Strong Heart, Toned Body: The Only 5 Moves You Need

It's the age-old exercise dilemma: If I've only got 20 minutes, should I do cardio or strength-training? I designed this short, simple workout to do both: Each explosive move combines the benefits of high-intensity interval training (for increased metabolism and fat burn) with weight training (for increased muscle tone and physical changes). They can be done anywhere, and they're great for all fitness levels. Grab a pair of light dumbbells (or try it without weights), and let's get started.

Split Lunge With Arm Swing

Photo by Courtesy of Mike Goncalves

Step your left leg into a lunge and raise your right arm overhead. Now push off from both feet into a jump and switch the position of your feet and hands, landing in a lunge with your right leg in front and your left arm overhead. Complete 10 jumps (5 on each alternating side) and slowly increase your repetitions as you get stronger.

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Speed Skater

Start with feet wide, toes straight ahead, and lower your body forward to touch your left arm to your right foot, right knee bent. Now come through the middle and swing your right hand to your left foot, left knee bent. Continue swinging side to side, mimicking the moves of a speed skater. Complete 10 reps (5 on each side, alternating), then slowly increase your repetitions as you get stronger.

Jumping Shoulder Press

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms curled with dumbbells in front of your shoulders. Come down into a full regular squat position and then jump up explosively. On your way up, extend your arms fully overhead to complete a shoulder press. Upon landing, lower your body back into a squat position and repeat. Start by doing 10 repetitions and slowly increase your repetitions as you get stronger and more comfortable with the exercise.

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Squat-Jab-Punch Combo

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, facing your left, with your arms up in a boxing position so that your palms are facing the sides of your face. (Feel free to keep you hands open or make fists.) Lower into a squat and, as you come up, jab with your left hand, immediately punch with your right hand, lower back to a starting position. Complete 10 squat-jab-punch combos facing the left, then turn to the right and repeat the pattern (reversed!) on the other side. Slowly increase your repetitions as you get stronger.

Abdominal Flutter Kicks

Lie on your back with your legs together and extended a few inches off the ground. Lift your head, shoulders, and arms (extended overhead) as well. Now lift your left leg and right arm to the sky, keeping them both straight as they touch over your core. As you begin lowering them to their starting position, begin lifting your right leg and left arm, keeping them both straight as they come in contact. Start by doing 20 reps (10 on each side) and slowly increase your repetitions as you get stronger and more comfortable with the exercise.

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