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Tired of the gym? Get fit for free

March 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
If you are tired of paying that monthly gym bill, Lori Corbin has tips on how to get fit for free."Research has proven that working out in small increments during the day is actually more effective than doing one long duration at once," said Jennifer Cohen, author of "No Gym Required."

Jennifer Cohen says this is the year for mini workouts. Try small bouts for long term benefits like losing weight, strengthening bones and lowering blood pressure.

"My favorite moves are things that move more than one body part all at once," said Cohen.

Most experts agree compound moves are time savers, accomplishing greater strength and calorie expenditure. Like walking lunges with a front raise which works leg, shoulder and upper back muscles. So called burpees tax the chest, abs, legs while elevating heart rate. That same cardio bonus is shared when doing mountain climbers as well.

Movement that strengthens muscle, while strengthening the heart is a big fat bonus.

Exercise instructor Amy Dixon's "Give Me Ten," DVD offers a similar principle.

"I find that people find that digestible," said Dixon. "It's something they can dive into. If you don't have 60-minutes you can do a ten minute segment."

But there is one tiny caveat -- you have to make those ten minutes count.

"It's about really getting the heart rate up and working really hard," said Dixon.

The cobra is her favorite move. It's a modified dead lift that finishes with a upper back squeeze for the lat muscles. There is even this variation for those who are advanced to challenge their core.

"Most of us either feel it in our lower back our hips or shoulders," said Kimberly Fowler, Creator of Yoga for Athletes. "Lower back probably the number one thing I hear."

That's why Kimberly Fowler says the spinal twist is the move to know. All you have to do is bring one knee up to the belly, then take it to the opposite side to stretch lower and upper back, as well as glute and hip area.