Full-body workouts that burn the most calories should vary the amount of resistance you use throughout your routine to help prevent muscle fatigue that can cause cramping and the need for long breaks. A circuit-training workout, with or without equipment, will help you keep your heart rate high while working your arms, legs, chest, back, shoulders and core.
Warm up for several minutes by performing movements that work all of your muscles. Start with jogging in place, and then move to cross-body toe touches, perform jumping jacks and do some butt kicks to gradually elevate your metabolism, heart rate and breathing.
Perform an exercise at a high intensity for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on the amount of resistance it requires and your starting condition. For example, you might perform a low-resistance exercise such as jumping jacks at a very high intensity for 60 seconds, then a more difficult exercise such as chinups for 30 seconds. Do not reach an intensity level or perform the exercise for a length of time that will cause you to be so tired you need more than 30 to 60 seconds to recover before the next exercise.
Take a 30- to 60-second break after each exercise, depending on the intensity of the exercise you just performed. Next, begin a new exercise, working hard for 30 to 60 seconds.
Alternate high-resistance exercises, such as pullups, pushups or exercises performed with weights or resistance bands, with low-resistance exercises, such as jumping rope or butt kicks. Alternate upper-body, core and lower-body exercises to help prevent one area of your body from becoming sore, cramped or fatigued to the point of failure.
Include exercises that target specific areas of your body, such as biceps curls, lunges and crunches, as well as exercises that work your entire body at once, such as burpees, kettlebell swinging and jumping jacks. Include dumbbell and resistance band exercises such as chest presses and flyes, squats, triceps extensions, kickbacks, rows and lateral arm raises. Include calisthenics such as chinups, mountain climbers, bicycle kicks, V-ups, chair dips, jumping rope, running stairs and box-jumping exercises.
Take a two-minute break every 10 minutes if this will help you continue a 30-minute workout. Drink water during 30-second breaks to satisfy your thirst as you work out.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.