A couple of month's ago, Men's Health asked Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S. -- one of the world's top trainers -- to create a cutting-edge fat loss program for Men's Health. And, of course, he obliged. But a curious thing: One of the workouts in the plan featured just two exercises.

That's right: When asked to create a super-effective, calorie-torching routine, Cosgrove gave us a workout that had readers do only a dumbbell swing and a squat thrust. This confused some folks, who wondered, "How can you lose fat with just two exercises?"

Cosgrove's response: "Running is just one exercise, but no one questions that when it comes to burning fat." (Another great way to lose fat: Avoid the 20 worst drinks in America.)

He makes a good point. And in fact, once you understand the philosophy behind Cosgrove's routine, you start to see why it works so well. But first, an explanation of the actual routine itself.

Here's how it works: You do 15 repetitions of the kettlebell swing (you can also use a dumbbell for this), followed immediately by 15 reps of the squat thrust. (See below for descriptions of both exercises.) Then, without resting, do another 14 reps of the swing and another 14 reps of the squat thrust. Continue this pattern until you complete only one rep of each exercise. This is called a countdown workout.

Sure, that's just two exercises, but do the math: If you complete the entire routine -- from 15 down to one -- you'll do 120 repetitions of each exercise. That's 240 repetitions. And these aren't just any exercises: They're movements that challenge your entire body. (Chisel the six-pack you've always wanted with these tips!)

They're also done at a fast pace. On average, it'll only take you about three seconds per rep. So you'll do those 240 reps in just 12 minutes or so. That'll light your muscles on fire and have you gasping for air (in a good way).

If you think that sounds too easy or too fast, I suggest you try it. You may find you can't even finish. But that's OK -- you can just start with a lower number of reps, like eight, and work your way up as you improve your fitness. (In fact, I recommend this strategy.) If you want an even greater challenge, you can always take a breather and repeat the routine.

Remember: Whether you're running or lifting, your muscles require energy to help you move. And this workout forces more of your muscles into action than you'd ever use while jogging for the same duration. It'll also boost your metabolism for hours after your workout.

What's more, unlike jogging, these aren't joint-pounding exercises. So this is actually a "low-impact" workout that you can do at a high intensity, making it ideal for overweight folks. The best part: You can do the routine without even leaving your house since all you need is a single kettlebell or dumbbell. (And for another fast way to fight fat, check out this awesome kettlebell workout routine.)

An important note: This isn't a complete workout program, but it is a great routine that you can do almost anywhere, anytime. And it's a fantastic substitute for 15 minutes on the treadmill.

Kettlebell (or Dumbbell) Swing

Bend at your hips, and hold a kettlebell (or dumbbbell) with both hands at arm’s length in front of you. Now, rock back slightly and “hike” the kettlebell between your legs. Then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward forcefully, and swing the weight to shoulder height. Allow momentum to swing the weight--you're not trying to actively lift it with your arms. Reverse the movement, so that you swing the kettlebell between your legs again. Make sure you don't round your lower back at any time; it should stay naturally arched when you bend at your hips. Continue to swing back and forth. Watch the video below to see fitness expert David Jack show you how to do the kettlebell swing with perfect form:

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Beat your workout plateaus with this 5-move Total-Body Muscle Assault.

Squat Thrust

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bending at your hips and knees, squat down and lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward--into a pushup position--and then immediately reverse the move and quickly stand up from the squat. That's one rep. To make the exercise even more challenging, you can jump up from the squat instead of simply standing up quickly. Watch the video below to see strength coach David Jack do the squat thrust:

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This story originally appeared in Women’s Health.

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Pumping out pushups at warp speed may make you feel invincible, but slowing them down has big benefits. "The tempo pushup -- which involves moving slowly up and down without pausing -- keeps your muscles under tension longer," says David Jack, owner of ActivPrayer in Phoenix, Arizona, and creator of Men's Health 60-Day Transformation. "This forces them to work harder to complete each rep. You will feel the burn!"

Taking a slower pace also targets your Type I muscle fibers. While these fibers don't grow as large as your Type II fibers (the ones that are used during powerful movements or big lifts), they are key for building muscular endurance, says Jack. The payoff: You can churn out rep after rep without losing steam. (We found 3 simple tricks to perfect your form and protect your shoulders: The Best Way to Do Pushups.)

Ready to try it? Watch the video to learn how to perform the tempo pushup with perfect form.

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Think you have the pushup down? Think again. Here are 5 Body-Weight Exercises You're Doing Wrong.

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On Sunday morning , Harriette Thompson, the 91-year-old marathoner, finished the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon in 7:07:42, the fastest time on record by a woman age 90 or older.

