Tone Up, Burn Down - Business Media MAGS

Sunday Times Healthy Times

Tone Up, Burn Down

No gym? No problem. Stay home, stay safe and stay fit. It’s possible, says Johno Meintjes, an international sports conditioning specialist and performance trainer.

Try out the below workout that can be completed within 40 minutes and requires no gym equipment other than a pillow or cushion.

This workout targets the whole body, combining aerobic and body-weight exercises and dynamic movement to increase your heart rate, burn calories and tone all over. The workout is for all fitness levels from beginner, and modifications for low impact can be made for those who are not able to jump.

A guide to fitness levels:

Low – 3 sets

Medium – 4 sets

High – 6 sets

Backward lunges

Stand with feet hip-width apart, then step your right leg backwards until your knees are at a 90-degree angle.


Mountain climbers

Start in the extended plank position with hands below your shoulders, abs engaged and a flat back. Pull your knees in toward your chest alternating one at a time. Move as quickly as you can while maintaining good form. Alternate inhaling and exhaling with each leg change. Work for 45 seconds and then rest for 15 seconds.

Air punches

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Shoot your hands out in a fisted position, alternating left and right arms. Keep your core engaged and knees soft. Work for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds.

Pillow slams

Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees and hips slightly bent. Engage your core and, in one powerful motion, lift the pillow above your head and use your core and arms to slam the pillow straight down between your feet with as much force as you can. Squat down to pick up the pillow from the floor and immediately move into repeating the exercise. Work for 45 seconds and then rest for 15 seconds.

In and out  


If you are not able to jump, modify this movement to stepping out instead of jumping.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend your knees and lower into a full squat position. At the bottom of the squat, jump straight up and land in a wide squat with bent knees. Upon landing, immediately repeat the next jump, alternating between a wide and narrow squat. Work for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds.


Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bending from your hips, reach for the ground and place your palms on the floor in front of your feet. Shift your weight onto your hands and begin walking them forward until your body is in a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core and stack your hands below your shoulders.

Walk your hands back towards your feet and return to the standing position. Repeat for 45 seconds and then rest for 15 seconds.

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