Everyone has their go-to workouts. But it’s only a matter of time before even the most enthusiastic of runners or the most diehard CrossFit-ers start to get bored with their favorite fitness regimens.
Not only that, but for the benefit of your body, it’s definitely a good idea to switch up your routine and add a little bit of variety into the mix. (Just don’t go too crazy because it is important that you stick to a well thought out plan if you want to see progress.)
Maybe you’re on the hunt for a new workout that can help add some life to what’s starting to feel like a lackluster exercise routine. Or, perhaps you’re looking for a something that can help to kick-start a new exercise habit.
Either way, to find what you’re looking for, it only makes sense to go to the pros— the people who know what really works when it comes to getting in serious shape. So we asked five trainers to share their favorite fat-burning routines.
Their go-to workouts for the times when nothing but a super-sweaty, kick-butt session will do.
1. The Total-Body Integrated Workout
Suggested by: Russell Wynter and Crystal Reeves, NASM certified master trainers and co-owners of MadSweat personal training.
“This is one of our favorite types of workouts,” they said. “The focus is on total body integrated exercises and it consists of completing a total body exercise and then breaking it into the individual exercises to increase muscular endurance.”
Wynter and Reeves emphasized that you should be sure to focus on tempo as you perform each exercise.
2. 10-Minute Total-Body Burn
Suggested by: Nicole Handler, NASM certified personal trainer and creator of FitFulFocus.
“This 10-Minute Total-Body Burn is a great way to get in a whole body, sweat-inducing workout whenever and wherever,” Handler said. “What makes this workout so fun is that you're constantly switching up the moves, targeting different muscles and busting boredom. It doesn't require any equipment, so you can take it indoors, outdoors or bust it out in tiny New York City apartments.”
Her instructions: all you have to do is complete each move in the set for 30 seconds (go as hard and as fast as possible), rest for 30 seconds and go on to the next set of exercises. It should take 10 minutes to go through all five sets. You can do the whole circuit once if you’re short on time, or go through it two to three times to work up a bigger sweat.
3. Density, Interval and Animal Flow Training Combo
Suggested by: Chris Cooper, a Precision Nutrition coach and NSCA certified fitness professional.
“One of my favorite conditioning workouts is a mixture of density training, interval training and animal flow, or ground-based, movements,” said Cooper. “This is a great workout because you fit in a lot of work in a short amount of time, plus with ground movements in between, you get great active rest. Within that active rest, you're working on core strength and endurance along with joint mobility and stability.”
- Part one: Start off with 'Escalating Density Training' in which you select two exercises, like a barbell row and push-ups, and do five reps of each, back and forth for 15 minutes. “The goal is to fit as many rounds in as possible, thus creating a high amount of volume in a short amount of time,” Cooper explained.
- Part two: Then go through a few sets of ground movements like crawls, front and side kick-throughs, push-ups and crab reaches.
- Part three: Move on to intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds performing different exercises like medicine ball slams and kettlebell swings.
4. Joel Harper’s Equipment-Free Approach
Suggested by: Joel Harper, New York City based celebrity personal trainer and author of “Mind Your Body: 10 Core Concepts for an Optimally Balanced You.”
Harper said that while doing this workout make sure not to hold your breath, always keep your core engaged and remember to relax your face and maintain consistent breathing.
He suggested performing the routine two times per week with two days of rest in between. Perform the exercises barefoot and start with 100 jumping jacks to warm-up.
1. Donkey Kicks (strengthens entire body, with emphasis on quads)
Come onto all fours with your hands under shoulders and knees under hips. With slightly bent elbows and a straight line from the top of your head to your tailbone, lift your knees one inch off the ground and bounce them one inch up and down fifty times. Once you are good and warm float your feet off the ground and kick them in the air like a...Donkey. Think floating, not pounding, as your feet fall back to the ground. Imagine you are jumping on a sheet of glass and don't want to break it.
2. Shoulder Floater (strengthens shoulders, core and quads)
Come into a cross-legged position with your left leg on the outside and your hands palms or knuckles down (whichever is more comfortable for your wrists) on the outside of your hip socket. While looking straight ahead and with your chest lifted, press your hands into the ground and gently lift your butt airborne. Press the sides of your feet into the ground and hold for 15 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. To make it harder: straighten your legs out in front of you and lift one leg for 30 seconds each. And for even more of a challenge: lift both legs and hold for one minute.
3. Kick Throughs (strengthens chest, shoulders, hips and core)
Come into upper push-up position and bring your left leg up and across underneath you, so now your left leg is out to your right side. Then lean to the left doing a tilted push-up looking towards your right foot. Come back to upper push-up without putting your left foot on the ground. Float it three feet off the ground. Do 25 on each side.
4. Oblique Kick (works shoulders, hips and obliques)
Come onto your left side with your legs stacked at a 135-degree angle. With your left forearm on the ground and your hand in a fist for support on the ground, lift your body off the ground and kick your right foot out as high as you can. Come back to the starting position and repeat 25 times. Look straight out the entire time. Then switch sides. To make it harder: take your right hand off the ground and put it on your waist. Now in the up position the only thing that is touching the ground is your forearm and the side of your left foot.
5. Down Dog Dives (builds chest, shoulders arms and core)
Come into down dog position and focus on driving your heels into the ground. Keep this position throughout the entire movement. Look up at your hands and bend your elbows and drop your forehead to one inch above the area between your hands. Come back to starting position and repeat 25 times. Make it harder: continue movement by coming down and then into up dog position. And for even more of a challenge: when returning from up dog reverse exact movement and lift to one-legged twist. Do 25 reps. Don't rush the movement—move evenly and constantly.
6. Hanging Pretzel (stretches hamstrings, shoulders and back)
With feet all the way together, bring your left hand underneath your right triceps muscles and reach it up and 'prayer' your hands. Your left hand is closer to your face and your thumbs are facing towards you, your pinkies on the outside. Drive your elbows away from you while keeping your middle finger right above your elbows. Lean forward and drive your elbows towards your toes. Melt down and hold for five deep inhales. Release your arm twist and slowly roll up. Do five shoulder rolls and then switch sides. Repeat entire cycle again.