Fitness / 17.02.2015

Work out for 10 minutes a day and look this great in gym gear

By Roisin Dervish-O'Kane
Small on time, big on impact - this is the smart woman's morning workout

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Forget the hours on the cross-trainer or exercise bike. For the strong-not-skinny look, strength training is where it’s at.

‘It is much more efficient to do some sort of high intensity training or strength training that is going to give you a higher calorie burn – even when you are done training,’ says PJ Stahl, alpha-trainer who has honed the bods of everyone from Britney Spears to Mr. Beckham. So he’s worth listening to.

The science bit:

‘If you workout extremely hard, then afterwards your body has to catch up,’ he explains. ‘This is called the EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) effect, and to catch up with that, your body has to burn calories to make up for the oxygen that it’s missing.’

Read more: healthy’s outdoor HIIT workout

But you don’t need to fork out for a gym membership – or even invest in dumbells to start working on your fitness. You can do a hell of a lot with your bodyweight. To get started, you just need to work out for 10 minutes a day – no equipment necessary.

The moves:

Here are five moves – selected especially for healthy by PJ – that will target all your main muscle groups and help you get fitter and lose fat, ASAP. Do each of them for 30 seconds and then do four repetitions of the whole sequence.

1 Squats – for toning the back and front of the thighs and your bottom
‘Set your feet just outside shoulder width, sit through your hips as if you were going to almost sit back into a chair, and drive your knees out wide and stand up tall. These are called air squats and work your hamstrings, glutes and quads.’

2 Reverse lunges – for lean thighs and a lifted booty
‘Lunging backwards, bend your front knee at 90 degrees. With the back knee, lightly touch the ground and then push off your front foot and stand up. Switch to the other leg and repeat.’

Read more: 5 moves to hone pear-shaped thighs

3 Negative push-ups – for upper arms you won’t want to hide
‘A negative push-up is when you start in a plank position and then lower yourself down, all the way to the ground in a controlled way.
You then push back into a child’s pose, pushing back to your knees and then shift back forwards to a plank once again. This is a good way to modify a push-up without making it too strenuous.’

4 Plank – for a strong core and the posture of a Pilates teacher
‘Start with your elbows on the floor, shoulder-width apart and your toes and feet together. Hold the position for the full thirty seconds, then move onto your next exercise.’

Read more: How to get a core of steel

5 Sit-ups – to tone the top bit of your tummy
‘Start in a regular sit-up position. Then, as you are 45 degrees off the floor, twist your centre, taking your opposite elbow to your opposite knee and alternate every turn.’

This routine will take two and a half minutes. Do it four times over – still only 10 minutes – every morning. Trust us, or rather, trust in the man who’s sculpted David Beckham’s abs: it works.

Got more easy at-home fitness hacks we need to hear? Tweet and tell us @healthymag or join in the conversation on our Facebook page.


PJ Stahl (MA, CSCS) is Tabata Program Director and owner/head coach of Lock Box LA. For more information and classes, visit www.tabataofficial.comModel wears Lorna-Jane Active Wear, available in the UK at House of Fraser.
Work out for 10 minutes a day and look this great in gym gear
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Work out for 10 minutes a day and look this great in gym gear
You don't need a gym - or even any weights to get fit, burn fat and look toned. Work out for 10 minutes a day with this routine from Tabata trainer PJ Stahl
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