5 Shape-Up Short cuts

Posted on: January 16th, 2013 by Thamar Houliston
Shape up

It flies. It’s tight. And you rarely feel like it’s on your side. Of course, we’re talking about time. You can blame it – or more accurately, the lack of it – for standing in the way of many things, but scoring a fit, toned body is no longer one of them. The latest research shows that sculpting lean legs, a tight bum and flat abs doesn’t require extra hours at the gym. The trick is to sweat smarter, not harder, and, in many cases, for shorter durations.

In fact, a Canadian study found that people who did brief, fast-paced workouts for a total of 90 minutes a week got just as fit as those who did lower-intensity training for four and a half hours. (Hello! That’s an extra three hours a week for… oh, say, lying by the pool reading 50 Shades Of Grey!)

With that in mind, leverage these shape-up short cuts: some will maximise the few workout minutes you’ve got; others actually shave them away. Now go and make that dream body a reality.


  1. Jump To It
  2. Defy Gravity
  3. Hit The Right Notes
  4. Lose Your Balance
  5. Walk Don’t Jog

Jump To It

Shape upRather than plod through a slow (and time-sucking) warm-up jog, kick off your routine with 20 star jumps, says trainer Larysa DiDio. In less than a minute, these simple but explosive old-school moves activate your upper- and lower-body muscles and quickly raise your heart rate and body temperature to prime you for your workout. Another reason to keep it short: a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that lengthy warm-ups can fatigue you, compromising your true workout.

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