By Jennifer Matarazzo
Get stronger and more self-assured by learning these basic self-defense moves, courtesy of Joanne Harris, creator of the Urban KnockOut DVD ($14.98; urbanknockout.com). Engage your muscles at the end of every strike, and keep your knees and elbows soft. Do each move 10 times; switch sides and continue alternating to reach five minutes.
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Horizontal Elbow Strike
Targets: quads, hips, upper back, shoulders
- Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, hold left fist with right hand at chest level, left elbow pointed toward left side.
- Lunge left foot out while striking out your left elbow 3 to 5 inches, keeping left arm parallel to floor.
Uppercut Elbow Strike
Targets: quads, core, upper back, shoulders
- Hold left fist with right hand at chest level, left elbow pointed up on the diagonal with feet at shoulder-width.
- Lift left heel and shift weight to the left.
- Strike up with left elbow.
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Turning Palm Strike
Targets: glutes, quads, obliques
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and pivot to the right, hands in fists, palms facing in.
- Bend and pivot to the left as you simultaneously strike forward with your right palm, fingertips facing the ceiling.
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Targets: quads, inner thighs, lower back
- Stand with your right foot 3 to 5 inches behind your left with fists in front of you as if grabbing an attacker's shoulders.
- Tuck your chin and thrust your right knee forward, striking toward your imaginary attacker's groin.
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Back Elbow Strike
Targets: quads, glutes, obliques, core
- Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold right fist with left palm at waist height.
- Step forward diagonally with left foot to pivot, and thrust right elbow behind you.
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