If you're looking to burn fat and get your heart rate up, it's time to channel your inner athlete.

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If you’re looking to burn fat and get your heart rate up, it’s time to channel your inner athlete.

Remember all of those gym class, soccer practice, and field day exercises that involved sprints and obstacle courses? Those old-school coordination and agility drills are your new best friend. Athletes thrive on these types of exercises quite simply because they improve your overall athleticism by working your balance, power, and speed. These same exercises, however, work just as well for non-athletes looking to beef up their overall fitness.

Try out the following 4 agility exercises for a great cardio workout that will also improve your speed and coordination.

1. Grapevines
If you ever did aerobics with Jane Fonda or Kathy Smith, the grapevine was one of their staple moves for getting your heart rate up. Facing forward, move toward your right side stepping out with your right foot. Step your left foot in front of your right. Step out again with your right, next bringing your left foot behind your right. Continue this pattern, stepping your left foot in front of your right and then behind all while moving to your right side. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, pick up your pace moving as quickly as you can before switching directions and heading back to your left.

2. Suicide runs
For better or worse, you probably remember suicide runs from high school gym class. Begin on a start line. From here, sprint to a point 20 feet away, touch the point and return to the start line. Without stopping, switch direction again and run to a point 30 feet away, and sprint back to the starting line. Lastly, sprint down to a point 40 feet away, and then sprint back to the starting line. Suicide runs are a great way to improve your speed, and ability to switch direction quickly and effectively.

3. Lateral jumps
Stand next to a line on the ground, or use a towel as a marker if needed. Keeping your feet together, jump back and forth over the line as quickly as possible. As you get more comfortable, try adding height to your jumps by jumping over small objects.


4. Stair run
Stair runs may seem a little Rocky-ish, but they are a great way to build foot speed, power, and endurance. Head to a set of stairs and get to work. Start by running up every single stair, as quickly and powerful as possible. Once you reach the top, use your run down the stairs as a quick recovery time. As you get more comfortable, start running up every other step.

Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.