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The 15 Toughest Do-Anywhere Workout Moves

by
author image Kelly Plowe, M.S., RD, CSSD
Kelly Plowe is a registered dietitian and the senior supervising producer for LIVESTRONG.COM. She received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics and kinesiology from Michigan State University. Plowe went on to work in Boston as a clinical dietitian while pursuing her master’s degree in advertising from Boston University.

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The 15 Toughest Do-Anywhere Workout Moves
Cate Norian

When it comes to workouts, we’re all about efficiency: “How can I get the most done in the least amount of time?” Sound familiar? The 8-Week STRONGER Challenge, developed by LIVESTRONG.COM and former professional soccer player and celebrity trainer Nicky Holender, was created with just this in mind. The goal of STRONGER is to provide the most efficient and effective full-body do-anywhere workouts in 40-minutes or less – COMPLETELY FREE. The workouts are challenging but they deliver results, and – most importantly – the program offers modification options for each of the movements. Read on to see the 15 most challenging moves in the program – promising to challenge you physically and mentally and get you in the best shape of your life. Modifications are explained and photos help to show how to do each move, so you can practice to ensure the correct form.

#15: Tricep Step-Ups (as seen in the FIRE Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#15: TRICEP STEP-UPS (AS SEEN IN THE FIRE WORKOUT VIDEO)

This movement from the FIRE workout video builds, strengthens and sculpts lean and toned abdominals, shoulders and triceps. HOW TO DO IT: Start in the high plank position with both arms locked out, your back straight and aligned, and your core tight and strong. Without crumbling your midsection, come down on your forearms, one forearm at a time and hold here. Now, from the forearm plank position, move back up into the high plank position, one arm at a time. Repeat by alternating your leading arm. “It’s important to keep your neck long and your core steady. Don’t sacrifice form for speed,” says trainer Nicky Holender. To modify, do the movement from your knees instead of your toes.

Related: See this exercise in the 33-minute FIRE workout video

#14: Breakdance Thrusters (as seen in the SOLDIER Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#14: BREAKDANCE THRUSTERS (AS SEEN IN THE SOLDIER WORKOUT VIDEO)

While it’s definitely one of the toughest moves, it’s also considered one of the most fun to do. Breakdance Thrusters from the SOLDIER workout are a full body movement that calls on your neurological strength and memory. This move develops skill and overall coordination. HOW TO DO IT: From the standing position, bend down putting your hands on the ground and jump your feet back so that you’re in a plank position. Next, step one foot out to the side and bring the opposite leg under your body while lifting up the arm opposite to that leg. From here, kick back to a push-up position and then jump up to standing again. The key is to keep arms and legs as straight as possible when extended…and to have fun! To modify this movement, you can step one leg back at a time (instead of a full jump). Once done, repeat using opposite side.

Related: See this exercise in the 36-minute SOLDIER workout video

#13: Pike Push-Ups (as seen in the IRON Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#13: PIKE PUSH-UPS (AS SEEN IN THE IRON WORKOUT VIDEO)

A deceiving movement, this exercise from the IRON workout video doesn’t look difficult, but it’ll call on all of your focus and strength to complete. Pike Push-ups are an upper body exercise, giving you toned and sculpted shoulders. HOW TO DO IT: Form an inverted V with your body by placing your hands on the ground, coming up on your toes and slightly bending your knees. From here, drive your head straight down towards the ground by bending your arms. Once you’ve gone as close as you can to the floor, come back up to the top of the inverted V. TIP: Keep your eyes focused on your shoelaces; this will keep your neck in the correct position. To modify, do the movement from your knees instead of your toes. If you’re feeling like an extra challenge (kudos to you!) lift one of your legs up behind you – your back and leg should form a straight line. Repeat on the other side.

Related: See this exercise in the 34-minute IRON workout video

#12: Shoulder Series (as seen in the REFUEL Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#12: SHOULDER SERIES (AS SEEN IN THE REFUEL WORKOUT VIDEO)

The intent of this exercise is to warm-up for your shoulders, but as the heat builds – it becomes a challenging move in itself. The shoulder series helps you develop stronger shoulders, which help frame the body making your waist look smaller. HOW TO DO IT: The Shoulder Series is a 5-part exercise with 30 seconds of each movement (2 and a half minutes to complete the entire series). Start with Circles Forward/Back – the simple arm circles you remember from gym class. To do the next movement, Goal Post, create a 90-degree angle with your elbows bent at your side. Move your arms forward and down so they’re parallel with the floor and then back up. Next is Thumbs Together which involves bringing your arms up from the bent goal post position at your sides to directly overhead, touching your thumbs. Next, extend your arms straight out at your sides and Wring It Out by slightly rotating your entire arm to the front and then the back. Lastly, move into Pull Back by extending both arms out straight and pulling them toward the back of the room, repeating in pulses.

