It seems too good to be true, but less is more and “4-minute workouts” are now big news and are here to stay! These micro short workouts have been proven to be as effective as traditionally longer workouts, if not even more so.
Research over the last few years have discovered that the most important part of exercise and fitness comes down to one crucial component “INTENSITY”. It is the intensity that has the greatest effect on the body, much more so than the duration of the workout. So even just 4 minutes daily can make a massive difference to your body shape, fitness, and health.
As a personal trainer for over 25 years (ouch), I have always used shorter intense workouts with all my clients . I was ahead of the game and had been doing HIIT High Intensity Interval Training) long before it became the buzz phrase in the fitness industry. These dynamic workouts get amazing results and you get a much higher fat burn, whilst the sculpting moves help to tone and tighten you in all the right places.
So, if you have 4 minutes spare and want a quick fat burning and total body toning workout then try this, all you need is a stopwatch and obviously 4 minutes.
Firstly, we can all find 4 Minutes, so this straight away makes this workout achievable, and you could do it in your coffee break at work, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil at home or whilst your little one is having a nap.
Secondly you don’t need any equipment, and you can simply do this anywhere. (I have filmed some of these workouts showing how easy they are to do anywhere, whilst on safari in Africa, one was taken on top of one of the highest sand dunes in the world, Dune 7, the other next to a colony of seals at Pelican Point in Namibia.)
So here is the clever bit. The 4 minute workout gets broken down in to two phases:
Phase 1 is the High Intensity 20 second interval. This is where you train to your maximum, so if this is for example jogging on the spot, you need to be doing it as fast as you can.
Phase 2 is your 10 second recovery period, this is simply where you march on the spot and get your breath back.
You simply repeat this routine 8 times in total which makes your 4 minutes.
The benefit of this is that it allows you to push yourself to the maximal intensity, which is key as this is what creates the results. The effect of training to your maximal intensity is that it creates what’s known as an afterburn, also known as EPOC (Excessive Post Oxygen Consumption). This means your body burns calories at a much higher rate. On average it increases to 35 calories per hour. Okay so you may think “big deal”, but the exciting bit is that it stays at this elevated rate for 10 hours, which now makes that 350 calories!
This 4-minute workout is not so much about the calories you burn during those few minutes, it is about how we increase them for the next 10 hours. So, before you jump in the shower in the morning, grab your stopwatch and do 4 minutes. Then you can smugly continue with your daily routine knowing those calories are being burnt off all day.
Try this 4 Minute workout now (if you have time!!!!) It is best to do this where you have a visible second hand or a timer, remember to make sure that you always warm up first and to do some gentle stretching exercises at the end.
Do 20 seconds high knees on the spot as fast as you can, then go into gentle marching for 10 seconds. Then once those 10 seconds are up, back into your 20 seconds high knees. Keep doing these for 4 minutes.
You can do any exercise with this, so you could be outdoors and do 20 sprinting then 10 slow jogging, or 20 seconds star jumps, squats, and the list goes on. You can even add it to a pool workout by swimming for faster intervals.