No Matter How Tired You Feel, You Have Time For This Fat-Blasting Workout
Don't think cheerleading is a sport? This workout will change your mind. Developed by Sean Bartram, the official trainer for the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders, it features essential HIIT (high-intensity interval training) moves that will burn fat and sculpt muscles fast — in fact, studies have shown that HIIT workouts can burn over 13 calories per minute! And just one look at the cheerleaders themselves, who serve as models in his book (and here as well!), High-Intensity Interval Training For Women ($18), and you won't even question it — these women have the strength, endurance, and abs of any elite athlete.
Even better news? This total-body workout is just 10 to 16 minutes long, depending on how long you rest between intervals. If you're unsure of what level you should be at, err on the cautious side, and make sure you pay attention to form. "We have one golden rule, and that's always form first, speed second," Sean said. "Sometimes when people work against the timer they feel like doing more reps is a greater benefit to them, but we want to make sure they take the time to understand how to perform the exercises correctly before they start cranking out the repetitions." Take Sean's advice: learn all the moves here, then print out this chart to do the workout anywhere.
- Stand tall, with feet shoulder-width apart and a slight lean to the body. Drive right knee to chest as left arm swings forward. Keep core engaged.
- As your right leg lowers, drive forward with your left knee and right arm. Repeat with control, always moving opposite arms and legs.
- Stand with feet together and arms by sides. Engage the core and soften the knees.
- Jump up as you spread your feet wider than the shoulders and raise your arms overhead. Land with feet spread and arms up. Jump again, bringing your feet together and returning your arms to the sides.
- Stand tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward.
- Inhale as you bend at the knees, lowering your body as if about to sit in a chair. At the bottom of the movement, your knees should be at a 90-degree angle and your thighs parallel to the ground.
- Keep your knees over your ankles and your torso tall before you raise back up to standing. Repeat.
This move tones shoulders while burning fat.
- Stand with the heel of your left foot slightly in front of the right foot. Extend your arms in front of your chest and cross the left arm above the right. Keep your chin up and core engaged.
- Jump, switching both feet and arms to land with the right heel in front of the left foot, right arm above left.
- Repeat at a fast but controlled pace.
- Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and legs extended.
- Sit up with an explosive movement, simultaneously bringing the right knee to your chest and swinging the left arm forward as if running.
- Fully extend the right leg and return the left arm to the starting position.
- Sit up again, this time bringing the left knee in to the chest as you swing the right arm forward. Repeat, alternating arm and leg movements as though sprinting.
- Repeat, alternating arms and legs.
- Stand with feet wider than your shoulders and arms at your sides. Softly bend the knees and engage the core.
- Jump, landing with right foot crossed in front of left and right arm overhead.
- Jump, this time landing with left foot crossed in front of right and left arm overhead.
- Assume a full plank position with your core engaged. Your body should be balanced between your toes and hands, forming a straight line from ankles to head.
- Bend your elbows, bringing your chest toward the floor. Once your elbows are slightly beyond 90 degrees, push up through your hands, extending the arms to return to the starting position.
- Lie on your back and place your hands under your butt with palms facing down. Squeeze your legs together and slowly raise them until they are perpendicular to the floor, keeping them as straight as possible.
- Hold the contraction for one second.
- Maintaining straight legs, slowly lower your feet to within an inch of the floor.
- Slowly raise your legs to repeat.