This high-intensity combo of strength and cardio moves burns calories and builds muscle fast.
May 07, 2013
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Build muscle fast
Follow this simple 20-minute routine five times a week, for three weeks. It alternates high-intensity cardio-and-strength moves to maximize calorie afterburn with more restful strength-only exercises that help boost your metabolism.
Do it straight through (don't rest in between exercises). Not feeling challenged? Just add weight or increase your reps.
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For glutes, hamstrings, quads
Step up onto a low bench or stair with right foot, then bring up left foot. Step back down, right foot first. Do 20 reps; then repeat, starting with left foot.
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For triceps, shoulders, chest
Place hands shoulder-width apart on floor, then walk feet back until body is in a straight line. Without sagging, slowly bend arms and lower chest. When elbows form right angles, push back up to starting position. Do 30 reps.
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For glutes, hamstrings, quads, biceps
Holding a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, stand with feet together and arms at sides. Step forward with left foot and lower right knee toward floor (don't let left knee go beyond your ankle). At the same time, curl weights toward shoulders. Return to starting position and repeat with right foot. Do 20 reps per leg.
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For hamstrings, glutes, abs
Lie on back with hands by ears and elbows pointing out. Place a small pillow behind knees, squeeze, and bring knees in toward chest. Continue to squeeze the pillow as you raise shoulder blades off the floor, moving nose toward knees. Hold for a beat, then return to starting position. Do 30 reps.
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For glutes, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, core
Holding 3- to 5-pound dumbbells beside shoulders, stand with feet twice shoulder-width apart. Keep back straight as you squat until thighs are almost parallel to the floor; push through heels and press weights up as you return to standing. Do 30 reps.
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For back, biceps
Holding 5- to 8-pound dumbbells by your sides, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and back about a foot from the wall. Press butt against the wall for support, then bend at the knees and waist so torso and thighs form a right angle. Keeping head up and back straight, draw elbows straight back and up, bringing weights up to touch torso. Pause, then lower weights. Do 30 reps.
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For quads, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding 3- to 5-pound dumbbells by your sides. Keeping back straight, squat until thighs are nearly parallel to the floor, then push off balls of feet to rise back to standing as you raise dumbbells out to sides until parallel with shoulders. Return to starting position. Do 30 reps.
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Squeeze Side Crunches
For hamstrings, abs
Lie on back with hands by ears and elbows pointing out. Place a small pillow behind knees, squeeze, and bring knees toward chest. Continue to squeeze the pillow as you move left elbow toward right knee, lifting left shoulder blade. Hold for a beat, then lower back down. Repeat on opposite side. Do 15 reps per side.
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For glutes, quads
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, one on either side of front edge of an open door. Grasp a towel looped around both doorknobs, extend arms, and lean back. Keep back straight. Bend knees and lower butt toward floor. Pause, tighten butt muscles and rise back up. When legs straighten, thrust pelvis forward, squeezing butt muscles again. Do 30 reps.
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For triceps, shoulders, chest
Sit on bench edge with hands on either side of butt. Slide butt off and extend legs until straight. Keeping torso upright, bend elbows as you lower butt toward floor. When upper arms are nearly parallel to floor, push back up to starting position. Do 20 reps.
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Stand with toes on the edge of a step. Lower heels, then rise up onto toes. Squeeze calves for a second at the top of motion, then slowly return heels to starting position. Do 30 reps.
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