It’s hard to believe that working out for only 8 to 16 minutes will deliver the same weight loss results as running for upwards of an hour on a treadmill. But what makes Elev8d Fitness uniquely effective in such a short amount of time is that is designed specifically for efficiency. How? It leverages functional movements specifically designed to activate more muscles—and the right muscles—to burn more calories not just during your short workout, but also for the rest of the day.

What’s So Great About Functional Movements?

Functional movements are not exclusive to Elev8d: “There are basic movement patterns that most of us as humans need to be able to do—squat, lunge, push, pull, rotate, etc.,” says Jason Machowsky, RD, CSCS, exercise physiologist and sports performance specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. These patterns are typically multi-joint, which means they recruit more muscles, explains Machowsky, who is not affiliated with the Elev8d program. When you engage more muscles, you increase your effort, resulting in greater metabolic and caloric demand, he adds. In other words, these natural movements inherently ask more from your body in a very efficient way.

How Elev8d Works 100% of Your Muscles

These basic movements are what every Elev8d workout is designed around. “But what makes the programing really unique is that the movements demand proper form,” says Brian Bradley, Fitness Director for Elev8d.

You probably know proper form is necessary to avoid injury, but it’s also crucial to streamlining your workout so you get 100% out of every move instead of 30%.

Look at the plank, one of the best core workouts out there. Some people are able to hold it for a minute, two minutes, three. But if you look at their form, their back is typically rounded and all the tension is going into their shoulders and forearms, Bradley points out. If you ask them to pinch their shoulder blades together to transfer all the work to their core, that two-minute hold drops down to 20 seconds.

“Most people exercise without even working out the muscles they’re intending to,” Bradley adds.

Now, you’ve probably heard that high-intensity interval training, better known as HIIT, is ideal for burning the most calories in the least amount of time. And it does give you a great burn—but it also asks you to move through the motions so quickly that most people unintentionally compensate with bad posture because they get fatigued.

Take burpees for example. “Usually, people go through the movement so fast that they become shoulder and arm dominant and they’re no longer using their hips to drive themselves up or back,” Bradley explains.

If you slow it down into a deliberate burpee instead of a fast burpee, your shoulders are in the correct position so the spine aligns with the hips better, and the hips are driving the motion instead, which gives you more power and a better burn, he says.

In fact, a 2015 study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that when untrained subjects were put on an exercise program three times a week, not only was 20 minutes of steady movement just as effective as HIIT in boosting people’s fitness capabilities, but the participants reported it was also far more enjoyable than the short bursts of super intense exercise.

“You can do high intensity work and be working 100 muscles and yes, they’re going to burn. But usually you’re going so fast that you’re not working the deep spine muscles, the abdominal muscles, the major shoulder muscles. Moving slower and more deliberately, but targeting these major stabilizers, allows you to use all the muscles in your body instead of just some—and you recruit the right musculature so you’re driving from the hips out instead of the shoulders down,” Bradley says.

Activating Major Stabilizers is Crucial

While HIIT will boost your metabolism because it thrusts your systems into overdrive, lower intensity interval training like Elev8d boosts your metabolism simply by making sure your body is working more efficiently every time you move the rest of the day.

Machowsky confirms, tapping into the major muscle groups to increase strength and mobility can help put your body into proper alignment. And activation that will carry over into daily activities, like walking over your lunch break.

Bradley puts it this way: “Sure, you could go all out for 45 minutes doing a super intense workout, revving up your stress hormones and putting your body in dysfunction. Or you could do a short Elev8d workout that activates all your muscles and sets your body into alignment, and then when you’re walking to work or to lunch later, you’re driving from your hips which allows your heel strike to now hit the floor in a more efficient way, your body rolls over your foot naturally, and you’re utilizing more muscles during the other 23 and 52 minutes of your day,” Bradley explains.

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