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The Creative Bodyweight EMOM Workout That’s All About Speed

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Photo: Chris Fanning

You know that faster reps make for a hotter calorie burn, and that’s where an EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout like this can spark you to step up your intensity, says Kirsty Godso, a Nike Master Trainer who uses the formula for her classes at Project by Equinox in New York City. (And, yes, EMOM is HIIT. Here's the difference between HIIT and Tabata.)

In an EMOM workout, you have one minute to complete a certain number of reps of a move. At the end of the minute, you begin the next move. “You have two options,” Godso explains. “You can go slow and use the whole minute, or you can go fast and have the remainder of the minute to rest.” And the faster you go, the more of that recovery time you’ll need. (That's why maximizing your workout rest periods is so important.)

Don’t overthink it, though: Even switching up your speed will work, since Godso created this EMOM workout circuit with enough reps per set to keep your metabolism revved however you pace yourself. But since it’s easy to measure your improvement from week to week or even set to set, you’ll be motivated to race the clock as you get into the rhythm. If it took you 30 seconds to do 10 burpees in round one, try to beat that in the next round, Godso says. “Even if you feel totally exhausted after the first round, your body is actually more warmed up and ready to move for the second.” (Up for another challenge? Try this strength HIIT workout with dumbbells to build even more muscle.)

Do this workout two to three times a week on non-consecutive days. By the third week, make your goal to do three rounds of the EMOM circuit in a session.

How it works: Do a dynamic warm- up: 45 seconds each of inchworms, knee hugs, walking lunges, slow lateral shuffles, high knees, and planks to downward dogs. Then do the indicated reps of each move, starting a new move at the top of each minute. Rest for 2 minutes after completing all moves. Repeat circuit once or twice more.

Total Time: up to 45 minutes

You will need: No equipment

1. Lateral Shuffle Touch

A.

Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hips back, and chest up. Shuffle right for a few steps, keeping feet low to floor.

B.

Touch down with right hand. Switch sides; repeat. That’s 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Don't reach all the way to the floor.
Scale Up: Shuffle in a semisquat position and increase pace.

2. Donkey Kick

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms.

B.

Shift body weight forward into hands and kick feet up (knees bent) toward your butt, engaging core. That’s 1 rep. Land in crouch.

Sets:

1

Reps:

20

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Move slowly to work on form.
Scale Up: Get body as vertical as possible in kick and go for speed.

3. Pop Lunge

A.

Start in a low lunge position, left leg forward, with both knees bent to 90 degrees.

B.

Push through balls of feet to jump as high as you can, switching legs midair so you land in lunge position with right leg forward. That's 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

20

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Do 10 regular jump lunges on each side.

4. Hot Sauce

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms. Push body weight forward into hands while driving knees in toward chest. Engage core to jump legs straight back, landing in plank.

B.

Immediately jump feet to outside of hands to land in a low squat.

C.

Jump straight up into a tuck jump, driving knees up; land with bent knees. Jump back to start. That's 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

10

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Jump both feet to outside of hands into a low squat, then jump back to plank. Instead of a tuck jump, do a regular jump.

5. Plank Walk

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms.

B.

Lower right forearm to floor, then left forearm.

C.

Reverse movement to return to start. That’s 1 rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

20

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Drop to knees.

6. Single-Leg Burpee

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms, left foot lifted slightly. Keeping elbows close by ribs, do a triceps push-up.

B.

Return to plank, keeping left foot off floor, then jump right foot between hands. Rise up into a low single-leg squat.

C.

Jump up as high as you can, raising arms overhead. Land on right foot. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps. Switch sides, then repeat.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Take out the push-up.

7. 90-Degree Abs

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms. Draw bent right knee toward chest.

B.

Thread right leg under body and extend out to left, slightly bending right elbow to angle torso toward left and flexing right foot to create an L. Reverse movement back to start. That’s 1 rep.
Do 10 reps. Switch sides, repeat.

Sets:

2

Reps:

10

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