Just 3 Moves To Torch Fat And Boost Cardio Fitness

One-arm dumbbell thruster
(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

If you want to take your all-round fitness to new heights then you’re going to need a ladder. A workout ladder, to be precise, where you do descending and ascending reps. In this workout you’ll do an inverted ladder, which means you do descending reps of one move followed by ascending reps of another.

“Inverted ladders will test you mentally as well as physically,” says trainer Olli Foxley. “One exercise is getting easier as the other is getting harder.”

If you have more time, try this conditioning workout.

How to do it

Do 10 reps of exercise 1A then one rep of exercise 1B followed by a 10-metre bear crawl. Then do nine reps of 1A and two reps of 1B, and continue in that pattern until you get to one rep of 1A and 10 reps of 1B, completing the bear crawl between ladder “rungs”

1A Inverted row on rings

Inverted row on rings

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Hold the rings in each hand and position your body in a straight line at a 30-45° angle to the floor with your heels on the floor and your arms straight. Keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides, pull your body up so your hands just about touch your chest. Squeeze your back muscles together at the top of the move, then lower under control to the start.

“The inverted row helps strengthen the upper back and counteract the pushing in the thruster, which comes next,” says Foxley.

1B One-arm dumbbell thruster

One-arm dumbbell thruster

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Hold a dumbbell at shoulder height then squat down, keeping your knees in line with your toes and your chest up. From there, straighten up and, as you do so, press the dumbbell directly overhead. Pause, lower the weight back to the start and go straight into the next rep. Do the same number of reps each arm each set.

“The single-arm variation of the dumbbell thruster allows for more thoracic (upper back) rotation in an overhead position, making it more shoulder-friendly for people who struggle with shoulder mobility,” says Foxley.

1C Bear crawl

Bear crawl

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Get on all fours then crawl forwards, moving one hand and the opposite foot simultaneously to cover the distance.

“The bear crawl adds a core, shoulder stability and hip stability component to the session and will also keep the heart rate elevated,” says Foxley.

Joe Warner
Former editor of Men’s Fitness UK

Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.