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5 Total-Body Exercises That Torch Calories


If there was one phrase to summarize how most people approached their workouts in 2013, it would be “Train smarter, not longer.” This mantra can be seen in everything from Tabata-inspired group fitness to CrossFit WODs, with exercisers on the quest to maximize results through time-efficient sweat sessions, and strength training is no exception. [Tweet this tip!]

If you’re in the market for total-body exercises you can add to your workout to burn more calories in less time while strengthening and sculpting from head to toe, give five of my favorite moves a try.

Alternating Single-Arm Kettlebell Swings
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold the handle of an 18- or 20-pound kettlebell in right hand with an overhand grip. Hinge at hips, drawing kettlebell back between legs, then thrust hips forward, generating power from lower body to raise kettlebell to shoulder height. Release kettlebell momentarily mid-air to switch hands so left hand is holding kettlebell. Continue swinging, alternating hands for 30 to 60 seconds.

Thread-Through Pushup
Begin in a high plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping core engaged and hips squared to floor, draw left knee toward left elbow, then cross left knee to right elbow before threading left leg underneath body to extend out beyond right side of the mat. Bend elbows, keeping them close to sides of body or allowing them to flare out slightly as you lower toward the floor for a pushup variation. Exhale and press up, moving left leg behind you back to high plank position. Repeat sequence on the opposite side. Do 8 to 10 reps, completing 4 to 5 pushups on each side.

RELATED: 13 Ways to Amp Up Your Pushup

Single-Leg Deadlift with Single-Arm Row
Stand with feet together holding a 12- or 15-pound dumbbell in left hand. Keeping core engaged, hinge forward at hips, lifting left foot off of the floor and extending it behind you as weight lowers toward the ground. Lower torso until parallel with the ground or until you feel a stretch in right hamstring (pictured above). Holding deadlift position, perform a single-arm row by drawing left elbow straight back and weight up to chest height. Rise up to starting position. Do 8 to 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

SandBell Slam with Squat Thrust
Hold a 20-pound SandBell at chest level, gripping each side. Squat, pushing hips back and bending knees. Inhale and press SandBell overhead, rising onto the toes. Exhale and perform a slam, forcibly releasing the SandBell to the ground. Quickly jump or step back to high plank position, then jump feet back up to hands, grasping the SandBell with both hands and returning to a low squat position before rising to stand. Do 8 to 10 reps.

RELATED: 10-Minute Total-Body Burn Workout

Bosu Toe Taps
Begin in a high plank position with hands on each side of a Bosu with dome side down. Keeping core engaged, spine extended, and weight evenly distributed so chest is over top of the Bosu, step right foot up to outside of right hand with hips and shoulders squared to floor. Step back to high plank position. Step left foot to tap outside of left hand, then step back to high plank. Continue alternating sides as quickly as possible while maintaining proper form and alignment for 30 to 60 seconds.


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