2-Minute Drill

Metabolism sluggish? Extra pounds unforgiving? Kick your metabolism into gear with this 2-Minute Drill, featured in the new diet and fitness book Belly Off! Diet, written by Jeff Csatari and the editors of Men's Health. Though marketed as a man's read (especially a good one for your mate), the principles (not portion sizes!) are applicable for women, too. In particular, the book's 2-Minute Drill - which you do daily - is a metabolic booster that you and your man can do.

Jumping JacksWake up and rev your metabolism

Research indicates people who work out in the morning work out more often. And that is because you can get it done and out of the way before work, family, and life get in the way. Even better, studies show that exercise in the morning not only stokes your metabolic fires, it also improves your cognitive functions and productivity for the day.

The 2-Minute Drill, designed by fitness expert David Jack, may just be this year's best kept secret to jump-starting your metabolism. According to Belly Off! Diet author Csatari, starting your day with this series of eight exercises will wake you up, get your body burning fat, trigger endorphins and kick off your day on a positive note.

"The beauty of the 2-Minute Drill is that you can do it anywhere – on a business trip, in your office, or waiting in line for Jonas Brothers tickets for your 12-year-old," says Csatari. "In a matter of weeks, it'll become so rote, it'll seem awkward to skip, like walking out the door without brushing your teeth."

Two minutes. That's it.

The Belly Off! 2-Minute Drill

Eight moves every morning is all you need to boost your metabolism. However, don't expect this workout alone to give you the body of your dreams. You still need to incorporate healthy eating and regular exercise into your lifestyle.

Perform the following eight-calisthenic circuit at a work effort of 6 to 7 on a 1 to 10 scale. Do each exercise for 15 seconds, moving quickly from one exercise to the next. Complete as many reps as you can of each exercise.

The 8 moves (15 seconds each):
  • Jumping jacks
  • Prisoner squats*
  • High knee skips
  • Side-to-side hops
  • Pushups
  • Crunches
  • Mountain climbers**
  • Bodyweight thrusters***

Once you get through the drill, if you have time – and energy – repeat it.

(Editor's note: You can also intersperse the 2-Minute Drill into your regular cardio or strength-training workouts to add variety and intensity. My favorite is using the 2-Minute Drill as an interval during my bike workouts – every 5 minutes, do the 2-Minute Drill. – MT)

*Prisoner squats: Stand with your fingertips behind your ears, your chest out, elbows back, and feet shoulder-width apart. Sit back at your hips and bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can without losing the natural arch of your spine. Keep your head up. Squeeze your gluteals and push yourself back to start position. Repeat.

**Mountain climbers: Start in a pushup position with your shoulders directly over your hands. Keeping your head in line with your body, bring your right knee to your chest. As you straighten the right leg to start position, bring our left knee to your chest. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet. As quickly as possible, "climb" alternating your legs back and forth.

***Bodyweight thrusters: Keeping your back straight and hands at your shoulders as if you were holding a barbell, bend at the knees into a squat, then explosively drive your legs straight as you extend your arms above your head. Repeat.



Mix it up

You can do the exercises in the 2-Minute Drill in any order and even add or substitute a few of your own. As you get more fit, increase the time you do each exercise from 15 seconds to 30 seconds or more. Do what works for you – whatever will keep you motivated to get up and get moving.

The Belly Off! Diet isn't a gimmicky book with impossible-to-stick-to eating or exercise plans. The Belly Off! program is taken straight from the last eight years of success stories chronicled in the Belly Off! Club column in Men's Health magazine, including practical exercise and diet tips, lifestyle changes, and unwavering inspiration – whether you are male or female.

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