20-minute workout: kickboxing

Jump, punch and kick your way fit with this intense routine from Taliah Mekki.

To reap the rewards—increased calorie burn, strength, power, blissful endorphin high—truncated workouts must be insanely intense. So, we asked a team of Equinox trainers and group fitness instructors what they would do if they were given just 20 minutes to have at it. Here is the latest in the series.

The Pro: Taliah Mekki, group fitness manager for Equinox San Mateo, certified group fitness instructor, certified Schwinn cycling instructor, former professional NFL and NBA dancer
The Club: San Mateo, Union Street, Pine Street and Palo Alto (California)
The Workout: Boost your mood, melt away fat and tone your entire body all in one quick, 20-minute session with these calorie-blasting cardio kickboxing combos. “Do the workout regularly, and you’ll feel stronger, more positive and more confident in no time,” says Mekki. For best results, perform one round of this kick-butt, high-intensity routine 3 or 4 times a week.


Jump rope for 2 minutes


Punch/Knee Combo: Two right jabs, one left cross punch, followed by 2 left knee lifts; continue for 1½ minutes. Switch sides and repeat.

Cardio Combo: 4 push-ups, immediately followed by 2 burpees; continue for 2 minutes.

Punch/Knee/Kick Combo: Right jab, left cross punch, right jab, left cross punch, followed by 2 left knee lifts and one right front kick; continue (moving as fast as possible) for 2 minutes. Switch sides and repeat.

Cardio Combo: Jump squats (1 minute), followed by jump lunges, alternating legs with each jump (1 minute)

Knee/Back Kick/Side Kick Combo: Right knee lift, left back kick, right knee lift, left sidekick; continue for 1 minute. Right cross, right hook, right cross; continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Cardio Combo: Rotating bag punches (elbows bent at shoulder level in front of you, fists pointed toward ceiling, moving hands in a circular motion, rotating torso from left to right) while in right forward lunge; continue for 1 minute. Alternating upper cuts; continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. Then lie face-up on floor with legs together and lifted about six inches, ankles crossed; hold for 45 seconds.

Core Combo: Right side plank, pulsing hips up and down for 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat. Get into plank position, then bring right knee up to right elbow; continue for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Finish with a 1-minute plank hold (on hands or elbows).

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