"I feel wonderful," Thompson told Runner's World Newswire. “I feel very relieved and I feel very anxious to take a shower and then fall into bed."

Thompson said she wasn't able to train as much as she would have liked because she recently finished up radiation treatment to treat squamous cell carcinoma on her legs, but she surprised herself.

"I found that the first 13 miles were very easy and then around mile 17 it became a little harder,” she said. “I’m almost as surprised as everybody else."

PLUS: Why Older Runners Need Strength Training

Thompson's time was well under the previous fastest time in the women's 90-and-over division, 8:53:08, run by Mavis Lindgren at the 1997 Portland Marathon. The oldest female marathon finisher on record is Gladys Burrill, who ran the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in 9:53:16 at the age of 92.

Thompson's brother passed away in February from lymphoma, and since her marathon debut at 76, Thompson has run every year on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team In Training, generating more than $90,000.

“All I do is write a letter and [my friends] are all very generous,” she said.

MORE: 20-Minute Workout Boosts Cognitive Ability

Thompson says she’s looking forward to taking a shower and getting a good night's rest. Monday, she will celebrate her 67th wedding anniversary with her husband, Sydnor, 90, back in North Carolina.

Thompson said that, when she exercises, she just feels better. Her words of wisdom for other runners? “Sleep a lot and drink a lot of water.”

Thompson said she doesn’t think age should be a barrier for beginning exercise.

“You’re never too old to do it,” she said. “I started my first marathon at 76.”

When asked if she has any other marathons planned, Thompson says she’ll be back in San Diego next year “if I’m still here.”

“I’ll try and do better next year and be in better shape,” she said.

MORE: Fueling for Older Runners

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One of the funny things about flat abs is that to get them, you don't necessarily have to do workouts that directly involve your stomach. Rather, it's just as effective -- if not more so -- to focus on exercises that engage your core as well as other parts of your body, like your thighs, glutes, and arms. Enter: This five-minute workout video.

All you need is two sets of dumbbells -- one heavy pair and one lighter pair -- and a mat. There are five moves total, and it's your job to do as many reps of each move as you can for 50 seconds, with a 10-second break in between each one. If you have more than five minutes, you can start the video over and do it two or three more times -- but doing it once is totally fine, too!

MORE: 5 Abs-Sculpting Mistakes You're Probably Making

Are you ready? Get set go:

MORE: 5 Exercises You Should Be Doing Way More Of

Here are the five moves:
1. Braced Squat
2. Alternating Dumbbell Press
3. Single Leg Row
4. Dumbbell Carry
5. Reverse Lunge with Raise

Are you obsessed yet? If so, there are definitely more videos where that one came from! Click here to check out our workout video collection. Have fun!

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On today's episode of XHIT, fitness trainer Rebecca-Louise shows you the best ab exercises to flatten your stomach! These are the nine best moves for getting that six pack! This ab workout will help you burn fat and get your six pack started for the summer! Follow along and let us know what you thought.

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He's the best amateur hockey player in North America, he may be the top overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft and he can't do a single pull-up.

Sam Bennett, 17, said he was "disappointed" with himself for not being able to do a pull-up at the fitness testing during this week's NHL combine, but experts say he shouldn't be too worried about that affecting his draft stock.

"I was wanting to do the best I can in every test," Bennett said. "But, I guess, ultimately games aren't won or lost if you can do a pull-up in the gym."

Bennett, a center with the Kingston Frontenacs, dominated the Ontario Hockey League last season. He tallied 55 assists and 36 goals in 57 games, and at midseason he was named the top North American prospect by the National Hockey League (NHL) Central Scouting Bureau.

Even though Bennett was 12 pull-ups behind the leaders at the combine, he's still projected to be a top pick at the June 27 draft.

"(At age) 17, 18, 19, if you go back in history with some of the players in the game, they’ll find that there was one summer that really made a difference in their physical development," NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr said. "So maybe at this stage he just hasn’t had that summer of development, and it'll come."

This was the first year that pull-ups were measured at the combine. Before this, teams had counted push-ups. But because GMs are looking to better gauge the strength of prospects, pull-ups were determined to be more useful.

So maybe the 6-foot, 180 pound Bennett isn't exactly at the same level of fitness as Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who can reportedly do 31 pullups, but his on-ice skill is clear. And that's what matters most.

"I think (what sets me apart) really just a combination of my hockey sense along with my compete level," Bennett said. "I think I compete as hard, if not harder, than anyone else."

The NHL is relatively new at staging a combine for draft prospects, but there are lots of examples in other sports of why these results aren't foolproof. The NFL has had its share of "workout wonders" who can't actually play football very well. In the NBA, Kevin Durant was the only prospect at the 2007 combine who could not perform at least one rep of a 185-pound bench press.

