At-Home Workouts: Good, Better, Best

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When you feel too busy to hit the gym, it’s all too easy to not work out at all. But there are many simple exercises you can easily do at home—or anywhere—without investing in expensive equipment.

Mix and match the following moves in a fast-paced routine (about 12 minutes, with little rest in between) that's designed to get your heart pumping. The combination of muscle building and aerobic intervals will fuel your fat release better than either approach on its own.

Want to keep challenging yourself? Try doing more repetitions in the same amount of time, or try the next-hardest version of the exercise as shown here.

For more tips and tricks to burn fat, our new book The Digest Diet offers a groundbreaking new weight-loss plan to slim down based on fat releasing foods, exercises, and habits.

Basic Move: Squat

Basic Move: Squat
A: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands clasped at chest level or on your hips.

B: Bend your legs and squat slightly as if sitting in a chair, keeping your back straight, your knees behind your toes, and your heels flat on the floor. Return to the starting position to complete the move. Perform 6 to 8 reps.

Trim and tone: Bottom, thighs, abs

Work It Harder

Work It Harder
Almost-Sitting Squat (at left)
 
A: Stand in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart and hands clasped at chest level.
 
B: With your heels flat on the floor and keeping your back straight, bend your legs and slowly lower your bottom until it’s nearly touching the chair’s seat, but don’t sit down. Keep your arms extended in front of you for balance. Return to the starting position to complete the move. Do 10 to 12 reps.
 
Max It Out: Jumping Squats
 
Do the basic squat (previous slide), but as you extend your legs to stand, jump straight up, trying to land with a little bend in the knees to cushion your landing before going back into squat position. Do 10 to 12 reps.
 
Note: If you have knee or back problems, ask your doctor if this exercise is okay for you.

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Basic Move: Wall Push-Up

Basic Move: Wall Push-Up
A: Stand facing a wall with your feet hip-width apart. Place your palms on the wall at shoulder height and width.

B: Keeping your feet in place, your stomach firm, and your back straight, bend your arms to slowly lower your body toward the wall. If you can, let your chest touch the wall. Extend and straighten your arms to complete the move. Do 6 to 8 reps.

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Work It Harder

Work It Harder
Chair Push-Up (at left)

A: Using a sturdy chair, get into  a push-up position, extending your arms with your palms on the seat and your legs extended behind you. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.

B: Keeping your stomach firm, your back straight, and your elbows tucked near your sides, bend your arms until your chest nearly touches the seat. Extend and straighten your arms to complete the move. Do 10 to 12 reps.  

Max It Out: Classic Push-Up  

Get into a push-up position with your arms extended, palms on the floor, and legs long and straight behind you. Keeping your stomach firm, your back straight, and your elbows tucked near your sides, bend your arms until your chest nearly touches the floor. Extend your arms to complete the move. If you want an even tougher challenge, try lifting your right leg off the ground for half of the reps, then your left leg off of the ground for the remainder of the reps. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Basic Move: Step-Up

Basic Move: Step-Up
A: Stand in front of a low step or at the base of a staircase, using a handrail or wall for balance, if necessary. Place your right foot on the first stair.

B: Step up and tap your left foot lightly on the stair. Keeping your right foot on the stair, step down with your left leg to complete the move. Do 6 to 8 reps with each leg.

Trim and tone:
Thighs, bottom, calves

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Work It Harder

Work It Harder
2-Step Step-Up (at left)

A: Stand in front of a low step or at the base of a staircase. Place your right foot on the second stair.

B:  Step up and tap your left foot lightly on the second stair. Keeping your right foot on the stair, step down with your left leg to complete the move. Do 10 to 12 reps with each leg.

Max It Out: Weight-For-It Step-Up

Stand in front of a low step or at the base of a staircase holding a full water bottle in each hand (or hold 5- to 10-pound hand weights, if you have them). Place your right foot on the second stair. Step up and tap your left foot lightly on the second stair. Keeping your right foot on the stair, step down with your left leg to complete the move. Do 10 to 12 reps with each leg.

Basic Move: Classic Dip

Basic Move: Classic Dip
A: Sit in a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place your palms on the edge of the seat beside your hips and extend your legs so that only your heels are on the floor.

B: Walk your heels forward until your butt is just in front of the chair and you’re supporting your body weight with your arms. Keeping your elbows pointed behind you, bend your arms to lower your body about 6 inches. Extend and straighten your arms to complete the move. Do 6 to 8 reps.

Trim and tone: Abs, shoulders, back, chest, arms

Work It Harder

Work It Harder
Leg-Raised Dip (at left)

A: Sit in a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place your palms on the edge of the seat beside your hips and extend your legs so that only your heels are on the floor.
 
B: Walk your heels forward until your bottom is just in front of the chair and you’re supporting your body weight with your arms. Raise your left leg about 12 inches off the floor. Keeping your elbows pointed behind you, bend your arms to lower your body about 6 inches. Extend and straighten your arms to complete the move. Do 5 dips with your left leg raised and 5 dips with your right leg raised. 

Max It Out: Double-Chair Dip

Sit in a sturdy, armless chair facing another chair. Place your palms on the edge of the seat beside your hips and extend your legs so that your heels are on the seat of the second chair. Slowly move forward until your bottom is just in front of the chair and you’re supporting your body weight with your arms. Keeping your elbows pointed behind you, bend your arms to lower your body about 6 inches. Extend and straighten your arms to complete the move. Do 10 to 12 reps.

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slide 10

slide 10Courtesy Torie Jayne
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