8 Bodyweight Moves to Burn Fat

Even the most dedicated woman feels the need to break away from the gym once in a while. Getting outdoors provides new motivation. But can you get a good workout using only your bodyweight? Absolutely.

In fact, one bodyweight workout, Equinox’s Animal Flow, takes the concept to a whole new level. With names like the scorpion reach, static beast and the traveling ape, the workouts mimic the way animals move — and it’s not easy. “The key to the program is movement,” says Mike Fitch, Equinox’s Animal Flow creator. “We challenge the attendee to move through multiple planes of motion, using the entire body as one unit, rather than just isolating joints like most traditional programs.”

Fitch explains that by having both feet and hands on the ground, every muscle in the body is “on” and active. “If we are using more muscles, that means more oxygen, which also means more calories are being burned,” he says. “In short, Animal Flow devotees become better movers, increase their cardiovascular demand, burn more calories and have the potential to build perfectly symmetrical physiques.”

We typically don’t move our bodies enough through these types of movements, says Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets — Without the Personal Trainer Price Tag (William Morrow, 2011). “Bodyweight workouts are a great way to use our muscles in a natural way. It also keeps the connections to muscles that we lose with age. It’s 3-D, functional and anyone can do it.”

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