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Burn more calories with workout change

April 8, 2009 7:30:00 AM PDT
Do you read a book or magazine when you're on the bike or treadmill, just to help pass the time? Chances are, if you're bored with your workout program, your body is bored with it, too.Why not let the experts change it up for the better. You've got nothing to lose, except for a few pounds.

"I think people do not push themselves. We are all creatures of habit. We all like to be in a comfort zone," said kineseologist Steve Jordan.

Jordan says that's the main reason most people aren't losing weight or getting what they want out of their workout.

"We have to put a demand on our body that our body has to change and adapt to," Jordan said.

Whether you want strength, more endurance, better cardiovascular fitness or flexibility, ask more of your body, and it will adapt.

"When you change anything, if you vary your intensity, you're going to change your body. Change requires change," said Amy Dixon from Equinox.

For the treadmill, Dixon recommends a solid 5-minute warm-up, then four 30-second sprints, with one-minute recovery walks or trots in between.

"Maybe the next 10 minutes, push it up to 45 seconds, three of them, one-minute recoveries in between," Dixon said.

Then spend 5 minutes winding down in solid recovery mode.

A workout like this might be shorter than your current routine, but far more effective.

Whether you use an elliptical, a bike, or even a VersaClimber, the principle is the same.

Don't have membership to a gym or access to exercise machines? It's not a problem. Interval work using your own body can yield the same fat-burning, muscle-building result.

Push-ups, one-arm planks, so-called mountain climbers and really good interval lunge series using power and plyometric moves are effective.

"Plyometrics is the quick movement, powers that high-end lift," Dixon said.

No matter what you're fitness flavor, Dixson says if you want to change your body, remember, if it doesn't feel hard, it isn't.

Try this machine free workout to burn more calories:

  • 5-minute warm-up: Step touch right and left for 1 minute, alternate while standing tall, alternating right and left knee lifts to waistline or as high as possible for 1 minute
  • Try alternating these moves for a 4-minute period: Push-ups, one-arm plank (turning sideways), mountain climbers (on hands and toes, bring knees alternating into chest in a running type of movement)
  • Try alternating these moves for a 4 minute period: Alternating forward lunges, upper body upper cuts (As if you are hitting your opponent under the chin), shuffle slide right four counts and touch the ground, left four counts and touch the ground
  • Squat - Thrust - Stand (Try these for 30 seconds): Bend down and put hands near feet. Jump or step backwards so your body is in a plank position. Jump or step back in toward hands. Stand up and reach arms up in the air.
  • Roll over onto your back on the ground and perform 25 bicycle abdominals, with hands behind head and bringing alternate elbow to knee, then change sides. Right and left is one rep.

Repeat all sequences for a 30-minute machine-free workout. It is helpful to have a watch with a sweep hand to mark 30 second to 1 minute intervals.

Workouts on machines on Shape.com


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