Who has time for 30 minutes of aerobics plus a strength-training
session? This 20-minute workout burns fat and tones your trouble
zones -- fast!
Multitasking, that fancy word for cooking dinner while talking
on the phone and helping your kids with homework, magically weaves
extra time into your day by allowing you to do several things at
once. That makes it the perfect concept to apply to your exercise
With the Super Circuit workout on these pages, you'll alternate
body-sculpting exercises that target several areas at once with
intervals of aerobic training. The result: a full-body, muscle-shaping
routine combined with high-intensity cardio bursts that burn calories
and incinerate body fat. In other words, twice the workout in half
the time. And to make our Super Circuit even more super, we've chosen
moves that tackle typical trouble zones such as the butt, chest
Alternate each set of each body-sculpting move with a one-minute
cardio interval for a total of 20 muscle-firming, fat-burning minutes.
Important: Keep moving! Blast through the routine
without any rest; as soon as you finish your cardio interval, jump
to the next body sculptor. Do this workout at least three times
a week and you should see shapelier muscles, a dip in body fat and
an increase in strength in about 30 days.
Basic equipment: An aerobic step, an exercise
mat or thick towel, and a set of light weights (3 to 8 pounds, depending
on how strong you are). If 3-pound weights are too heavy, do the
exercises without weights. As you get stronger, add weights to your
March in place, pumping your arms
vigorously and lifting your knees to waist level.
Step up and down on your step. Be sure to pump your arms and
plant your entire foot firmly on the step platform. Lead with
your right foot half the time, and with your left foot for the
Step on the platform with left
foot, then lift right knee to waist level. Pump arms, left arm
forward, right arm back. Step down with right foot, then with
left. Next, step up with right foot, and lift left knee; right
arm forward, left arm back. Continue alternating.
A note about intensity: Whichever cardio level
you choose, give it your best effort. You should feel slightly breathy
and sweaty by the end of each minute. Your heart should be thumping,
but you shouldn't be so out of breath that you can't talk or have
to take a break before moving on to the next exercise.
The ultimate butt move: side squat and arm raise. Also works
outer thighs, inner thighs, front of thighs and shoulders.
- Stand tall with feet hip width apart,
arms at sides with palms facing in and elbows slightly bent.
Hold a weight in each hand.
- Step right foot out about a foot and
a half to the side and bend knees until thighs are parallel
to the floor. As you do so, lift arms up and out to the
side until hands are at shoulder level. Push off the right
foot to return to the start.
Sequence: 15 reps to right
side; one-minute cardio interval; 15 reps to left side
The ultimate back-of-thigh shaper: double curl. Also works
front of arms.
- Leaning forward slightly, stand with
feet as shown, left foot forward. Bend left knee slightly
and lift right heel off the floor. Hold arms at sides with
palms forward, clasping a weight in each hand.
- Simultaneously bend right knee so that
right heel moves toward buttocks, and bend elbows to bring
hands toward shoulders.
Sequence: 15 reps with
right leg lifted; one-minute cardio interval; 15 reps with
The ultimate chest firmer: step push-up. Also works shoulders,
- Place a mat or towel underneath your
knees and lie on stomach in front of an aerobic step placed
lengthwise. Bend knees and cross ankles. Place hands shoulder
width apart on edge of aerobic step and straighten arms
so that you're balanced on palms and thighs, just above
knees as shown. Tighten abs.
- Bend elbows until upper arms are parallel
to floor. Push back up.
Sequence: One set of 15
reps; one-minute cardio interval; second set of 15 reps.
The ultimate ab sculptor: hover. Also works lower back, arms.
Don't be fooled -- this simple exercise is a total ab and
- Kneel on the floor; then lean forward.
Bend elbows and balance upper body on forearms; stretch
out legs and balance weight on toes. Clasp hands together
and tuck chin toward chest. Tighten abs so that back is
straight; make sure lower back does not sag downward and
don't raise your butt above the rest of your body.
- Hold this position for 5 to 10 slow
counts. Keep torso straight the entire time. Do two reps
per set. To rest between reps, sit back on heels and stretch
upper body forward.
Sequence: One set of two
reps; one-minute cardio interval; second set of two reps.