Boot camp exercises can greatly improve muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. They also have the added benefit of burning lots of calories. Most boot camp exercises can be performed anywhere and usually do not require any equipment. Here are a few exercises that work the major muscle groups, burn lots of calories and can also improve your speed, power and agility.
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Lunges are an effective exercise because they work many muscles at one time and also improve balance. Lunges work the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, inner thigh and outer thigh muscles. There are many different ways to perform lunges. There are stationary lunges, forward lunges, reverse lunges, side lunges and walking lunges. Typically, lunges with movement are more difficult than stationary lunges since they require more balance. To perform walking lunges, step one foot forward as far as you can and then lower down the back knee toward the floor. Make sure your front knee does not go over your toe. If it does, try stepping your front foot farther forward. Continue the movement by alternating legs until you have completed 8 to 15 reps on each leg.
Pushups with a Twist
Like lunges, pushups are also a great exercise because they work many muscle groups at one time. Pushups strengthen the pectoral muscles, triceps, shoulders and core. A twist can be added to a traditional pushup to make the exercise more challenging. To execute this exercise, lower down into a regular pushup. On the way up, as you approach the top of the pushup, lift one hand off the ground and raise it up in the air. Turn your whole body to the side, and stack you feet on top of each other. Return back down to the starting position, complete another pushup and twist in the opposite direction.
Jumping exercises are a type of plyometric exercise. Plyometrics improve muscular strength and power. To perform squat jumps, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and lower down like you are sitting onto a chair. Once you are down in a squat position, jump straight up in the air so that your feet leave the floor. As you come down try to absorb your body weight slowly by landing on your toes, balls of the feet and then heels. The American Council on Exercise recommends using visualization cues such as “light as a feather” when landing to reduce impact when landing. Repeat as many times as possible for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Sprints are considered a high-intensity anaerobic exercise. They raise the heart rate to a level where the body is burning a lot of calories in a small period of time. Sprints also can improve speed and overall function of the cardiovascular system. To perform this exercise, sprint 25 yards as fast as possible. At the 25-yard-point, squat down low and slide-step to the right 25 yards. After slide stepping, jog backwards 25 yards. After jogging backward, slide step to the left 25 yards. Since this exercise moves in a square pattern, you should end up in the same spot that you began. Rest for 2 minutes and repeat three to six times.