Is summer starting to feel like one big all-you-can-eat buffetwith zero time left for the gym? No worries! "If you balance out those extra calories, you won’t put on the pounds," says Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet. "And if you work off 500 calories a day or cut the same number from what you usually eat, you’ll actually lose a pound a week."
Torch up to 700 calories with this fun workout, and check out these painless 500-calorie food swaps. You’ll ditch enough calories each day to trim an easy pound a week.
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Burn it off
This intense workout from trainer and exercise physiologist Amy Dixon blasts an impressive 700 calories. What’s more, you can do it anywhere. The routine alternates 8-minute cardio bouts with 6-minute strength sets for maximum fat- and calorie-torching.
Here’s how to do it: For each of the four circuits, do the Cardio Blast, then go through the strength set twice, resting for 30 seconds after each move. Go on to the next circuit. And if you haven’t worked out in a while or are just having a low-energy day, follow the "make it easier" tips at the end of each moveyou’ll still incinerate 500 calories.
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Cardio blast: Bike, run, or inline skate at an easy to moderate intensity for 5 minutes, then increase to a moderate pacefor 3 minutes.
Circle Hop Squat
Stand with feet wide and turned slightly outward. With chest lifted, lower into a squat and reach arms toward ground. Push into feet to jump up, turning to the left 180 degrees while in the air; at the same time, circle arms up and over from right to left. Land softly in a squat facing the opposite direction, arms back to the ground. Repeat, jumping to the right 180 degrees while circling arms from left to right; alternate for 1 minute. Make it easier: Instead of jumping, step around.
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Come into modified push-up position with knees together and down, hands in a diamond position directly under your chest, and arms straight; don’t lock elbows. Bend elbows so they come alongside your torso and point backward (not out), lowering chest toward the ground. Press into your palms to come back up; repeat for 1 minute.
Make it easier: Place your hands directly under your shoulders (traditional position).
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Cardio blast: Alternate 2 minutes at moderate intensity with 2 minutes at high intensity for a total of 8 minutes.
Core Leg Drop Lie on your back with legs straight and raised to 90 degrees so feet are toward sky. Clasp your hands, and reach them straight up; lift head and shoulder blades. Keeping left leg in position, lower straight right leg toward ground; crunch up, and bring hands to outside of left thigh. Return to previous position; repeat on right side. Alternate for 1 minute. Make it easier: Keep hands behind your head throughout the move.
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Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands up in front of you with palms forward. Lift right foot; bend knee to 90 degrees so heel is behind you. Gently fall forward onto your hands (keep right leg bent and lifted), allowing left heel to lift off the ground. Push into hands and ball of left foot to return to previous position. Repeat for 30 seconds; switch sides, and repeat for another 30 seconds.
Make it easier: Keep both feet on ground; after standing back up, do a knee lift (alternate sides).
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Cardio blast: Alternate 1 minute at moderate intensity with 1 minute at high intensity for a total of 8 minutes.
Starting-Gate Lunge Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step right foot back, and lower into a lunge so both knees are at 90 degrees. Keeping chest lifted, hinge forward at the hips and touch one hand to the ground on either side of the front foot. Push into feet and spring up off of the ground, catching a tiny bit of air, then land softly in previous position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat for 30 seconds. Make it easier: Instead of hopping, rise from lunge position, then sink back down.
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Sit up straight with knees bent, feet hip-width apart on ground, knees over ankles. Hinge back at waist; place hands on ground below shoulders, fingers out. Lift hips to raise body, then bend elbows to point directly back as body dips toward the ground. Push into heels, and straighten arms to come back up; punch right arm across chest, rotating torso to left. Return hand to ground, then immediately dip and twist to opposite side. Continue alternating for 1 minute.
Make it easier: Instead of twisting and punching, alternate lifting hands off ground.
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Cardio blast: Work at a high intensity for the entire 8 minutes.
Reverse Diagonal Lunge Roll Stand with feet together and arms by sides. Keeping right leg straight, step left foot diagonally back and bend left knee to 90 degrees to come into a lateral lunge; touch ground by inside of left foot with right hand. As you push off left leg to return to starting position, lift right arm and do a backward shoulder roll. Repeat sequence on opposite side; continue to alternate for 1 minute. Make it easier: Do lateral lunges out to the side instead of diagonally.
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Come into "up" part of push-up: hands below shoulders and body in straight line. Drop hips a bit, then lift them as you push into hands and feet and hop feet (and hands, if you can) to left, landing gently with elbows slightly bent. Repeat, hopping right; continue to alternate.
Make it easier: Don’t hopwalk feet from side to side.
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