3 Fat-Blasting Cardio Combos You Must Try
Looks like Punxsutawney Phil was right: Temperatures have plummeted outside, and we’re facing another six weeks of winter. But you don’t have to brave the icy weather or grind away on a treadmill to get in your cardio workout. “The right combination of strength moves can speed fat loss and challenge your cardiovascular system,” says Dan John, a strength coach in Salt Lake City, Utah and author of musclemorphosis.com. Give these lightning-fast drills a shot this week. They’re just as tough as lung-busting sprints, and only take minutes to perform.
1. Goblet Squat + Bear Crawl
Perform 10 goblet squats, and then immediately bear crawl for 10 meters. That’s one round. Complete 7 more rounds. Try to rest as little as possible between each round. “This exercise combination is a bear,” says John. “Go hard, and it’ll tax your muscles, generate a ton of sweat, and speed up your metabolism for hours afterward.” Jogging a few miles at a moderate pace could never do that.
2. Hip Lift Hold + Suitcase Carry
Hold a hip lift for 25 seconds. Without resting, stand up, grab two heavy kettlebells or dumbbells by the handles, and walk 10 meters. That’s 1 set. Do 10 total. Holding the most difficult position of the hip lift—the top—for so long can be even harder than performing conventional reps, says John. And just when your backside starts to fatigue, you jump up and work every muscle from head to toe with the carry. You’re sculpting lean muscle, which incinerates calories, says John. Plus, your heart and lungs never get a break because you go from standing to lying over and over and over again.
3. Kettlebell Swing + Goblet Squat + Pushup
Start by doing 15 kettlebell swings, 10 goblet squats, and 10 pushups in a row. Rest only as much as needed, and then perform 15 swings, 9 goblet squats, and 9 pushups. You’ll keep your swings consistent, but work your way down to 1 goblet squat and 1 pushup. By the time you’re done, you’ll have completed 150 swings, 55 squats, and 55 pushups—and reap the cardiovascular boost of aerobic training and the muscular benefits of a strength session. “It’s designed so you can do each move as hard and as fast as possible each round,” explains John. That means elevate your heart rate with the first set of swings, and keep it up the entire time.