Double Duty: Strength-Training Moves That Get Your Heart Rate Soaring
More isn’t always better. In fact| we’re learning that when it comes to exercise| short may be the way go u2014u00a0but only if the intensity is turned up a notch. One way to accomplish this goal is to maximize your time and efforts by rolling strength and cardio into one move. Each of these exercises works the entire body| leaves your heart racing| and doesn’t require a single piece of equipment. See how many reps you can do of each in one minute| then start including these in your lunch-break routine or earn a gold star by busting them out after your next run!
Let’s start with burpees. It may be the move that we all love to hate| but there’s nothing better for toning the entire body while also making the heart rate rise.
- Lower into a crouching squat with your hands on the floor.
- Do a squat thrust by jumping your feet back into a plank position.
- Do one basic push-up| bending your elbows and then straightening back to plank.
- Jump your feet forward to the hands| and come into a squat.
- Do an explosive jump straight up| getting as much height as you can.
If a burpee is still a little intimidating to you| check out these ways to modify the move.
| Mountain Climbers
If you’ve taken a circuit-training class| then you’re already familiar with mountain climbers. They’re a favorite recovery move of trainers| and once you’ve done a round| you’ll really start to wonder how that was a break at all! This move works the entire body| and if you can get your legs moving at a good speed| you’ll swear that you just stepped off the treadmill.
- Start in a traditional plank u2014u00a0shoulders over hands and weight on just your toes.
- With your core engaged| bring your right knee forward under your chest| with your toes just off the ground. Return to your basic plank. Switch legs| bringing your left knee forward.
- Keep switching legs| and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
| Squat Jumps
Squats are a go-to move for toning the legs and butt| and adding an explosive jump to the mix will keep the heart pumping while also giving the quads a little extra love.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Start by doing a basic squat. Then engage your core and jump up explosively.
- When you land| lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible| which requires control.
Since adding a jump to this exercise can put more strain on your body| make sure to use your whole foot to jump| not just your toes. Keep your knees behind your toes to avoid back injury.
| Side Skaters
Don’t let this move fool you u2014u00a0side skaters work the butt| hamstrings| thighs| and core. It also challenges your balance and agility and builds ankle strength. Pick up the pace on these| and in no time at all| you are sure to be out of breath!
- Start in a small squat. Jump sideways to the right| landing on your right leg. Bring your left leg behind to your right ankle| and don’t let it touch the floor.
- Reverse direction by jumping to the left with your left leg. This completes one rep.
If you find that you have a hard time balancing in this move| allow your back foot to touch the ground (as seen here)| but challenge yourself by picking up the pace.
| Plank Jacks
Adding a new variation to basic plank is a great way to challenge your body’s strength even further| and the plank jack is no exception. See how fast you can let yourself go while still keeping good form u2014u00a0your heart will thank you for it!
- Begin in plank position| with your shoulders over your wrists| your body in one straight line| and your feet together.
- Like the motion of a jumping jack| jump your legs wide and then back together. Jump as quickly as you want| but keep your pelvis steady and don’t let your butt rise toward the ceiling.