Resistance training is a great way to build muscle, but it's also important to work on your cardiovascular fitness by choosing routines that get your heart rate up, even for a short amount of time.
That doesn't mean you need to head to the gym for hours-long sessions on the treadmill, as there are equipment-free methods to boost your metabolism and build strength all over, like this personal trainer's short routine.
This bodyweight workout comes from Stef Williams, the founder of fitness app WeGlow, and is ideal for home workouts. With only four moves and no equipment, this session is proof that you don’t need time or fancy kit to get started.
You'll do each move for 45 seconds, take a 15-second rest, then start the next exercise. Repeat this circuit four times for a time-efficient, muscle-building workout you can do when you're short on time.
Watch Stef Williams' full-body workout
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It's a succinct routine, but that doesn't means its any less effective. If you're looking to exercise for happiness, you'll walk away from this session with an elevated mood and tired muscles, which makes it great for lunch breaks or early starts.
Williams’ bodyweight routine also works well as a finisher after a strength session, especially a leg-focussed workout. So, pair it with this 35-minute glute-focused session for maximum gains.
If you want to increase the difficulty of this workout, you could add ankle weights, which will also help you strengthen your lower-body. There are also plenty of ways to modify this routine and lower the impact.
For a start, try the plank walkout without the mountain climbers, simply walking your arms out into a plank and back to standing. You can also do the squats and lunges without jumping, which is still a great way to strengthen the lower body.
The day after your workout, you'll likely feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), caused by tiny tears in your muscle fibers created during your training. Using a foam roller to massage the area can help.
You can also promote recovery with a post-workout smoothie packed with plenty of protein. Your body uses the protein to repair, grow, and strengthen the damaged muscles.
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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.
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