Burn calories and build muscle in just nine minutes with this trainer's full-body, three-move workout

This high-intensity routine will challenge your cardio fitness

Man doing jumping jacks at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re anything like me, finding the time and motivation to exercise in the cold winter months can be difficult. 

Even though I’m a personal trainer, prioritising my own workouts, especially with two young children, can be challenging to say the least. So I’m a big fan of fast, high impact workouts that cover a lot of muscle groups all in one hit. 

This three-move full body blast takes about nine minutes (not including a warm up and cool down) and is a great way to burn calories. If you're a beginner to this style of exercise, it could help you build muscle, too. 

How to do my three-move full-body workout

This workout has three compound exercises—moves that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. The plyometric (jumping) element to the first two moves raises the heart rate, which is great for boosting cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

Do each exercise for 30-40 seconds with a short 10 second break in between. Aim for three rounds, with 60 seconds rest before you start the next set. Make sure you warm up and cool down, too. 

Scroll down to watch me perform the moves and to read a full explainer of how to do each one.

1. Squat jumps into jumping jacks

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and squat down, pushing your hips back as if you’re sitting onto a chair.
  • Push through the heels to jump straight up, bringing your feet together at the top of the movement.
  • Pause for a second before doing a jumping jack, then repeat. 

2. Knee crunches into leg kicks

  • Start with legs hip width apart then raise your left knee and bring it across your body to meet your right elbow.
  • Return your left leg to the floor, then kick your left leg up and reach your right hand towards your left foot. Swap sides and repeat. 

3. Up down plank

  • Start in high plank position, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your toes pushing off the floor. Your body should form a straight line.
  • Brace your core as you drop your left elbow to the mat, then the right elbow. 
  • Hold this low plank position for a few seconds, then press your left and right palms into the floor, and push back up to a high plank position. 
  • Repeat, occasionally swapping which arm you lead with. 

Benefits of a full body workout

Full body workouts are a really time-effective way to exercise. They often combine elements of aerobic exercise and strength training, so they improve your cardio fitness and build muscle at the same time. Moves such as the jump squat require total-body effort, which builds strength—and torches calories fast. 

Want more full-body routines? Try this beginner bodyweight workout, or if you have access to some weights have a go at this full-body dumbbell workout.

Maddy Biddulph

Maddy Biddulph is a freelance journalist specializing in fitness, health and wellbeing content. With 26 years in consumer media, she has worked as a writer and editor for some of the bestselling newspapers, magazines and websites in the US and UK. 

She is also a qualified L3 personal trainer and weight loss advisor, and helps women over 40 navigate menopause by improving their physical and mental strength. At Maddy Biddulph Personal Training, she runs one-to-one and small group training for menopausal women who want to get fit to ease symptoms and feel like themselves again.