The most popular machines at any gym are the elliptical, stationary bikes, and treadmills. Why? I think it’s because they show you the amount of calories you’re burning. FYI — you don’t need a machine to burn that many calories!
These 5 exercises will get you the most bang for your buck in burning calories and hitting several muscles at once. Best of all, you can do them at home without a machine. All the calorie estimations are for a person who weighs 155 pounds.
1. Plank drag (with towel)
Get into a plank position, with your hands right underneath shoulders, with your abs engaged and a flat back. Also, you’ll want to place a small towel under each foot. On a hardwood or linoleum floor, drag your body from one side of the room to the other, pulling your body weight by using your arms to move around. One trip across the room, both there and back, counts as one round. Repeat this three times. Check out the image for details.
Calories burned: 12 per round
Burpees are the go-to full body workout. Get into your plank position, then “jump” your knees towards your chest. Next, jump up, raising your arms in the air above your head and pointing your toes. When you land, go back into your knees-at-chest position and kick your legs back out. This one is INTENSE – do as many as you can a day.
Calories: 10 per minute
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3. Jump lunges
Start with your feet together, elbows bent at 90 degrees, and then lunge forward as shown. Next, jump straight up as your raise your hands to the ceiling (but still keep your elbows bent!) then land in a lunge with your opposite foot forward this time.
Calories: 12 per minute
4. Renegade row
You’ll need two hand weights for this one. Get into your plank position, with your weights in your hands that are supporting you. Lift one arm against your body, so your forearm aligns with your back and your elbow is at 90 degrees. Hold for two counts, then lower back down to start. Repeat on the opposite arm. Check out the image for details.
Calories: 15 per minute
RELATED: 25 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day
5. Squat to press
Grab two light hand-weights and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, elbows bent 90 degrees and your palms facing forward. Get into a squat position and hold for two seconds. Next, push through your heels to stand up straight while raising your weights towards the ceiling. For a great image of this one and more strength moves for weight loss, check out the 5 Best Strength Moves for Weight Loss.
Calories: 14 per minute
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Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority who was the featured trainer on The CW's Shedding for the Wedding. She also appears regularly on Good Morning America and the Today Show.