Boost your metabolism and strengthen your muscles with this five-move workout

Raise your heart rate, burn fat, and strengthen your muscle with this short bodyweight workout

Woman holding a squat position
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even if you prefer lifting weights or slower-paced practises like yoga, it's worth focusing on cardio routines every once in a while. After all, it can do wonders for your body. 

As well as increasing the production of feel-good endorphins and relieving stress, cardio workouts will also boost your metabolism, making them one of the best ways to burn energy quickly.

Some people think this type of exercise is boring, restricted to lengthy sessions on the elliptical machine or hour-long trudges on a treadmill. Fortunately, that's not the case. 

To enjoy all the benefits of a cardio workout, all you need is five exercises, a little bit of space in your home, and this session from fitness trainer Rhiannon Bailey. You can do three rounds for a 15-minute session, or six rounds for a more comphrensive workout. 

To try it for yourself, complete each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, then move onto the next one. Once you've finished all five exercises, restart the circuit and repeat for as many rounds as you feel able to do.

To get the most from your training and avoid injury, it's essential to get the technique right. So, be sure to check out Bailey's demonstrations before you start to perfect your form. 

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's five-move cardio workout

This style of workout is called high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It's designed to push you towards your maximum heart rate with short bursts of effort, making it a time-efficient way to work on your fitness and burn calories. This is why many people turn to HIIT workouts for fat loss when pressed for time. 

The movements in this session may be designed to get your heart and lungs working, but that doesn't mean your muscles are off the hook. Your upper and lower body will both be called into action with, exercises like skaters working your legs and plank jack shoulder taps requiring plenty of core strength. 

However, if you're looking to for a more strength-focused workout, try this five movement upper-body dumbbell workout or opt for a glutes and hamstrings workout to improve your lower-body strength.

Once you’ve finished Bailey’s HIIT workout, you might want to stretch to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (the muscle aches you feel after hard workouts, otherwise known as DOMS). 

This ten minute yoga session will immediately relax your muscles, while this standing Pilates workout is great for developing your flexibility and coordination. Alternatively, spend a bit of time massaging your muscles with a foam roller

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.