At some point in time during the year we always vow to get fit and fight the flab to become fitter and healthier. But after the initial one week enthusiasm, many people (including me) will struggle to keep up with their proposed fitness regime. Some will complain that they just don’t have time to fit the exercise in, while others will do too much too soon and get injured or give up because it’s too tough.
So what’s the solution? Short, intense workouts are key if you want to tone up and slim down. Shorter, more intense workouts challenge our body by making it do things it isn’t used to. You’re not simply doing more of the same activity just for a bit longer, you’re really pushing your body to places it hasn’t been before.
The following workout contains just six moves – and that is all you need to shape up – fast!
For this workout, perform the exercises one after the other for 30 seconds each with no rest in between. After completing one full circuit (all 6 exercises), rest for 30 seconds. Then repeat the circuit again for a total of 4 times. Do this workout 3 times a week on non-consecutive days and watch your body transform.
What you will need: A moderately weighted medicine ball
1. Medicine Ball Slams
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and raise your arms overhead, bending your elbows so the medicine ball is behind your head. Keeping your core tight, throw the ball as hard as you can onto the ground, lowering into a squat as you follow through. Immediately return to start and repeat for 30 seconds.
2. Backhands & Forehands
Standing with your feet wider than hip-width apart, shift your weight onto your left leg, knee bent. Twist your torso and shoulders to the left and bring the ball to the left of your chest, elbows bent. In one motion, step your right foot forward, twist your torso and hips forward, and lower into a lunge, swinging the ball in front of your body and above your right shoulder. Reverse the motion to return to start. Switch sides and repeat. That’s one rep.
3. Russian Twists
Hold the ball in both hands and sit with your legs slightly bent, feet together. Raise your feet off the ground. Twist your torso to lower the ball to the ground. Return to center and repeat on the other side.
Quick tip: Keep your back flat, hips forward, and lower body steady as you twist from side to side.
4. Squat with Bicep Curls
Holding the medicine ball with both hands, stand with your feet two to three feet apart. Keeping your chest up, sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a deep squat, lowering the ball between your legs. Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes to return to standing, bending your elbows to curl the ball in front of your chest. That’s one rep.
5. Wall Sit With Rotations
With your back against a wall, hold a medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest and lower into a squat. Keeping your hips steady, twist to the left and reach the ball toward the wall. Return to center. That’s one rep. Repeat on the other side. Move back and forth at a slow, controlled pace for 30 seconds.
Quick tip: Make it harder by fully extending your arms instead of bending your elbows.
6. High to Low Wood Chops
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, holding the ball directly overhead, arms extended. Sit your hips back and lower into a squat, simultaneously lowering the ball to your left foot, keeping your arms straight. Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes to return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat, lowering the ball to your right foot, and continue alternating for 30 seconds.
Quick tip: Up your heart rate (and total calorie burn) by moving through the reps at a quick pace.