Ten-minute fat blasters

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Want to melt fat and torch calories in less time than it takes to drive to the gym? We've found the best high-intensity exercises that combine the benefits of cardio and strength training.

What's more — most of these workouts can be done in less than 10 minutes. It's time to burn more and sweat less!

Jump start your day
Skipping is great for cardio health and improves your co-ordination. Better yet, all you need is a jumping rope to start. Begin by jumping with your feet together, then, to ramp it up, lift your knees higher as you jump or try the 'boxer's shuffle' or the 'alternate foot jump'.

Cycle and crunch
This is a perfect mix for anyone who wants to burn fat and get killer abs. First, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and place your hands behind your head. With your knees bent, lift your shoulders and hips off the floor at the same time. After 15 reps, hop on a stationary bike (or jog on the spot) for 30 seconds. Repeat set for 10 minutes.

Hindu squats
Hindu squat gets your heart rate going and exercises more muscle groups. Start in the same position as a basic squat, but instead of stopping when your legs are parallel to the ground on the way down, keep going and drop your bottom towards your heels until your fingertips touch the ground. Do 3 sets of 15 reps. (eg pic below)

The mountaineer
Pretend you're climbing a mountain — only on a flat ground. With your hands and feet on the floor and butt in the air, bring one leg up to your chest like a sprinter's start position. Keeping your hands on the floor, jump to switch legs. Do 4 sets of 10 reps.

Interval walking
Who says interval training has to be hectic? Amp up your daily walk by varying your speed. Start at a normal pace for two minutes, then accelerate until you reach peak speed and slow down until you recover. Repeat the acceleration and continue the cycle. Aim for 3-5 rounds in 10 minutes.

Swingin' it
Wave goodbye to 'bingo wings' with the double-arm dumbbell swing. Stand with knees bent and feet hip-width apart. With your toes facing forward, hold one dumbbell with both hands and swing them above your head as you push out of the squat. Hold for three seconds, then repeat 10 times.

Knees and elbows
The standing obliques are perfect for building core strength. Stand with your arms overhead. Bring your right elbow and right knee together then return to the starting position. Switch to left elbow and right knee and repeat. Combine 10 reps with 30 seconds of jogging on the spot for a more intense workout. Repeat set for 10 minutes.

Mini circuit
Want your body to burn fat faster? Start with this simple strength training circuit. Do 10 squats, 10 push-ups and a 30 second plank. Repeat 4-5 times in 10 minutes with minimal rest between sets. Add 30 seconds of jogging into the mix for extra cardio boost.

Tabata sprints
Invented in Japan, the 'Tabata' method is a type of high intensity interval training that claims to burn nine times more fat than traditional cardio. Basically, it involves 20 seconds of all-out cardio, followed by 10 seconds rest for four rounds. Try this with sprinting or stationary cycling — and see what difference 4 minutes can make.

Hop overs
If you have access to a weight/ park bench, this is a great way of getting your heart rate up and working multiple muscle groups. Start by putting your hands on a flat bench with both feet on one side, then hop your legs over to the other side. Repeat immediately and aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.

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