Related: See this exercise in the 41-minute REFUEL workout video

#11: Fish Out of Water (as seen in the IRON Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#11: FISH OUT OF WATER (AS SEEN IN THE IRON WORKOUT VIDEO)

This isolated abdominal exercise requires only a small range of motion but delivers big results. This exercise from the IRON workout video builds overall core strength while toning your oblique and intercostal abdominal muscles. HOW TO DO IT: Start on the floor on your side (you may need a mat). Straighten the arm on the floor so that it extends above your head and place your opposite hand on the floor (for balance). Next, your straight-arm hand should come up slightly “waving at your feet” and at the same time, your feet should lift up off the floor to “wave at your hand.” Once done, repeat on your opposite side. To modify, bend your bottom arm so that your hand is now supporting your head when it’s elevated. Also, you can bend the knee of your bottom leg (putting your leg behind you) for added support and balance.

Related: See this exercise in the 34-minute IRON workout video

#10: Hindu Push-Up (as seen in the IRON Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#10: HINDU PUSH-UP (AS SEEN IN THE IRON WORKOUT VIDEO)

Another movement that will call on your focus and strength, the Hindu Push-up works your chest and shoulders while building strength and range of motion. HOW TO DO IT: Start in an inverted V by putting your hands on the ground, coming up on your toes and slightly bending your knees. From here, dive your head down towards the ground and then swing your head through between your arms with your body following. Once your body has moved through, you should end with your head and then body moving into an arch. From here, push your body back into the inverted V position and repeat. To modify, do this movement from your knees.

Related: See this exercise in the 40-minute RELOAD workout video

#9: Split Jumps (as seen in the IGNITION Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#9: SPLIT JUMPS (AS SEEN IN THE IGNITION WORKOUT VIDEO)

This plyometric movement works your glutes and builds explosive power. It’ll challenge you and as Nicky says, “It’ll burn so good.” HOW TO DO IT: First do a lunge by starting in a standing position and then placing one foot behind you and lower your legs and body so that your back knee almost “kisses” the ground. Just as you reach this point, jump your body up and switch legs and move back into the lunge position on the opposite side and repeat. You can use your arms to help jump you up and keep your balance. TIP: Don’t let your knee to go past toes in the lunge position and keep your chest upright. To modify this movement, step back into the lunge (don’t jump) and then come back into standing and repeat.

Related: See this exercise in the 32-minute IGNITION workout video

#8: Full Leg Circles (as seen in the WARRIOR Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#8: FULL LEG CIRCLES (AS SEEN IN THE WARRIOR WORKOUT VIDEO)

This movement tests your balance and improves your range of motion while engaging your glutes, abdominal and leg muscles. HOW TO DO IT: Put your arms out to your sides for balance. Stand on one leg and lift your other leg, bending at the knee. From here, extend the bent leg straight out and then rotate this straight leg out, around and back behind you before finally bringing down to the ground and repeat. Once done, repeat on the other side.

Related: See this exercise in the 35-minute WARRIOR workout video

#7: Circular Mountain Climbers (as seen in the COMBUSTION Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#7: CIRCULAR MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS (AS SEEN IN THE COMBUSTION WORKOUT VIDEO)

You may have heard of mountain climbers but, Nicky’s souped-up version takes it up a notch. Circular Mountain Climbers increase range or motion in your lower body and help tone quads and abdominal muscles. HOW TO DO IT: Start in the high plank position and then take one foot and swing it out and around to the hand on that same side, getting as close to your hand as possible. Next, swing the foot back to center and immediately hop your other foot out and around to the hand on that same side. Continue this back and forth motion. To modify this move, remove the hop; just step your foot up toward your hand and then step it back to push-up position.

Related: See this exercise in the 34-minute COMBUSTION workout video

#6: Plank Jump Runs (as seen in the STEEL Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#6: PLANK JUMP RUNS (AS SEEN IN THE STEEL WORKOUT VIDEO)

An overall kick-your-butt cardio exercise, Plank Jump Runs will get your heart rate up in no time and the interval structure of the workout will keep you burning calories even after you’re done working out. HOW TO DO IT: Start in the plank position with arms and legs fully extended. Next, simultaneously jump your feet up towards your hands and once they land, run them back until fully extended and then repeat. To modify, do a small jump forward, not all the way toward your feet.

