cardio workout

Illustration: Nicholas Davison

Workout #1

This nonstop burner, created by Bree Branker, a certified personal trainer and the director of creative integration/master instructor at IMAXShift, offers up variety while maximizing every second.

Go directly from one move to the next for as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes, without taking breaks.

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, either arms by your sides or hands clasped in front of your chest.
2. Sit back in your heels, as if you're going to sit in a chair. Lower your body as far as you can, until your thighs are below parallel with the ground. (To build extra strength in your glutes and hamstrings, move slowly in the eccentric—or lowering—phase. This will also help you increase your depth and mobility safely.)
3. Pause for 1 second, then push through your heels to return to start for 1 rep. Do 10 reps total.

1. Start in a high plank position with shoulders directly over your wrists and heels over your toes.
2. Keeping your core tight and elbows as close to your sides as possible, lower your chest toward the floor. (If this feels too difficult, switch to plank on your knees.) Return to the starting position and do 10 reps total.

Hollow Rock
1. Lie down face-up with your arms extended overhead by the sides of your ears. Your legs should be pressed together and extended out straight at about a 45-degree angle from your hips.
2. Gently rock forward, lifting your head and shoulders off the floor to bring your body into a slight "C" curve while lowering your legs closer to (but not touching) the floor. Keep your core tight as you rock back toward your shoulders, keeping your head slightly off the floor. Do 10 reps total. (For an added challenge, cross your arms behind your head and keep the rocks small, with your legs going no higher than 45 degrees.)

1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
2. Bend your knees, stick your butt back and come down into a squat position.
3. Bend forward from the hips and put your hands on the ground in front of your feet.
4. Jump your feet out behind you to get into a plank position. Keep your core tight the whole time. (Up the burn for this move by throwing in a single push-up here.)
5. Jump your feet back in toward your hands and return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.
cardio routines

Illustration: Nicholas Davison

Workout #2

Jonathan Amato, a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) at Bethpage Physical Therapy, designed this total-body conditioning workout to get your heartrate up, with a focus on the core.

Do each move for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds then go to the next move. Do 2 sets.

Jumping Jack
1. Stand with your hands at your sides and feet together.
2. Simultaneously jump and spread your legs out wide while raising your hands up over your head. Then, jump back to the starting position by bringing your legs together and your hands down by your sides.

Twisting Lunge
1. Stand with your arms straight out in front of you and your hands clasped together.
2. Step the right foot forward and drop the back knee to hover above the floor, lowering your hips until you create two 90-degree angles at each knee.
3. With your arms still out in front, twist your torso to the right, then quickly return to center.
4. Pressing through your right heel, return back to the starting position.
5. Repeat on the opposite side.

Alternating V-Sit
1. Lie on your back with legs extended out and arms flat overhead.
2. In 1 motion, activate your abdominals and crunch up while raising a straight right leg.
3. Bring your left hand to meet the right foot in the air so your body makes the vague shape of a "V." Return back to the starting position. 4. Repeat on the opposite side. (To make this movement easier, lose the crunch. Instead, place your hands under your lower back and alternate lifting your legs straight up above your torso.)

T Push-Up
1. Start in a push-up position with shoulders directly over your wrists. (To make this easier, you can perform the exercise from your knees, maintaining the same upper-body positioning.)
2. Lower your body until your chest nears the floor and your elbows are at 90-degree angles. Press back up to the starting position.
3. Place all of your weight on the right hand and slowly, keeping the core tight, rotate the left side of your body while lifting and straightening your left arm toward the ceiling. (If you're looking in the mirror, your body should form the shape of a sideways "T".)
4. Slowly return to the starting position and go directly into your next push-up. Repeat with your right arm.

Mountain Climber
1. Start in a high plank position with your shoulders over your wrists.
2. Bend your left knee and bring it toward your chest, maintaining a flat back.
3. Putting all of the weight into your hands, jump to switch legs, bringing your right knee toward your chest. (If this takes too much out of you, try doing mountain climbers for 20 seconds, and then holding a plank for the remaining 20 seconds.)
10 minute workout

Illustration: Nicholas Davison

Workout #3

As the most challenging of the three workouts, you'll need to pay close attention here to the multiple moves that make up each compound exercise. Created by Rebecca Kennedy, founder of A.C.C.E.S.S. and also a Barry's Bootcamp instructor and a Nike master trainer, this workout hits several muscle groups at the same time to achieve a higher caloric output.

Do each movement as many times as you can for 1 minute, with a 15-second rest in between. After you've completed all 5 moves, repeat the workout: This time, spend 30 seconds on each move, resting 15 seconds between each.

Inchworm to Commando
1. Stand with your legs straight and feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend at the waist and place your palms on the floor (slightly bend your knees, if needed). Walk your hands away from your feet until you're in a plank position.
3. Lower your right forearm, from wrist to elbow, to the floor, then repeat on the left side.
4. Push back up to a high plank, and walk your hands back toward your feet to return to the starting position.

Squat to Reverse Lunge
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms either by your sides or hands clasped in front of your chest.
2. Lower your body, as if you're going to sit in a chair, sitting back in your heels until your thighs are below parallel to the ground (or as far as you can go).
3. Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, creating 90-degree angles with both knees.
4. Lift your right foot to return your squat stance. Hold for 1 second.
5. Repeat with your left side, then return to the starting standing position.

Plank Jacks to Hand-Release Tricep Push-Up
1. Start in a high plank position with your shoulders over your wrists.
2. Simultaneously jump both of your feet out 6 inches, then jump them back together; do this 3 times.
3. Lower into a tricep push-up, keeping your biceps close to your ribs and sending your elbows backward instead of to your sides, until your chest completely touches the floor.
4. Briefly lift your hands (make sure you keep your lower body engaged during the hand release to protect your lower back), then press back up to the starting position.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart, holding a pair of 5- to 8-pound dumbbells with palms facing in at your shoulders. (You can lower the intensity of this move by not using dumbbells.)
2. Lower your hips and sit back in your heels until your thighs are at, or below, parallel to the floor.
3. Push through your heels and explode back up to standing, lifting the dumbbells above your head until your arms are straight.
4. Hold for 1 second, then lower the dumbbells back by your shoulders.

Lateral Bear Crawl to Kick-Through
1. Start in tabletop position on all fours, with your shoulders stacked directly above your wrists and your hips stacked directly above your knees. Your back should be in a flat, neutral position.
2. Engage your core. Lift your knees about 2 inches off of the ground, so that your lower body is hovering and your weight is in your toes.
3. Move your right hand and right foot simultaneously 6 inches to the right side, then your left foot and left hand 6 inches toward the same side. Repeat 2 more times.
4. Putting your weight into your left hand, pick up your left foot and kick it through toward your right side, lifting your right hand and pivoting on your right foot, so that your stomach is now facing upward.
5. Return to your crouched position, and repeat on the opposite side.
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.