Fitness

The sound of success

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Need quick cardio exercises that give results? Try this four-minute offering from Ministry of Sound

We know how much of a motivator music can be – whether you’ve got a special ‘power song’ up your sleeve saved for the home stretch, or you just need something upbeat blasting at all times to distract you from the hard work, there’s no denying that music and fitness are a match made in heaven.

That’s probably why Ministry of Sound is onto a winner with its new FIT IN 4 workouts.

Firstly, getting a workout done and dusted in four minutes is appealing enough, no matter how hard you have to push. After all, it’s only four minutes of your day, right? ‘Working hard enough during a four-minute Tabata workout gives you the aerobic benefits of your usual steady-state cardio session,’ explains Lindsay Jay, who devised the workouts for Ministry of Sound. ‘But if you work to your max, you’ll also burn extra calories by raising your metabolism for the following 12 hours.’ This after-burn effect – burning calories even after your workout is over – is the reason why HIIT training is such a hit (excuse the pun). Shorter workouts, bigger results? It’s a no-brainer.

And while having any old tunes blasting in the background can sometimes be enough to energise you, you’d be surprised at how choosing the right music can influence your workout. ‘People often want to work out to their favourite music, but when doing HIIT or Tabata you’ll feel significantly increased benefits from working out to dance music like hard house or drum and bass, which are fast, intense and sometimes aggressive,’ explains Deborah McCartney, product manager at Ministry of Sound. ‘For the FIT IN 4 workout, we sped each track up to hit the stringent timing grid for the workout (10 seconds off, 20 seconds on), meaning each track plays at 192 BPM.’

So if you’re looking for that next push to progress in your workouts, give this super simple yet effective workout from Lindsay a try. No matter how busy you are, this speedy workout only takes up four minutes of your time and energy. Plus, it’s completely kit-free, so you don’t even need to take the time out for a trip to the gym.

How to do it 

Working at the highest intensity and fastest pace you can manage, perform each move for 20 seconds non-stop, with 10 seconds’ rest between each exercise.

ABS

Mountain climbers 

Area trained: core

Technique –

Start in a high plank with your hands under shoulders, ensuring your core is engaged.

Bring one knee to your chest then switch legs with speed.

Change over as fast as possible while maintaining your form.

Star Crunch 

Area trained: stomach

Technique –

Lie on your back, forming a star shape with arms and legs wide.

As fast as you can, draw your knees to your chest and raise your upper body so your chest comes to your knees, forming a ball.

Slowly return to the start and repeat.

LOWER BODY 

Lunge Jump

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, quads

Technique –

Take a large step forward, drop into the position until your legs form 90-degree angles and the back knee is just above the floor.

Power through your legs and jump up as high as you can, changing sides in the air.

Land softly in a lunge on the opposite side and repeat.

Cat walk 

Areas trained: glutes, core, shoulders

Technique –

Start on all fours, tuck your toes and lift your knees just off the floor.

Walk hands and feet forwards for two strides then back.

CARDIO

Burpee

Areas trained: glutes, quads, core

Technique –

Feet together, jump as high as you can.

Land softly and drop your palms to the floor.

Jump your legs backwards into a plank.

Jump them back towards yout hands and repeat.

Running Man 

Areas trained: glutes, core, shoulders

Technique –

Start on all fours, tuck your toes and lift your knees just off the floor.

Walk hands and feet forwards for two strides then back.

TOTAL BODY

Squat Jump 

Areas trained – glutes, quads, hamstrings

Technique –

Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.

Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, pushing your bottom down and out behind you while keeping your chest as upright as possible.

Power up through the heels and jump as high as possible.

Land softly, straight back into the squat to repeat.

Speed Skater 

Areas trained: glutes, quads, sides, core

Technique –

Take one leg behind the other, bending both knees to reach your opposite hand to touch the front foot.

Jump laterally as far as you can, with as much height as possible, landing with your feet the opposite way round and the other hand on the floor.

Get it!

Check out Ministry of Sound’s curated music. The FIT IN 4 mixes and step-by-step videos are available on iTunes for £9.99.

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