The 5-Minute Fitness Secret

Posted on: May 19, 2011

By: Adam Campbell, M.S., C.S.C.S.  Women’s Magazine

Want a fat-burning workout that fits your life? Then check out this routine that uses moves from The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises. You can do it almost anywhere, and you can do it fast—yet you’ll be amazed at how quickly it gets your heart-pumping. All you need is just one pair of light dumbbells—5 or 10 pounders!—to target every part of your body while burning tons of calories. So you’ll never have to leave your house or even use a treadmill.

The best part: You can tailor the routine to fit your schedule. Because one circuit takes exactly five minutes, you can give yourself a fat-burning boost any day, any time. For example, say you have only 10 minutes on Monday. Go ahead and just do two circuits. On Wednesday and Friday, maybe you have 20 minutes—enough time for four circuits. But maybe you find yourself with the time and energy for a 10 or 15-minute workout on Saturday or Sunday. Jump to it! Just think of each circuit as a five-minute fat-burner. Use that strategy to shape your body whenever you get the opportunity.

Directions: The workout is simple: There are 5 exercises. We’ll consider each a “station.” Go to each station for 60 seconds. Do the exercise for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this process—moving to a new exercise at the top of every minute—until you’ve completed all five exercises. That’s one circuit. Catch your breath, then repeat the entire circuit. Try do four to five circuits (very challenging!), three days a week, for a super-fast, fat-blasting plan. But remember, you can customize the plan to fit your schedule if needed. So if the three-day-a-week approach doesn’t work for you, simply try to do a total of 12 to 15 circuits a week—working them in when you can.

One note: This workout is made for light weights. How light? You should feel challenged by each exercise. Read: You’ll be breathing hard and feeling it in the targeted area. If 5 or 10-pound weights are too easy, use the trial-and-error method to determine the weight that’s right for you

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Dumbbell Lunge and Rotation

Step 1

Step 2
  1. Grab a dumbbell and hold it by the ends, just below your chin. 
  2. Step forward into a lunge. As you lunge, rotate your upper body toward the same side as the leg you’re using to step forward.

Total body toning workout

This move works:
Biceps, Calves, Core, Obliques, Quadriceps
Photo Credit: Beth Bischoff

Mountain Climber

Step 1

Step 2
  1. Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight.
  2. Lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can. Touch the floor with your right foot. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg. Alternate back and forth for 30 seconds.

Build a Better Booty

This move works:
Abs, Chest, Core, Hamstrings, Hips, Lower Back, Obliques, Quadriceps, Shoulders, Upper Back
Photo Credit: Beth Bischoff

Dumbbell Push Press

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3
  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells next to your shoulders with your elbows bent.
  2. Dip your knees. 
  3. Explosively push up with your legs as you press the dumbbells over your head.

The perfect pushup

This move works:
Shoulders, Triceps
Photo Credit:

Dumbbell Row

Step 1

Step 2
  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend at your hips and knees, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length from your shoulders, your palms facing behind you.
  2. Bend your elbows and pull the dumbbells to the sides of your torso. Pause, then slowly lower the dumbbells.

Flat ab-pilates workout

This move works:
Upper Back
Photo Credit: Beth Bischoff

Squat Thrusts

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as deep as you can into a squat.
  3. Kick your legs backward, so that you’re now in a pushup position.
  4. Then quickly bring your legs back to the squat position. 
  5. Stand up quickly and repeat the entire movement.

Easy, Speedy Breakfasts

This move works:
Calves, Quadriceps

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