Health & Fitness

Jumping lunges bring a burn when time is tight but your thighs aren't

Jumping lunges: A great lower-body workout that takes less than 5 minutes

This is the move you bust out when you're short on time and desperately in need of a hard-core burn: jumping lunges. Celebrity trainer Bob Harper said this is one of the best double-duty exercises he knows.

What it does

Jumping lunges are a time saver because they strengthen and tone the lower body, hips to calves, while also giving you a jolt of cardio and putting your balance to the test. This is not an easy move, but it's a highly effective one, Harper said.

What to do

Position yourself so one foot is on the floor in front of your torso, the other behind. Finding the right position can be tricky at first. Your goal is to make sure the knee of your forward leg stays directly over the ankle when you drop into the lunge movement. Once your feet are in place, lower yourself down into a lunge position, chest up, eyes forward. At the bottom of the movement, rocket yourself up a few inches off the floor, switching legs in mid-air. Repeat. Height is less important than speed and total lower body engagement. This is not the time to be loose and sloppy.

How much

Harper suggests Tabata training for this one because he says it's the best way to get in the toughest workout possible in the least amount of time. It looks like this: 20 seconds of movement followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. So, as many jumping lunges as you can do for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and then repeat, for eight rounds in all.

rene.lynch@latimes.com

Follow me on Twitter: @renelynch

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