The 10-minute fat-blasting workout!

Kim Droze

3... 2... 1... it's time to launch a new workout - one that will send your metabolism rocketing while it blasts away your fat!

Okay, so you may not be able to do it in 10 seconds, but how does 10 minutes sound, several times a week?

What's that? You say you already have a fitness programme? Or that you are too busy to squeeze in any activity?

The experts will tell you that boredom is a major reason many fitness routines come to a screeching halt. Following the same old routine day after day becomes tiresome. If you don’t change your workout - or at least increase its intensity - you can expect your results to stagnate.

And just because you're the animal of the aerobics class doesn't mean you can't improve your body. A major drawback of relying only on an aerobics workout is that you’re not toning the muscles. It takes strength-training exercises to define muscles - you can use weights or your own body weight for resistance.

Relax. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get it right. Nor do you have to swap your aerobic activity for weightlifting. You can have the best of both worlds with interval aerobics. The best part: you don’t have to leave your home to workout!

Fitness guru Joyce Vedral says you’ll see more results in less time by incorporating both toning exercises and aerobics into one fast-paced workout. If you have a treadmill, exercise bike or skipping rope, great. If you don’t, you can walk or jog on the spot.

The key is alternating between intervals of aerobic activity and exercises. Vedral says this type of workout can be used to work trouble spots including the abs, thighs and butt. Because there are no rests between each exercise, your heart rate remains high the entire time.

“With any aerobic workout - whether it’s running or riding your bike - you’re not going to get any specific area in shape,” the 59-year-old fitness queen tells us. “Sure, you’ll burn overall fat. But with interval aerobics you can zone in on a specific body part while achieving an overall fat-burning effect.

"The ab workout attacks the stomach from every angle. You’re not just doing continuous reps on the stomach for a half hour. The beauty of this is you do the exercises and then switch to the aerobic activity of your choice. You go back and forth burning fat yet giving the muscles the chance to tighten and tone”.

You should start seeing results within three weeks.

Interval Aerobics Workout for the Abs

Cycle or jog on the spot for 30 seconds. Without resting, perform these exercises:

Clamshell Crunch
Tones your upper and lower abdominal area.
Starting position: lie on your back with feet flat to the floor, bending the knees. Place your hands behind your head for support but do not pull the head.
Movement: Lift your shoulders and hip/butt area off the floor at the same time (cross legs if you wish). Keep your back flat on the floor and flex your entire abdominal area as hard as possible. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement until you have completed 15 repetitions. Without resting, move to the next exercise.

Floor Oblique Crunch
Tones your side oblique muscles, making your waist look smaller and creating lines of definition; gets rid of love handles.
Starting position: lie on your back with your feet flat to the floor, bend your knees. Place hands behind your head for support but do not pull the head.
Movement: Keeping your back flat on the floor, bring your right elbow to your left knee. While doing so, flex your entire abdominal area and feel the flex especially in your side oblique muscles. Return to starting position and repeat for the other side. Repeat until you have completed 15 repetitions. Without resting, move to the next exercise.

The Bicycle
Tightens the entire abdominal area while toning the lower butt.
Start position: lie on your back with your right leg bent and your left leg nearly straight up.
Movement: Do a bicycle-like movement. Keep your back flat to the floor, but flex your stomach muscles as hard as possible through the movement. Do 15 repetitions for each leg - a full repetition will include both legs.

Once you have completed 15 repetitions of the three exercises with no rests in between, get back on your piece of exercise equipment or skipping rope or walk on the spot. Repeat this superset for a total of 10 minutes, and then repeat it every other day for best results.

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