Feel the Burn
Fire up your metabolism with this amazing circuit that will stoke your fat burn all day long.
If you've hit a plateau and your body doesn't seem to be responding to any workout you do, perhaps you've got your metabolism to blame. Studies show our metabolic rate declines 2% every decade, beginning in our 30s; that means your body is converting more calories to fat with every passing year! Hold off the panic button, there’s good news—you can kick-start your metabolism. And all it takes is rejigging your training routine. We caught up with David Jack, Reebok Master Trainer and creator of the Metabolic Training workout. His time-saving, fast-paced method uses functional moves to build strength and fry fat. You’ll be performing compound exercises (ie hitting multiple muscles with each exercise) with short intervals of rest. The beauty of this plan is that you can simply add these moves to your regular workout. Bursts of these heart rate-revving moves will accelerate calorie burn. Jack advises doing the following circuit as quickly as possible for 20 minutes, 4 times a week. “Don’t compromise form for speed. This will make you susceptible to injury. Do each exercise with complete control,” says Jack.
Lateral 3 steps with skater tap
Step or shuffle 3 steps to the side standing on the balls of your feet. End on your right foot, bring your left foot behind your right leg and tap it lightly on the floor. Shuffle back to the left and repeat on the left side, tapping your right foot behind your left leg. Knees should be slightly bent and chest and eyes should stay up. Return to start. That's 1 rep; do 15.
Plank position to downward dog hold
Assume a high plank position with your arms straight on the ground (hands shoulder-width apart), core and legs firm, and body in a straight, strong line. From this position, drive your hips up and back towards the ceiling and push your heels towards the ground and your chest out through your arms. Let your head relax and don’t hold your breath. Hold for 2 seconds. Return to the plank position Do 10 reps.
3-step high knee march
March in place, bringing your knees as high as you can and driving your arms up and down. On the third step, pause, keeping one knee raised in the air and the other leg straight and strong, rooted on the floor. Repeat on the other side, alternating your holds every 3 steps. 3 steps equal 1 rep; Do 20 reps.
With your feet flat on the floor, about shoulder-width apart, sit down into a deep squat while bringing your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder height. Pause at the lowest point, keeping your knee over your ankles and drive hands down to your sides as you stand all the way up. That's 1 rep; do 15.
Single leg airplane hold
Standing with feet about hip-width apart, take a small step forward with your left foot and transfer your bodyweight onto that leg. Balance and lean forward, so your right leg is slightly off the floor. Brace your core, soften your left knee and point your shoulder, hips and eyes towards the floor. Once you have your balance, try to reach both arms out to your sides and hold for 5 seconds; return to standing position. Repeat on the other side. Perform 5 on each side.
On a mat, lie on your back, arms on your side, palms facing up, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Ground your feet on the floor, squeeze your buttocks and drive your hips up towards the ceiling. Be careful not to arch your back and make sure the movement comes from the hips. Hold the position for 3 seconds and come down as low as possible without touching the mat and go back up again. Do 10 reps.
Side steps with bent arm flies
Stand with your feet wide apart and arms bent 90 degree at the elbow. Lift your elbows up to shoulder height with your palms facing down. Hold the top position and then return your arms to the sides of your body. You can hold 1 kg dumbbells to make it more challenging. Do 10 reps.
Chair hover and hold
Place a sturdy chair near a table. With your arms out straight in front of you, place your hands on the table, palms down. Sit back keeping your butt down and stop just before it touches the seat. Hover here for 5 seconds and slightly push your hands down into the table as you resist the force with your legs and core. Breathe and relax your neck and face. Come back up and repeat. Make it harder by not using a table. Do 6 reps.
Taken from Prevention, September 2015.