How to Burn Fat Without Running—Seriously
There's a reason boxing and bodyweight exercises have become go-to workouts for models. These professionals know how to burn fat fast.
Weighted squat and overhead press
Mixing weight training with aerobic activities is the most effective way to ditch extra pounds. While many people love to run for their aerobic activity, it’s far from the only way to get a good cardio burn. Instead, follow the example of models and svelte celebrities that have been swearing by boxing and bodyweight exercises. To get insight on how to kick up your weight training by mixing an aerobic challenge, we turned to Gabriel Garcia and Bebe Ding of LA’s boxing studio, CruBox.
First up, Ding demonstrates an eight-move circuit to get your heart rate revved up; do each exercise 20 times with a minute rest before moving to the next move.
Weighted squat and overhead press: Hold a medicine ball or a dumbbell in front of your chest with both hands, feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Sink down and push your hips back into a squat, keeping your shoulders back and chest lifted. Press back to a standing position, then exhale as you press the weight overhead by extending the elbows. Return the weight back to your chest; that’s one rep. Increasing the weight will up the intensity of the workout and help you build lean muscle mass, which accelerates metabolism and weight loss—here’s a look at more ways to upgrade your squat.
Sit-up reach through
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. With your arms straight in front of you, pointing at the ceiling, interlock your fingers with your index fingers extended; now point through your legs as you slowly sit up and reach through. Exhale as you lift. Lengthen your spine and keep your arms elevated. Return to laying down position; that’s one rep.
Balance on your rear with your torso leaning back at a 45-degree angle, knees bent, and your heels elevated a few inches off the ground. Interlock your fingers in front of you and then rotate your torso from side to side, reaching down for the ground with your hands as you exhale. Touch left and then touch right; that’s one rep. For a slimmer waist, try the one core exercise every woman should be doing.
Lie on your back, legs together and flat on the ground. Simultaneously lift your shoulders and arms up as you lift your heels off the ground. Activate your core, exhale as you contract your abdominals, and hold your palms at your sides. Maintain a strong spine; hold for 20 seconds—that’s the entire set. (Don’t miss these other 8 moves that will flatten your belly without a single crunch.)
Advanced quad hip extension
On all fours, knees under your hips, hands under your shoulders, lift both your knees two inches off the ground and stabilize your core while keeping your spine long. Kick your right leg straight back behind you with your foot flexed. Return your right foot to the floor keeping your knees suspended off the ground and repeat with the left leg; that’s one rep.
Knee to elbow
In the same position as the previous exercise, knees off the ground, bring your right knee to the outside of your right elbow. Take the knee back slightly, then slowly slide it directly in front of your chest. Keep your spine long, and your left knee off the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left knee; that’s one rep.
Start in a plank position, palms placed firmly on the ground under your shoulders, spine and legs aligned, feet together. Exhale as you hop lightly and land with your feet split apart. Then inhale as you hop your feet back together—that’s one rep. (Think of it as a horizontal jumping jack.) Make sure you keep your shoulders strong and core tight. Here’s a look at more plank upgrades.
Lying leg raise
Lay flat on a bench, legs straight, and grasp the end of the bench next to your ears, elbows in. Make sure your back stays flat, not arched. Point your toes and slowly raise both feet into the air as you inhale, then exhale and slowly lower them down; stop before they touch the bench, keeping them slightly elevated; that’s one rep. Repeat, keeping your legs elevated throughout, your core tight, and your back flat. (Losing weight is great, but here are 14 other benefits of exercise.)
After completing Ding’s eight exercises, take five minutes (or less, if you’re ready), and do Garcia’s boxing basics workout.
“First, figure out whether you’re an orthodox or southpaw,” says Garcia. “Orthodox means that you are right-hand dominant—your right hand will be your ‘rear hand,’ and your left hand is your ‘lead.’ Southpaw means that you are left-hand dominant, so your left hand will be your back hand and you’ll lead with your right.” Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and step the foot on your dominant side back; then turn your feet to your dominant side. “Your body weight should be evenly distributed over both legs, knees slightly bent. Hold your fists up to cover your face, elbows in guarding your ribs, and wrists locked. Keep your chin slightly down, eyes looking over your fists.”
Once you’ve mastered proper stance, Garcia suggests doing 10 reps each of the following moves.
From your stance, quickly extend your lead hand—left for orthodox, right for southpaw—and turn your fist over with your thumb down. Keep your weight on your back foot. Always exhale as you punch. Pull the hand back immediately after impact. Your jab is your distance measurer, not a power punch. Need motivation to workout? Here are 11 foolproof tricks.
From your stance, rotate your hips and upper body as you pivot and push off your back foot. Extend your right fist straight out from your chin, and rotate the fist to land the punch thumb down. Body weight goes forward over your non-dominant foot. The cross is a power punch that comes from your dominant hand.
From your stance, swing your lead hand in a 90-degree arc in front of your face, pivoting your body as you drive off your front heel. All of this must happen simultaneously as you swing your left arm, and your weight will shift back. Want to know the secret to loving exercise? Here’s what science says.
The opposite of the lead hook: From your stance, drive off your back foot swing your dominant hand in a 90-degree arc that comes across your face. Rotate your body as one solid block while pivoting your feet and twisting your hips.
Slip & slide
Used to evade straight punches: From your stance, slip back and down with your torso and head, your fists guarding your face, and your lead heel coming off the ground. Return to your stance and then slide by turning your torso and head to your non-dominant side, fists guarding your face, and back heel coming off the ground. The body benefits of working out are great, but here are six ways exercise makes you smarter.