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The Only Workout That Will Change Your Body Shape, Says Top Trainer

Plenty of exercises help you get healthy. But only one helps you meaningfully alter your physique fast.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

The benefits of walking more every day are well known to readers of Eat This, Not That! Taking more brisk strolls is associated with more calorie burn, higher energy levels, more weight loss, enhanced feelings of creativity, and even a reduced risk of early death. But there's one thing that taking walks every day won't do—especially if you're looking to get the physique of your dreams: Moderate-intensity exercises such as walking will not meaningfully change your body's shape.

"If you do cardio and you have a pear-shaped body, all that you can expect is to become a smaller pear," Eren Legend, a celebrity trainer and accomplished bodybuilder, recently explained to GQ. "The only way to change your body composition, the shape and look of your body, is to perform a form of resistance-based training."

He explains that walking does a lot of great things for you—and it will indeed help you lose weight—but it only goes so far in helping you achieve larger transformational goals. "If you're regularly performing some type of physical activity your body is going to change," he said. "But is it the most efficient way? Some form of resistance training like weightlifting or sprints, in addition to a nutrition plan, will get you to your goals faster."

He's correct, of course. But as the GQ article notes, not everyone is looking to transform themselves into Thor or Wonder Woman. For the average person, losing a few pounds is well worth the effort alone. But if you're looking to meaningfully alter your physique and you'd like to try your hand at some resistance training, consider this simple bodyweight routine below to get you started. You can do it anywhere, and to complete it, simply go through the following circuit as many times as you can in 10 minutes. And for more great fitness advice, check out The Amazing 1-Minute Workout That Builds Strength and Relieves Pain, Says Top Trainer!

1

Prisoner squats

prisoner squat
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Place your hands behind your head, interlacing your fingers. Stand with your feet should-width apart and your toes slightly out. Squat as low as you can. Go for 30 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

2

Seal Jumps

jumping jack
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Perform a jumping jack, but when you jump your legs back in, clap your hands together in front of you. Go for 30 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. For more great workouts touted by experts, check out This Quick 10-Minute Workout That Melts Belly Fat Fast, Says Top Trainer.

3

Push-ups

push up
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Place your hands on the floor at shoulder width. Keeping your abs braced and your body in a straight line, squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower your body until your chest is an inch above the floor. Go for 30 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

4

Lateral jumps

lateral jumps
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Jump to your right side and land on your right foot. Rebound off your right foot and jump back to your left to begin the next rep. Go for 30 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. And for more workouts that are scientifically proven to work, don't miss This Total-Body Home Workout Builds Strength and Burns Calories Fast!

William Mayle
William Mayle is a UK-based writer who specializes in science, health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics. Read more
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