Workout of the Week: High-Intensity Favorites

January 1, 2015 7:30 am Last Updated: January 2, 2015 12:14 am

Are you looking to take your fitness to the next level or simply shed a few extra pounds in time for spring? Adding a few bouts of high-intensity training to your weekly routine is a sure way to shape up.

This workout is a great energy booster and will help shed extra body weight in no time. Do it twice a week for at least six weeks on top of your other regular exercise, and you will notice a marked difference in your strength and body condition.

Best of all, it is short and you can do it anywhere—there is no equipment required.

Burpees

I think this exercise is the least favorite for most people. But, as challenging as it is, it works your entire body and improves your cardio fitness all in one shot, so it is really efficient.

1. Jump up into the air.

2. Lower into a crouching position as you land, reaching your hands to the floor.

3. Jump back with both feet (or step back if you need to modify), landing in a plank position.

4. Jump forward, bringing yourself back into the crouching position.

5. Jump explosively back into the air.

Repeat 15–20 times.

Marching Glute Bridge

This is one of the best exercises for spinal health and mobility. It also targets your hamstrings and buttocks. The added leg lift in this version will decrease the stability and increase the intensity of the exercise.

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet approximately 12 inches from your body, and arms beside your body with palms facing down.

2. Inhale to prepare your body for the movement. Exhale as you engage your lower abdominal area. Press your lower back into the floor and lift your back away from the floor one vertebrae at a time. Try your best to move slowly, focusing on your spinal column all the way to the top.

3. Hold the bridge position and then lift your right leg up in a 90-degree angle. Place your leg back on the floor and repeat with the left leg.

As you lift your legs, try to keep your body from moving, so the only movement taking place is your leg lifting up and down, while your body stays still. If at first it is too difficult, prop your hips up with your hands for support and stability.

Do 10 alternating leg lifts as you hold the bridge. Then lower back down. Repeat the set twice.

The bridges should be done between every exercise. This gives your upper body a rest and really zones in on your lower body.

Mountain Climber

This movement creates an all-over workout. You will strengthen your shoulders, back, and chest by holding the plank pose. Your abdominals will get a fantastic toning session as you bring your knees to your body. And your thighs will get a good cardio workout from all of the mountain climbing action.

1. Start out in the plank position.

2. “Run” your knees toward your chest. Keep your back straight and lower abdominals engaged.

Aim for 30 seconds to start and build up to 1 minute.

Repeat two Marching Glute Bridges before continuing on.

Arm Lift Pushup:

This is challenging movement, taking the pushup and making it more challenging. It’s great for building core stability.

1. Set up your body to do a pushup.

2. Lower your body down to the floor, then press back to the top.

3. Hold at the top and extend your right arm out in front of you. Replace and repeat on the left side.

Do 12 repetitions.

Repeat two Marching Glute Bridges to finish this set. Then start the sequence from the top once more—from the Burpees all the way to the last set of Marching Glute Bridges.

Finally, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Emma-Kate Stampton certifies Pilates instructors and is a certified personal trainer. With 10 years of industry experience, she is passionate about sharing the gift of health and well-being. She is based in Brisbane, Australia.