12-Minute Metcon For Cardio & Power

Got 12 minutes? Then you have enough time to fit in a calorie-blasting metabolic conditioning routine. Get started with this full-body MetCon workout.

If you spent the holidays diving headfirst into every buffet, dessert table and punch bowl with the insatiable appetite of a shipwrecked vampire, this workout is your deliverance. In just 12 minutes, you can incite a metabolic escalation that will have you burning calories for up to 48 hours postworkout while improving speed, power, athletic performance and cardio capacity.

This EMOM (every minute on the minute) consists of four plyometric moves that repeat three times through — every four minutes — for a total of 12 minutes. At the top of every minute, you’ll perform a move and will rest any remaining time until the top of the next minute when you begin the next move — for example, Minute 1: 180-degree touchdown jumps, Minute 2: lateral box jump-overs, Minute 3: switch lunges, Minute 4: broad jumps.

However, there are no reps programmed here, and how you choose to manipulate your work-to-rest ratio determines your intensity. One option is to give yourself a target rep range, say 10 reps per move, then rest the remaining time. If the first round you complete your reps in 30 seconds, try to match or beat that intensity next round. Alternately, you can perform each move all-out for a certain number of seconds, then rest the remaining time — for example, 45 seconds of all-out switch lunges, 15 seconds of rest, then on to the broad jumps. Try to match or beat your rep count with each subsequent round.

180-Degree Touchdown

Stand with your feet outside shoulder width and squat down, touching the fingers of one hand to the floor, chest lifted. Quickly extend your hips and legs and explode straight up into the air, turning 180 degrees to face the other direction. Quickly drop into a squat, touch your opposite fingers to the floor and repeat.

Lateral Box Jump-Over

Stand sideways to a knee-height (or lower) box. Quickly swing your arms back and bend your knees and hips to load your posterior chain, then explode upward and sideways, using your arms to generate momentum and leap completely over the box, clearing it. Land softly, reset and repeat. No hops? No worries: Jump onto the box, touch down briefly and hop immediately off on the other side.

Switch Lunge

Assume a wide lunge stance with one leg forward, one leg back, arms at your sides. Bend both knees quickly, then explode upward, reaching your arms overhead and switching legs midair so you land with your opposite foot forward. Land softly and go right into your next rep.

Broad Jump

Stand with your feet hip-width apart facing a large open area. Swing your arms back as you quickly bend your knees and hips to load your posterior chain, then swing your arms forward and leap across the floor as far as you can, going for distance. Land softly, reset and repeat.

12-Minute Plyometric EMOM

Warm up thoroughly with some light cardio and total-body dynamic stretching. Begin a move at the top of every minute. Perform for reps or a certain number of seconds, and rest the remaining time.

Minutes 1, 5, 9 180-Degree Touchdowns
Minutes 2, 6, 10 Lateral Box Jump-Overs
Minutes 3, 7, 11 Switch Lunges
Minutes 4, 8, 12 Broad Jumps