If swimming is your workout of choice, exercising on dry land may make you feel, well, like a fish out of water. But you don't need a pool (or much equipment, for that matter) to sharpen your swimming skills.
This 20-minute workout, courtesy of Brad Godbold, CSCS, head strength and conditioning coach of NYU Athletics, will help you build a swimmer's total-body strength with just five quick exercises.
But even if you're not a swimmer, you can benefit from the full-body strength this workout provides. And by the time this sweaty workout session is done, you'll feel like you've just climbed out of the pool.
Do: each of these moves for 45 seconds, resting for 15 seconds between exercises, repeating for 4 total sets, resting as needed between your sets.
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- Start standing tall with your arms at your sides.
- Squat down and place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart.
- Jump your feet back into a high plank with your hands directly in line with your shoulders, body in a straight line from head to hips to heels.
- Perform a push-up, bending your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body and bringing your chest to hover right above the ground.
- Press back up into a plank.
- Jump your feet up to your hands, then jump up into the air, raising your arms above your head for momentum.
- Land with knees bent and go straight into the next rep.
2. Kettlebell Swing
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent slightly, gripping a kettlebell (or heavy dumbbell) on the ground between your feet.
- Keeping your back flat, shoot your hips back and pull the weight between your legs and under your hips.
- On an exhale, push your hips forward and straighten your legs, swinging the bell up to chest height with control.
- Using the bell's momentum, swing the weight back between your legs and under your hips as you simultaneously sink into your hips and bend your knees.
- Push your hips forward again to go right back into the next swing.
If you haven't performed a kettlebell swing before, start with a lower weight until you become comfortable with the motion. Keep your core engaged so that you don't arch your back and don't let the bell's momentum pull you around — you control the weight.
3. Plank Superman
- Start on your hands and knees with your shoulders stacked above your wrists and your hips directly above your knees.
- Step your right foot back and then your left foot to balance on your hands and toes. Your body should form a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Tuck your pelvis in to engage your core and squeeze your glutes.
- Hold this plank position while maintaining a neutral spine.
- Reach your right arm in front of your body, keeping the pelvis stable.
- At the same time, raise your left leg several inches.
- Pause here for a moment, then switch sides.
If this move is too challenging, you can hold a traditional plank (see video above).
4. Jumping Jack
- Stand with a slight bend in your knees, feet together, arms by your sides.
- Simultaneously jump both feet apart and swing your arms out to the sides, then up overhead.
- Hop both feet together and lower your arms back down to your sides.
- Begin in a high plank with your core and glutes engaged. Your shoulders should be stacked over your wrists and your hips should be in line with your head and heels.
- Bend at the elbows at about a 45-degree angle from your torso and lower your body toward the ground.
- On the way down, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- When your chest hovers just above the ground (or however far down you can go), press into the ground and push your shoulder blades apart to return to the starting position.
If you need to modify, you can either drop to your knees or place your hands on a step or box for incline push-ups.