These are busy times, but, as science has shown, you don’t actually need a lot of time to fit a great workout into your day. After all, according to a landmark study published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, doing interval training—intense bursts of fast exercises followed by short rest periods—for even a few minutes a day are effective for weight loss, preventing chronic illness, building muscle, and improving your aerobic capacity. And if you believe the world’s top expert on interval training, Martin Gibala, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology at Canada’s McMaster University, you actually only need a single minute to get your body healthier and burning fat.
If shedding belly fat’s your goal, what’s the best way of incorporating all of this science into an incredible, time-effective workout? For answers, we reached out to Jeff Watters, an elite strength and conditioning coach to professional MMA fighters at Detroit’s famous Kronk Gym, the boxing coach for the Detroit Red Wings, and owner of Watters Performance and M1 Fight Club, who gamely provided what he considers the best-ever five-minute belly-fat workout.
“There are a few basic principles that should be followed with regard to this workout,” says Watters. “The first is that you need to do full-body, compound moves so that a) you’re maximizing time by doing several body parts at once, and b) you’re burning far more fat than isolation moves because your body has to pump blood to several areas simultaneously.”
Additionally, he says, “Since this is a short routine to burn belly fat, we’ll need to use those compound moves quickly and in a very specific order.”
What’s interesting is that the workout doesn’t include crunches. “Your body burns fat at a higher rate where it’s stored the most,” reasons Watters. “So the more calories you burn, the more you’ll burn where they’re stored. In other words, if it’s stored in your belly, which it usually is, doing a high-intensity routine that targets your entire body will burn primarily belly fat due to its need for fuel to get through the routine.”
If you’re ready to get going, here is the routine below. Remember: Do the following exercises, in this order, in full circuits without stopping for five minutes straight. And to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout, make sure you’re eating well—and avoiding all of these 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.
Down Up: 5 to 10 reps
“This is like a burpee but without the pushup or the jump. So, from a standing position, drop down with your hands on the floor, kick your feet out, bring them back in and stand up. Since this move elevates your heart rate quickly and will also serve as a warmup.”
Related: Sign up for our newsletter for more effective weight loss tips.
Down Up with a Pushup: 5 to 10 reps
“Go immediately into this. Just continue with the down up but add a pushup into the movement.”
“As above, just continue with the movement but add a jump at the top for another five to ten reps.”
T-Squat Thrusts: 20 reps
“From a pushup position and knees extended, kick your feet apart, bring them back together, pull them underneath you, kick them back to the start position. This is one. Do this 20 times.”
“After finishing the t-squat thrusts, return to the routine above, but start with the burpee and subtract one move at each level. In other words: 5 to 10 burpees, 5 to 10 down up with pushups, and 5-10 down ups. If you finish the down up segment with time left, finish with t-squat thrusts until time runs out.” And for more great health advice you can use right now, make sure you’re aware of The Foods That Will Make The COVID Vaccine Less Effective, According to Science.