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The Meditation-Meets-HIIT Workout for a Well-Balanced Routine

Meditation isn't just about unwinding your mind—it also may be exactly what your body needs to get fitter faster. "When you start a workout with meditation, you're able to zero in on the present moment, which allows you to move with intention, so you can give your best effort," says Holly Rilinger, a Nike Master Trainer and Flywheel Master Instructor in New York City. That means you'll be in the zone and get more out of every sweaty second. (Check out the other brain benefits of meditation.)

But that laser focus may fade as your reps add up, making it likely you start to slack off, sapping some of your workout's sculpting and energy-boosting payoff. That's why Rilinger created Lifted, a workout class she leads at Bandier's Studio B in New York City that begins with a meditation moment and also weaves meditation into challenging cardio-strength training. We've compiled the best moves from Lifted, so you can get the most out of your workout (for your body and mind).

How it works: Start with a 5-minute meditation, then do the moves in order (including the second 5-minute meditation) as indicated. Finish with a 5-minute savasana where you lie face up with eyes closed, legs and arms extended on the floor. Do this routine 3 days a week for 4 to 6 weeks.

Total Time: up to 15 minutes

You will need: Mat

1. Meditate

A.

Sit on the floor in a comfortable cross-legged position. Lengthen spine, pull shoulders back and down, and rest hands on knees or in your lap. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Do this for 5 minutes.

Sets:

1

Reps:

5 minutes

2. Suitcase March

A.

Lie faceup on floor with legs bent, feet flat, elbows bent out to sides, and fingertips touching head. Crunch, bringing elbows and knees together to meet above hips (as if you're closing a suitcase). Return to start, straightening arms by sides. Lift hips so body forms a line from shoulders to knees.

B.

Lift bent left leg until knee is over hips. Switch legs; repeat. That's 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

20

3. Squat Cross-Punch

A.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft, elbows bent down, and hands in fists on both sides of chin. Do a half-squat.

B.

Stand, forcefully punch right hand across body at shoulder height, rotating fist down and pivoting on right foot to turn hips forward slightly. Switch sides; repeat.

Sets:

1

Reps:

20

4. Squat Thrust

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Crouch and plant hands on floor.

B.

Then jump feet back to plank position. Hop feet toward hands, then jump as high as you can.

Sets:

1

Reps:

20

5. Reachback

A.

Sit on the floor with legs extended, knees soft, and arms by sides. Extend arms forward to touch toes to start.

B.

Reach right arm behind you, sliding palm on the floor away from you at a diagonal, leaning torso back as far as you can with heels on the floor. Return to start. Switch sides; repeat. That's 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

20

6. Rock Star

A.

Sit on floor with legs bent, feet flat, hands on floor behind you with fingertips pointing out to sides to start. Lift hips high, arching your back, and drop head toward floor as you reach left arm up and back. Return to start. Switch sides; repeat. That's 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10

7. Sprint

A.

Run in place as fast and explosively as you can, powerfully driving opposite arm and leg up for 30 seconds. Repeat exercises 2 to 7.

Sets:

1

Reps:

30 seconds

8. Meditate

A.

Sit on the floor in a comfortable cross-legged position. Lengthen spine, pull shoulders back and down, and rest hands on knees or in your lap. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Do this for 5 minutes.

Sets:

1

Reps:

5 minutes

9. Four Corners

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms. Pull bent right leg up to touch knee to right elbow. Return to start.

B.

Pull bent right leg up and across body to touch knee to left elbow. Switch sides; repeat. That's 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

5

10. Tuck Jump

A.

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees soft, elbows bent back with palms facing down to start. Jump as high as you can, driving knees up. Land softly in start position. Repeat as quickly as you can for 30 seconds. Repeat exercises 9 and 10.

Sets:

1

Reps:

30 seconds

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