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Try it: density training

Make the most out of every second that you’re exercising.

When you’re short on time and in need of a real workout, consider Escalating Density Training (EDT), a technique that works to pack as much quality movement as possible into a provided amount of time, pushing you to work harder and faster.

How it works: You set a timer for yourself, then race through as many reps of an exercise as possible before the alarm sounds.

The long-term goal is to try to improve your performance (read: execute more reps and sets of each exercise) every time you complete the routine, without adding time to the clock.

“The total-body workout shown belowis a spin on density training, which, in its traditional definition, takes place over the course of weeks or months,” says Lisa Wheeler, former director of group fitness development at Equinox, who designed the workout. “The same principle applies, though: You’re increasing the amount of work you’re doing, but you’re not increasing the recovery.”

To complete this stacked routine, grab a stopwatch and execute the moves in the slideshow as follows:

Do move 1 for 30 seconds; rest for 30 seconds

Do moves 1 and 2 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds

Do moves 1, 2, and 3 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds

Do moves 1, 2, 3, and 4 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds

Do moves 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds

Do moves 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds

Repeat the stack one more time.


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  • Bodyweight Wide Row

    Bodyweight Wide Row

    Sit on floor and place elbows on two sturdy chairs, side tables, ottomans, or workout benches. Bend knees 90 degrees and lift feet off floor. Press elbows to into benches to engage back muscles and push chest forward as you pull knees into chest (as shown), then return to start. Repeat for 30 seconds. 

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  • Bulgarian Split Squat Jump

    Bulgarian Split Squat Jump

    Stand about one foot in front of bench, and place top of right foot on it, elbows bent 90 degrees, hands in fists and shoulder-height (as shown). Bend left knee, then jump, extending arms to ceiling. Continue jumping for 15 seconds. Switch sides; repeat. 

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  • Pull-Push Side Plank

    Pull-Push Side Plank

    Start on all fours, then press back into child’s pose, balls of feet on floor, arms extended in front of you. Pull body forward into push-up position, elbows close to sides, knees on or off floor, then press back into child’s pose. Next, press into side plank position, right hand on floor, kicking right leg through to left side and raising left arm to ceiling (as shown), then return to start. Continue for 15 seconds. Switch sides; repeat. 

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  • Single-Arm Plank Kick

    Single-Arm Plank Kick

    Start in deep lunge, left leg forward, right hand flat on floor, left arm extended behind you at left side. Step left leg bank into single-arm plank, then step left leg forward, pressing off left foot to stand and kick right leg forward, elbows bent 90 degrees, hands in fists in front of face (as shown). Tap right toe to floor, then step back to start. Continue for 15 seconds. Switch sides; repeat. 

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  • Reverse Plank Leg Extension

    Reverse Plank Leg Extension

    Start in reverse plank, shoulders over wrists. Bend right leg and draw knee in toward chest, then extend leg straight up to ceiling, toe pointed (as shown), then bend knee back in towards chest and return to start. Repeat on opposite leg. Continue for 30 seconds. 

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  • Squat Jump 180

    Squat Jump 180

    Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, arms at sides, then squat, touching left hand to floor between legs, palm in, right arm extended behind you (as shown), then press off floor and jump, rotating body 180 degrees to left, wind-milling arms in air, landing in a squat with right hand on floor, between legs. Repeat, jump back to start, rotating body to right. Continue for 30 seconds. 

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