Metabolism Makeover: 4 Workouts to Optimize Your Burn
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a workout that burns calories while simultaneously revving up your metabolism? Look no further — a workout like that does exist. Many of these routines will work to increase your muscle and bone mass, which helps your body to burn more calories. If that’s not enough good news for you, here’s a little bit more. You can do all of it without having to leave the house.
Some of the workouts don’t even require any equipment, while others require a pair of lightweight dumbbells (aim for three- to five-pound weights) and an exercise ball. Ready to make over your metabolism? Here are four metabolism boosting routines to try.
1. Health Routine
Per Health, start with one set of each of these moves. As you get in better shape, work up to doing five sets of each move before going on to the next one. Once you’re doing the complete workout, you can expect to burn up to 300 calories (and your metabolism will be running like a fine-tuned machine.)
Plank Walk Tuck Reach: Stand with your feet together and arms raised overhead. Hinge at your hips and bring your hands to the floor, keeping your legs as straight as possible. Walk out to a plank position, and jump your feet toward your hands, landing in a tucked position. Now, jump back to plank. Walk your hands toward your feet and stand up. Repeat at a hard intensity for 30 seconds. That’s one set — make sure to add more sets on if you’re feeling up to it (you’re aiming for five.) Rest for 30 to 60 seconds in between sets.
X Switch Jumps: Stand with feet together and then jump and land in a diagonal lunge with your right leg forward and left leg back, without letting your right knee jut out past your ankle. Jump again and land with your left leg forward and your right leg back. Repeat at a breathless intensity for 30 seconds. That completes one set. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds.
Bear Crawl Escape: Begin in plank position with your wrists in line with your shoulders, then bend your knees and bring them under your hips with your heels lifted. Keeping your knees off the ground, move quickly in this position from side to side and front to back. Repeat at breathless intensity for 30 seconds — that’s one set. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds.
2. Women’s Day Workout
This Woman’s Day routine has you flowing from one exercise to the next without taking a break. Each move also includes a 60-second cardio burst to keep your heart rate pumping.
Back Lunge: Begin with your feet hip-distance apart and lunge back with your left foot, bending both your knees about 90 degrees. At the same time, reach both arms to the outside of your right knee. Keep your head up and core squeezed, and then step back to the starting position. Lunge back with your right foot, bending your knees about 90 degrees. Reach your arms to the outside of your left knee, and do 10 reps. For a cardio burst, do jumping jacks for 60 seconds.
Standing Row: Stand holding a weight in your right hand with your palm facing your body. Lean forward and step your left leg in front, bending slightly, placing your left hand on your left thigh. Lift the weight toward the right side of your ribs, keeping your head in line with your spine and your elbow close to your body. Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side. Here’s your 60-second cardio burst: jog in place.
Squat: Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder distance apart, holding a weight in both of your hands in front of your stomach. Bend your knees into a squat, pushing your bottom out behind you as if you’re sitting in a chair. Don’t let your knees go up over your toes. Push back to your original stance and repeat 15 times. For your 60-second cardio burst run up and down the stairs.
Pelvic Lift: Lie on your back, with your knees bent. Lift your pelvis off the ground, squeezing your glutes and abs so that your body (from knees to shoulders) is in a straight line. Hold for two seconds, and then lower down. Repeat 10 times. For your 60-second cardio burst, air jump rope.
3. Fit Day Exercise
Try this easy to do cardio plan, per Fit Day. It’s simple, but effective. Fit Day writes that a study showed participants who did moderate intensity cardio exercise three to five days per week for 20 to 45 minutes for 16 months had an average increase in their resting metabolic rate of 129 calories per day. That’s an extra 900 calories per week!
Interval Training: To do an interval workout, begin with a 5-minute warm up — try walking or a slow jog. Then, alternate two minutes of moderate intensity cardio with 30 seconds of all-out effort for 10 to 20 minutes, followed by a cool down. The great thing about this workout is it can be done with no equipment, or the equipment of your choice. Apply it to the elliptical, treadmill, or bike — it works with any of them.
4. Fitness Routine
Try these seven moves to ensure you’re burning maximum calories. For each rep, lift the weight in two counts and lower it in eight. Do two or three sets of each move, and aim for a total of three workouts a week, per Fitness.
Diagonal Extension: Hold a three- to five-pound dumbbell in your right hand, with your elbow bent, at shoulder height with your palm facing the floor. Lift the left foot a few inches out to the side, with your toes on the floor and your heel raised. Then, bring your left knee to hip height while lowering your right arm diagonally across your body to the outside of your left knee. Hold for one count, then lower your leg and lift your arm in eight counts to start. Do eight to 12 times, switch sides, and repeat.
Bridge Flye: Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart, holding an eight- to 12-pound dumbbell in each hand, with your arms extended above your shoulders and palms facing in. Lift your glutes and lower your back off the floor. Then, bend your elbows, lowering your arms in eight slow counts until your upper arm lightly touches floor, then press back up in two counts.
Suspended Bridge: Sit on the floor with your heels on top of a stability ball, with your knees bent into your chest and your palms on the floor under your shoulders, with your fingertips pointing toward your feet. Tighten your abs and press your hips up off the floor, rolling the ball forward. Make sure you keep your head up and chin forward. Hold for one count, keeping your chest pressed toward the ceiling. Lower your hips and roll the ball back toward your body in eight count. Do eight to 12 reps.
Balance Lift: Hold a three- to five-pound dumbbell in your left hand, palm facing behind you. Lean forward slightly from your hips, lifting your left foot about six inches off floor. Then, place your right hand on your hip with your abs engaged. Keeping your left leg raised, lift your left arm up directly above your shoulder and over your head. Lower in eight counts to start. Do six to eight reps; switch sides and repeat.
Superwoman: Lie face down on your ball, holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand. Keep your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Straighten your arms next to your head with your palms facing in. Lift your chest off the ball, slightly arching your back. Sweep your arms behind your body until your elbows are at your waist with your palms forward. Hold for one count, then take eight counts to return to start.
Roll and Curl: Stand with your left knee bent and your left toe on top of a stability ball, holding an eight- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand. Straighten your left leg out to the side, rolling the ball away from your body. At the same time, curl weights toward shoulders. Take eight counts to roll back to the starting position — aim for six to eight reps, switch legs and repeat.
Hip Twist: Lie with your right side over the ball, legs extended and your right palm on the floor, balancing weight on your right hand and the outside of your right foot. Place your left hand on your hip and stack your left leg directly over your right leg. Lift your left leg to hip height, and at the top of the movement, rotate your leg, turning your toes up. Keep your leg rotated as you lower in eight counts. Rotate your leg back to start. Aim for eight to 12 reps, switch sides, and repeat.