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These total-body workout moves will burn calories in half the time

There are no shortcuts to that fantasy body, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work smart to attain one. If losing weight and getting toned amidst that busy schedule is your goal, you’ll want to rethink your regime so you get the most out of every minute. These total-body workouts should do the trick.

Also known as compound exercises, these total-body workout moves put multiple muscle groups and two or more joints to work. The equation still stands — the more the muscles that are working, the more the energy output. You’ll be able to gain lean muscle mass while torching more calories in lesser amount of time.

For that elusive beach-ready bod, alternate between total-body workout moves and isolated exercises. These workouts are a way to get your general figure in shape, but sculpting individual muscles will require a bit more focus with targetted exercises.

To make the process even easier for you, we’ve sussed out five moves which you can start incorporating into your fitness plan now. Whether you choose to slot them into a HITT workout, or do all of them in succession (good luck), you’ll be able make the most out of your limited time.

Mountain Climbers

Like regular running, the motion targets your glute and leg muscles, including your quadriceps and hamstrings. However, your unique running stance will force your core muscles, such as the back, hips and abs, to work much harder to keep you stable. Even your shoulders and chest gets a piece of the action here. Plus points for improving coordination, agility and joint flexibility too.


Burpees are known to torch calories like few body weight exercises do. As an intense full body exercise performed in rapid succession, it’s proven to burn up to 50 percent more fat than moderate exercising. The best part is that it fires up your metabolism throughout the day, even long after your burpee hell is over. Besides working just about all of your body, it also improves anaerobic capacity, is great for body conditioning, and you can easily add them to any workout without the need for equipment.


This mythical machine at the gym isn’t exclusively reserved for professional rowers. Mimicking the movements of rowing, the full body workout activates virtually every major muscle throughout the different phases of the motion. Besides working the lower body, it also strengthens the back, shoulders, arms and core. If you’re still not convinced about this machine, a vigorous workout can burn up to 400 calories in as little as 30 minutes, all while you tone up and burn fat simultaneously.


Squats are obviously a great leg muscle builder, but they also create an anabolic environment which promotes muscle building throughout the entire body. As one of the best functional exercises out there, squats also work out your abs and glutes. Because it’s such an intense movement, they help trigger the release of testosterone which are vital for muscle growth, which translates to a stronger upper body in the long run too.

Jumping rope

What was once considered a school girl’s pastime has now become one of the most popular exercises, and for good reason. Jumping rope might appear to only work your legs, but it actually engages your abdominals for stabilisation, and your arms and shoulders as you turn the rope. To improve agility and endurance, use a speed rope for a faster pace. A weighted jump rope, on the other hand, is useful for body conditioning.

Shatricia Nair
Managing Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.