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You don’t have to crunch more than an accountant during tax season to score a six-pack. Instead, try the elevated bird dog--a new (and much harder) spin on the standard bird dog.

“The bird dog forces you to keep your core stiff,” says David Jack, owner of ActivPrayer in Phoenix, Arizona and creator of Men's Health 60-Day Transformation. “Lifting your knees off the ground just a couple of inches--as you do in this exercise--makes it even more challenging to keep your torso still as you switch arms and legs.” That means your entire core--hips and lower-back muscles, obliques, rectus abdominis (also known as the six-pack muscle)--is working overtime to keep your spine stable.

Watch this video to learn how to do the elevated bird dog with perfect form. Then try performing this movement in a total-body circuit or as part of your core workout. Do 16 reps on each side.

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Build a better performing body and a sculpted core with The Toughest Exercise You Aren't Doing (but Should).

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You don't have to lift weights to reach peak performance. Plyometrics -- superfast explosive movements -- can improve your athleticism and skyrocket your fitness to an insane level, says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., author of The IMPACT! Body Plan. The reason: Plyos recruit your fast-twitch muscle fibers -- the same ones that help you jump, cut, and sprint on the court or field.

Use this plyo challenge to test your athletic ability. It consists of two of Durkin's favorite explosive lower-body moves: the skater hop and split jump. They'll help you build faster, more powerful legs, while elevating your heartrate and burning serious calories at the same time. However, all that jumping and bounding can be tough on your joints, so make sure you land softly and under control with each rep. (Try these 5 Secrets to a Perfect Workout and you'll never be held back in the gym again!)

Here's how the challenge works: Perform as many skater hops as you can in 20 seconds. Rest 20 seconds, and then complete as many split jumps as possible in 20 seconds. Rest for 20 seconds again. That's 1 round. Repeat 3 more times, counting your reps each round. Add up your reps for your final score. Your goal: 210 total reps. Let us know your score in the comments below.

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Do these Fat-Blasting Cardio Combos just once, and you'll rethink cardio forever.

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The question: Will I burn more calories running on the treadmill or the elliptical?

The expert: Holly Perkins, certified strength and conditioning specialist in Los Angeles

The answer: The treadmill pulls ahead of the elliptical -- but just barely. Of course, that's assuming you're working at the same level of exertion. "If we were to compare apples to apples--same heart rate on both machines -- you would burn a few more calories running on the treadmill," she says.

What's the advantage of hitting the belt? Simple: Your feet don't stay planted the entire time. "Any time your body leaves the ground, as with running, that requires more energy," says Perkins.

MORE: Is It Possible to Run Too Much?

The caveat, of course, is that how hard you push yourself determines how many calories you burn on either piece of equipment. Although most people find it easier to elevate their heart rate on the treadmill, says Perkins, those who consider running to be absolute torture may prefer to fire up their calorie-burning engines on the elliptical. "If you're on the elliptical and you crank it up to level-20 resistance, you're going to be burning more calories than if you jog along on the treadmill at four miles an hour," she says.

MORE: 18 Ways to Change Up Your Running Routine

If you're one of the treadmill-hating exercisers, you can make your elliptical workout tougher by going hands-free. "If you're holding on, you're stabilizing yourself," says Perkins. "That means all of the little baby stabilizer muscles don't have to work." By letting go, you force these balancing muscles to do their job -- and that can help you torch a few extra calories, even if you're swinging your arms to help keep your body upright. (Similarly, if you hold on to the treadmill bar, you'll compromise your burn.)

You can also try switching the direction your legs are pumping. "A lot of people forget to go backward on the elliptical," says Perkins. "That's an awesome way to increase the intensity and get a new kind of workout."

MORE: 5 Ways to be a Faster and Happier Runner

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The single-arm pushup is the gold standard by which all other pushups are judged. Every guy wants to do them, but few can. The archer pushup can help you get there, though.

"It's an 'assisted' version of the single-arm pushup that allows you to train one arm with more intensity than the standard version of the exercise," says BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., author of Your Body Is Your Barbell. In a pushup position, you'll move one hand farther away from your body, which forces your other arm, shoulder, pec, and upper back to work harder to handle the load.

"Your non-working arm acts like a kickstand for your upper body," says Gaddour. "It's only there to help you as much as you need it to." Keep it closer to your body to make the move easier, and move it further away to make the move harder. (Think you have the pushup down? Think again. Here are 5 Body-Weight Exercises You're Doing Wrong.)

Ready to try it? Watch the video to learn how to perform the archer pushup with perfect form.

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We found 3 simple tricks to perfect your form and protect your shoulders: The Best Way to Do Pushups.

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