For a lasting burn, Bellevue Club personal trainer Jessica Hintz-Strom recommends the following five exercises, which add an element of functional power to strength training. Because of the anaerobic effects of these exercises, she says the body will burn more calories after the training session is over than it would after a steady state cardio or traditional strength training session of the same duration. This is because the body is attempting to restore oxygen and return the body to a resting state (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption-EPOC for short).
A realistic goal for this circuit is to repeat each exercise for 20 seconds with 20 seconds rest, increasing working time to 30 seconds and eventually one minute while maintaining 20 seconds or less rest between exercises. Work up to three sets in a row with minimum rest.
Exercise 1: Bench Hop-overs
Crouch on one side of a low bench and place your hands on both sides. Hop both feet over the top to the other side. Spend as little time with your feet touching the floor as possible. Modify this exercise by moving your hands to the back of the bench and simply jump side to side (not over the bench).
Exercise 2: Lateral Hops - Speed Skaters
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hinge forward at the waist as you raise your left foot. Push off your right foot and explode toward the left, landing on your left foot with knees slightly bent. Touch the right toes to the ground behind your left foot. Then, push off your left foot and explode back toward the right, landing on your right foot with left toes touching behind it. Repeat.
Exercise 3: V-Sit Medicine Ball Rotation
Balance in a v-sit position with your feet off the floor and a medicine ball in your hands. Rotate the torso touching the ball to the floor on each side. To modify, take away the medicine ball or place your feet on the floor.
Exercise 4: Single-leg Ball Slams
Standing on your left foot, lift a slam ball overhead, and then use the momentum of your entire body weight to slam the ball to the ground. Without touching the right foot to the ground, bend down and pick up the ball. Repeat on the same side for an entire set before switching sides.
Exercise 5: Jump Lunges
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step your left foot forward and lower into a lunge, keeping the knee over the ankle. Explode off the ground, switching the position of your feet mid-air and landing back in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Repeat, alternating sides.