Related: See this exercise in the 38-minute STEEL workout video

#5 Single Leg Jump Squat (as seen in the EXPLOSION Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#5 SINGLE LEG JUMP SQUAT (AS SEEN IN THE EXPLOSION WORKOUT VIDEO)

The movement is just like it sounds. The Single Leg Jump Squat in the EXPLOSION workout helps you develop explosive power while toning and strengthening your quads. HOW TO DO IT: From a standing position, slightly lift one foot off the ground behind you and then squat down and touch the ground with your hand. From the ground, come back up with a jump and then return to standing – and repeat. To modify, keep your back foot on the ground for balance (like a kickstand on a bike). Once done, repeat using opposite leg.

Related: See this exercise in the 31-minute EXPLOSION workout video

#4: Rain Dance Warrior (as seen in the SOLDIER Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#4: RAIN DANCE WARRIOR (AS SEEN IN THE SOLDIER WORKOUT VIDEO)

This movement may be the genesis of Nicky Holender’s most famous line, “If those legs are shakin’, those calories are bakin’.” Targeting both your upper and lower body, this exercise promises to strengthen and tone your quads and shoulders all in one movement. While it may not be the toughest move to execute, it is one of the toughest moves to stick with until the end. We can practically guarantee you’ll be raining sweat when it’s done. HOW TO DO IT: Extend both arms with a bend in the elbow over your head and then sink your lower body down into the squat position while keeping your chest upright. From here, you jump and squat, jump and squat while turning your body in a circle. Once you’ve done completed a circle, reverse the direction. To modify this movement, remove the jump between squats.

Related: See this exercise in the 36-minute SOLDIER workout video

#3: Burpee Tuck Jumps (as seen in the WARRIOR Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#3: BURPEE TUCK JUMPS (AS SEEN IN THE WARRIOR WORKOUT VIDEO)

This exercise, found in the WARRIOR workout video, is what trainer Nicky Holender calls “the mother of all burpees.” Burpee Tuck Jumps are not for the faint of heart. It’s a full body movement that helps build explosive power while burning through calories. HOW TO DO IT: Do a burpee by lowering your hands to the ground, kick your feet out to a plank position and then lower your chest to the ground (as you advance through the program, the speed of this part improves). Once lying flat, quickly lift your chest back up and kick your feet up near your hands and underneath your body. Begin to stand but as you do, jump and tuck both legs underneath your body. When you land, go back into the burpee position and repeat. To modify this movement, step your legs out in the burpee movement and instead of a tuck jump, do a small hop and raise your arms.

Related: See this exercise in the 31-minute WARRIOR workout video

#2: Lateral Plank Pops (as seen in the EXPLOSION Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#2: LATERAL PLANK POPS (AS SEEN IN THE EXPLOSION WORKOUT VIDEO)

As if planking isn’t challenging enough, STRONGER trainer Nicky Holender takes it up a notch again by adding in a “pop.” This is a movement he has all of this top athletes doing, and it’ll work your core, triceps and shoulders. HOW TO DO IT: Start in the plank position. With a slight pop in your hips, jump your entire body to the right and then back to the left while keeping a solid push-up/extended plank position the entire time. If you’re really advanced, move your body in a box shape (forward, side, back, side). To modify this exercise, from the plank position, walk your right hand and right leg out to the right and then walk them back towards the left and repeat.

Related: See this exercise in the 31-minute EXPLOSION workout video

#1: Single Leg Tuck Jumps (as seen in the EXPLOSION Workout Video)
Cate Norian

#1: SINGLE LEG TUCK JUMPS (AS SEEN IN THE EXPLOSION WORKOUT VIDEO)

This exercise is most likely the toughest movement in the Stronger program. Single Leg Tuck Jumps whip your lower body into shape focusing in on your quads, calves and hip flexors. HOW TO DO IT: From the standing position, do a tuck jump by jumping in the air and tucking one leg up and under your body and keep your other leg straight. When you land, come down on the straight leg and then immediately jump back up into the tuck jump. Once done, repeat using opposite leg. The key is to pull your knee up as high as you can on the jump and to have a quiet, controlled landing. To modify this movement, lift your “tucked” leg up near your opposite knee and do small, controlled hops.

Related: See this exercise in the 31-minute EXPLOSION workout video

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