This is possibly the most universal exercise ever and it can be very effective. You can walk on a treadmill or anywhere outside. You can even use an elliptical machine (or a stepper for a really intensive cardio). Start by walking 2 minutes at 3.5 mph. Always keep your abs engaged for proper posture. Then speed up a little bit for another 5 minutes. Then walk for about 8 minutes at an 4.0 incline. If you want, slow down a bit. Increase the incline again and maintain the same speed. If you feel well, try and jog a little for about 10 minutes. At the end, go back to walking at zero incline.
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15 minutes on the rowing machine can be very efficient, Szekretar says. It’s low impact so anybody can use it. Some people feel rowing is very easy and that’s why they avoid it. Not everything good for you has to be hard and painful. The rowing machine works your legs, arms, back and the entire core all at the same time.
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To burn fat you need to build muscle the thighs, legs, quadriceps, hamstrings, core, arms. So the focus of this workout is resistance exercises. You can do them in the comfort of your home, in the park, at the gym, and even in the office. First warm up a little bit. Then try to do each exercise for about a minute. They include: Butt kicks, superman, pushups, mason twists, squats (kick squats are even better), mountain climbers, jump squats, lateral leg raise burpees, hip extensions, bicycle crunches, glue bridge, and overhead triceps press.
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“Those are pretty popular now,” Szekretar says. Functional fitness means doing exercises that improve the overall balance and coordination of your body. Use your own bodyweight and maybe grab a Bosu Ball. TRX programs are another good example. You use your own body for strength exercises that increase endurance and flexibility so your body has a wide range of motion. All of this helps you perform everyday activities easier. Use a ball with TRX Suspensions and resistance bands for a stealthy sculpting session that is sure to give you cuts in all the right places.
Climbing stairs on a machine sounds exhausting but it doesn’t have to be. “I like StepMill better than the Stairmaster because it involves more body awareness,” Szekretar says. “It’s a very functional exercise for everybody.” Studies show that 1 mph on a StepMill 5 provides the same calorie burn as running on a flat treadmill at 7mph (the average person walks/runs much, much slower than that on a treadmill), according to experts at NYSC. 1 mph is level 10 on a StepMill3 or StairMaster. 1 mph on a StepMill burns approximately 820 calories/hour for a 170-pound person and burns approximately 675 calories/hour for a 140-pound person.
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Core exercises don’t get much better than the plank. It works your whole body at once and you don’t need any equipment, which makes it easy to do everywhere. Rotate plank exercises so you don’t get bored. Combine some explosive movements with static ones. Start with the plank crunch, the move to a side plank crunch. Add a few plank jacks for some cardio workout. Then finish with 30 seconds of plank jump crunches.
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A good and simple strength circuit, according to Szekretar, is squats, pushups, sit ups and jumping jacks for an aerobic exercise. To add more difficulty, do air squats and adds lunges. HIIT can include all sorts of exercises. The point is to alternate between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity. So rotate side lunges and butt kicks with high knees and arm circles. Add 20 reps of trunk twists and side bends.
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An isometric workout is strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. An isometric strength exercise is typically performed against an immovable object. Do pushups and hold for 30 seconds, followed by hip thrust hold and squat or split squat (or both) hold. Do each of these for 15 or 30 seconds. And repeat the whole session three of four more times.
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“Very underused piece of equipment,” Szekretar says. “But it’s ideal if you are recovering from a hip or foot injury,” he adds. Muscles are smaller in the upper body so it may be harder to increase the heart rate but it’s still useful. While this machine may look like a seated safe haven, it provides tough cardio perfect for short intervals. While sitting in a seat, you spin/crank your arms like a bike. The machine is also great for shoulder mobility. It’s a good idea to be included in upper body strength circuits, Szekretar says.
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While Standing Mountain Climber may look like something out of “Game of Thrones,” it’s great for adding short bursts of calorie-burning cardio to your circuit training, according to NYSC. It’s killer so you don't need much time to work up a sweat and raise your heart rate.
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Doing just four simple exercises can be a great way to tone your whole body. First, split squats. Do 10 repetitions and the switch. Pushups. If you can’t go all the way to the floor, do them against a chair. Do as many as you can in 40 seconds. It’s time for your back and biceps. Do 10-15 pulldowns. Finish this first session with triceps dips for 40 seconds. Repeat the entire session four times.
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A recent study suggested that the recommended 30 minutes of cardio exercises is not enough. “I looked at the study and the intensity of the exercises was low,” Szekretar says. “The idea is to try to work as hard as you can for those 30 minutes.” The whole point of the short workouts is to increase the intensity of the routines. You can’t expect to just walk for a few minutes every day and stay fir for life. “Run as hard as you can for a minute, and then go back to your warmup level,” Szekretar adds. “Do five round of that” and here are your 15 minutes.
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Start with 15 reps of dumbbells goblet squats. If you don’t want to use weights, do explosive sumo squats. The bent over row exercise is highly recommended by many fitness instructors because, if done properly, works many parts of your body. Then do 15 reps of power thrusts – crouch down and jump as high as you can. Dumbbell overhead press is always a good addition to strength workouts. Finish with a single-arm isometric hold. Start in a pushup position but instead of going down, extend your arm and hold.
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Start with reverse lunges and kick your leg up. Alternate sides for 20 reps. Then do step ups and again lift your leg up. Lateral leg lifts are next. Do at least 20 reps. Finish with plie squat jumps. Consider this one session and repeat it at least four times.