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Fire Up Your Metabolism with These 4-Minute Workouts

Beth Bischoff

Getting a sufficient workout in less than five minutes? It sounds crazy, but it’s absolutely possible. These two routines—one which uses bodyweight moves and another which uses minimal equipment—allow you to work your entire body and boost your muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness all at the same time. Plus, the moves are done in high-rep intervals, which will help you burn lots of calories in a short amount of time (in addition to burning calories after the workout).

Try them for yourself, and you’ll lose inches and body fat without having to do long, slow cardio on fancy equipment in expensive gyms. It’s a win-win!

 4-Minute, No-Excuses Workout (No Equipment)  
This is a great routine for beginners that will kickstart your fat-burning metabolism. Perform one set of each move for the appropriate amount of time (with a few seconds of rest in between). If you have more than four minutes, rest one minute at the end of the circuit, and then repeat it one more time. Complete this routine two to three times per week to see results.

Check out an outline of the workout in our pin-able graphic below, then scroll down for move-by-move how-tos. 

 MOVE  Bodyweight Squat (60 seconds, no rest) 


Beth Bischoff

Stand with your feet just greater than shoulder-width distance apart (A). Start the movement at the hip joint. Push your hips backward and lower your body as if you’re sitting back into a chair. Squat as deeply as possible, keeping your lower back straight (do not let it round) (B). Push up with your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps to return to the start position.

 

 MOVE  Close-Grip Pushups (30 seconds, no rest) 


Beth Bischoff

Get in a push-up position with your abs squeezed in tight and body in a straight line from toes to knees to shoulders. Your hands should be shoulder-width distance apart on the floor (A). Slowly lower yourself down until you are an inch off the ground, tucking your elbows into your sides as you lower your body (B). Push through your chest, shoulders and triceps to return to the start position, keeping your body straight and elbows tucked in at all times.
 

 MOVE  Mountain Climbers (30 seconds, no rest) 


Beth Bischoff

Start in the top of the same push-up position. Keeping your abs engaged, pick your right foot up off the floor, and slowly bring your knee up to your chest. Do not let your hips sag or rotate (A). Then, return your leg to the start position, and bring the left knee to your chest (B). Repeat.
 

 MOVE  Walking Lunges (60 seconds, no rest) 


Beth Bischoff

Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart and hands on your hips (A). Take a wide step forward with your left foot, bending your left knee to lower towards the ground (your front thigh should be parallel to the ground). Keep your right toe on the ground and your upper body upright to maintain your balance (B). Push through your left leg to return to the starting position, then repeat with the opposite leg (C).
 

 MOVE  Jumping Jacks (45 seconds, rest 15 seconds) 


Beth Bischoff

Stand on the balls of your feet with your arms by your sides (A). Jump your feet out to the side and raise your hands overhead at the same time (B). Quickly jump back to the start position, and repeat.

 

 4-Minute, No-Excuses Workout #2 (With Equipment)  
For the more advanced, this fast routine will get your heart racing in no time—and with only two pieces of equipment: a kettlebell and a bench. Perform one set of each move for the appropriate amount of time with no rest in between. If you have more time, rest for one minute at the end of the circuit, then repeat it two more times. Complete this routine two to three times per week to see results.

You can have a look at the complete workout in the pin-able graphic below. Keep scrolling for individial exercise instructions. 

 MOVE  KB Swing (60 seconds, no rest) 


Beth Bischoff

Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width distance apart. Hold a single kettlebell or dumbbell in both hands in front of your body at arm’s length. Push your hips back and quickly swing the kettlebell or dumbbell between your legs, bending at the hip and keeping your back straight (A). Immediately push through your legs to swing the kettlebell back up to the starting position (at chest height) (B). Repeat at a quick pace.
 

 MOVE  Decline Pushups (60 seconds, no rest) 


Beth Bischoff

Get in a push-up position with your feet firmly planted on a bench or stair and your hands on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart. Your body should form a straight line from toes to knees to shoulders. Lower your upper body down towards to floor, bending at the elbows, until you are two inches off the ground. Then, push up using your chest, shoulders, and triceps to return to the start position (keeping your body straight at all times).
 

 MOVE  Walking Lunges (60 seconds, no rest) 


Beth Bischoff

Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart and hands on your hips (A). Take a wide step forward with your left foot, bending your left knee to lower towards the ground (your front thigh should be parallel to the ground). Keep your right toe on the ground and your upper body upright to maintain your balance (B). Push through your left leg to return to the starting position, then repeat with the opposite leg (C).
 

 MOVE  Burpees (Go 20 seconds, rest 20 seconds, then go 20 more seconds) 


Beth Bischoff

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides. Quickly crouch down to the ground onto your hands and feet (A), then thrust your feet back so you are in a push-up position (B). Quickly thrust your feet back into a crouching position, then jump up vertically (C) to return to the starting position.

Craig Ballantyne is a strength and conditioning coach and certified Turbulence Trainer. Find more of his workouts at TurbulenceTraining.com.

And for more exercise tips from Ballantyne, check out our January/February 2015 issue, on newsstands now!

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