Here’s a rundown of a few exercises you can use at the gym, at the park or at home with a challenging workout incorporating them.
Movement #1: Burpee
To perform a burpee, begin standing tall and proud. To initiate the movement, push your butt back to hinge at the hips and reach toward the ground. Once your hands reach the ground just outside shoulder width, it is time to get your legs back so you end in a pushup position. You can do this one of two ways. The first is to kick your feet up and back in a quick motion to lock out your legs behind you and land in the pushup position. If this is too difficult (particularly when fatigued after doing many burpees already), you can also step one leg back at a time to arrive in the pushup position.
Now, from the pushup position, descend to the floor under control until you are lying flat on the floor. Keeping pressure in your hands, explode back up to the top of the pushup position by either doing a pushup or snaking your way up by pressing hard with your hands, lifting your head and chest off of the ground as you lock out your arms then bringing your hips up to follow. Once back to the pushup position, press hard through your feet and shoot your hips up towards the ceiling to pop your feet back under you. This position should resemble the same one you hit in the beginning after reaching your hands to the ground. From here, give yourself a little boost with your hands and stomp through the ground to stand up tall again. For a little extra pizazz, you can stand up explosively to add a little jump and clap overhead to your burpee. Some fitness competitions require this, plus it makes you work a little harder.
Congratulations, you can now do the vaunted burpee. Work on becoming more and more fluid at them and breathing smoothly throughout sets of them. Oh, and also don’t hate me for bringing them up...
Movement #2: Standing Lunge
To perform standing lunges, start standing tall and proud. Take a generous step forward, plant the foot strong then bend your hip and knee to lower your back knee towards the ground. Stomp through the ground powerfully with the front foot to return to a standing position. Remember to keep your spine straight while performing this movement. Also, be sure to let the knee on your back leg to bend and descend to the floor. The foot on your back leg will also rise off the heel leaving you to balance on the ball of your foot. Let the front foot take the majority of the load to work it harder and keep you in good positions. If this hurts your knees, try not descending as far to the ground. You can also place more weight on the heel of your front foot to lessen the knee stress.
Movement #3: Pushup plank with shoulder taps
To perform this movement, assume a typical pushup position. Hands and feet will be on the floor in a strong balanced position. Double check that ankles, knees, hips and shoulders are all in alignment. Keeping your stomach good and tight, shift your weight onto one hand, lift your other hand off the floor and touch the shoulder of the supporting hand. Return the moving hand to the ground in a strong position and repeat for the other side. Continue this for whatever reps or time interval you have chosen.
Practice these movements until you are proficient at them then give this workout a try!
The Tabata protocol is a common interval used to get a lot done in a small amount of time. The interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 straight rounds.
Below is a quick 30 minute workout utilizing the aforementioned movements. It should get you where you need to go.
Tabata #1: Pushup plank with shoulder taps
Rest 2 minutes
Tabata #2: Standing Lunges
Rest 2 minutes
Tabata #3: Burpees
Complete a whole 8 rounds of 20 seconds hard work with 10 seconds of rest for each movement. Try to keep even reps per leg on the lunges. Count your total reps in the whole workout if you can keep track and try to beat that score each time you do this.
Here is one of my favorite Tabata timers.
You can simply turn this song on and let it tell you when to work and when to rest so you can just get after it.
Have fun and work hard! And if not the former, then at least the latter.