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If you want to get a six-pack by the time the sun returns from its extended leave, you need to inject raw power into your fat-loss efforts. Moving dynamically, explosively and at full tilt requires serious effort – which means it burns a shedload of calories, causing you to vaporise unwanted fat every time you hit your body’s accelerator.
This circuit from trainer Mishal Dasani (ownyourfitness.co.uk) is framed around the simple plyometric box. “It uses full-body high-energy exercises that’ll help you torch fat and move more athletically,” says Dasani.
While this workout uses a plyo box, it’s not a plyometrics workout – those should be saved for sprint training. Here’s how to ensure you’re doing a high-tempo session that will help you scorch fat safely.
|Plyometrics moves||High-intensity workout|
|Goal||Increase fast-twitch muscle fibres for power||Raise metabolism to burn calories|
|Characteristics||Low reps, high rest, max effort||High-energy, short rest, low impact|
|Example||One-leg triple jump, broad jump, max box jump||Battle rope slams, burpee, low box jump|
“This workout uses power, speed and short rests to burn maximum calories in a short space of time,” says Dasani. The more powerfully you push, the more efficiently your body burns fat. Start with a low box (you can just as easily sub in a bench or even an empty staircase) until you’re used to the moves but always jump below your maximum. Save your max vertical leap for plyometrics sessions.
Do ten reps of each exercise and move on to the next without resting. Keep the intensity high but be sure to maintain good form. Do three to five rounds depending on your fitness level and the quantity of fat you want to burn. Rest for 90 seconds between rounds but as it starts to get easier, reduce the amount of rest time by 15 seconds.
Keep your hands on the box as you jump from one side to the other. Too easy? Jump laterally on and off the box without using your hands.
Squeeze your core to keep your body in line and drive up powerfully with each rep so your hands leave the box.
Use your arms to generate momentum as you jump. After landing on the box with bent knees, stand tall. Step down carefully instead of jumping, to protect your achilles tendon.
Keep your heel on the box as you drive up and follow through with your knee.
Drop off the box and immediately leap up into the air, tucking your knees in to your body for extra height. Try to keep time in contact with the ground to a minimum.
Hold the box with both hands for balance and extend your legs out, then tuck them back in to your body.
Photography: Danny Bird. Model: Callum Melly@vanderlammie.com