet to the other side of the bench, keeping your back straight and your chest up. Land softly to avoid injury. Do your best to keep a challenging speed as you jump from side to side.
Planks: We all know planks! Isometrically hold yourself up like a flat board on your hands or on your forearms, keeping your back straight and abs tight. Focus on your breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Split Jumps & Lunge Pulses
Split Jumps: Start off in a lunge with your right leg forward, bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knee doesn’t extend past your toes! Keep your shoulders back and chest up as you explode up, switching the positioning of your legs. Land softly in a left lunge.
Lunge Pulses: Lower yourself down into a right lunge, just as you did for the split jumps. Focus on your back leg as you quickly pulse your left knee up and down. This is a very little movement. Challenge yourself to stay low, keeping your left knee as close to the ground as your body allows. Alternate between right and left lunge pulses each round.
Mountain Climbers & Push Ups
Mountain Climbers: Begin in a plank position on your hands. Keep your core tight and back straight as you bring your knees into your chest. Challenge yourself to do this at a quick pace, keeping your butt down the entire time.
Push Ups: Begin in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Slowly lower yourself down to form a 90-degree angle with your elbows. Pull your bellybutton in towards your spine and make sure your hips are moving with you. If this is too much, come down onto your knees for a modified push-up.
Bench Jumps & Squats
Bench Jumps: Find a bench or elevated flat surface. Explode up through your quads, landing softly in a squat on the elevated surface. Keep your shoulders back and chest up, making sure your knees don’t extend past your toes. If jumping up onto a surface is too challenging, modify by jumping in place and landing softly in a squat.
Squats: Position yourself by standing up straight with your feet a little wider than hips-width apart. Slowly sit your hips back, keeping your shoulders back and chest up. Make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes!
Have fun, and always breathe strength.
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Photos by Brigette Muller.