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Now we all want to be efficient with our workouts and burn as many calories as fast as we can. Lack of time is a terrible excuse not to work out, but if you are having a busy day and you need to burn off the pizza you ate over the weekend (why are you eating a pizza?), then there are some exercises that are more efficient than others.

Remember results are always 70-80% diet, so your food is key to maximizing results. Regardless of the workouts you do in the gym, these exercises are what I consider to be the top five that will help you burn fat fast and you can perform anywhere in a small amount of time! If you don’t like it, then there are different ways to modify the movement so that you can like it.

5. Jumping jacks

Jumping jacks may seem like a basic exercise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an effective workout. It is a great way to warm up your body before a workout because it hits both your upper and lower body. As opposed to starting on a stairmaster or treadmill, you are primarily focusing on your lower body. This will make your workout more effective and increase your fat burn.

4. Jumping rope

Jumping rope brings out the kid in you! For this exercise, all you need is a rope which is cheap, portable, and can be done anywhere for a quick high intensity workout. According to Mayo Clinic, a 160 pound individual can burn up to 861 calories per hour. Jumping rope will also help you build your bone density. Similar to jumping jacks, jumping rope can be a great warm up. What differentiates jumping jacks from jumping rope is that you can increase the intensity. It is an exercise in which you can measure your improvement by going faster and/or by increasing time. You may also learn new techniques; aside from the basic jump, you can do a reverse jump by changing the direction of the rope, criss-cross jump by crossing your arms with each jump (this will work your arms, shoulders, and chest as well), and one footed jumps which will focus on your calves, quadriceps and hamstrings. This exercise may take time to get adjusted to, but once you do you can a great cardio workout at home when you’re not training with Elevate fitness!

3. Squats

I love squats! Who doesn’t want a big, firm butt? The squat is one of the only exercises that works 75 percent of your muscles which means a ton of calories burnt. Form is important on this exercise; it’s not as important to do this movement as it is performing it correctly for maximum results and to prevent injury. With or without weight, begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your heels planted to the floor, lower your body and push your hips back. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel or a tad lower past parallel to the floor. Pause in this position and stand back up. There are many variations of this exercise to focus on and strengthen different muscles in your lower body. A front squat will focus on your quads and lower back as opposed to a back squat that will work more your glutes and hamstrings. A sumo squat will focus on your inner thigh and a plie squat will help you increase your range of motion. For more information on all the squats you can do, ask your Elevate Fitness trainer!

2. Burpees

An exercise that Crossfit does that actually has real health benefits! I have a real love hate relationship with burpees. They hurt your body everywhere, but the great thing about them is that they are a high-intensity exercise. This means that not only will you burn calories during the time that you do them, but they will increase your metabolism that you burn additional calories throughout the day. It’s a full body exercise so there is a lot to it if you haven’t performed them before. Start in a squat position, and at the bottom of the squat reach your hands out and onto the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into a pushup position. Then quickly come back to a squat position and jump into the air as high as you can by using your lower body muscles. Repeat about 50 times and you are done with your cardio for the day!

1. Push-ups

The good ol’ push up is in my opinion the best exercise to burn fat fast. They are one of the best upper body exercises in existence and you don’t need any equipment. They develop strength and are  much safer for the shoulders than most weight-bearing exercises. Like the squat, there are many ways to make it tougher. An easy to do variation would be to place your feet on a bench and do a decline push up. Some of the tougher variations would be a single arm push up, clapping push up, or the Aztec push up (impossible).

You can also make it easier by starting with a wall and pushing against it or bringing your body down to your knees instead of your feet. Also like the squat, form is important. It is an exercise that many people have trouble getting right. Start by lining up your head, neck, torso, and hips. Lower yourself down, and push back up in a controlled movement. Good luck and don’t be afraid to try it a different way!

Any of these exercises can make you have trouble walking the next day or make it difficult to lift your arms if you push yourself hard enough (and I know you can). Add weights and give yourself a challenge. If you don’t have a gym, then do them at home and equipment is not necessary.