You’re at the airport. You’re shopping for gifts. You’re shopping for gifts at the airport. We know you don’t have as much time to hit the gym during the holiday season. Instead, you’re doing a 25-minute, no-equipment-needed burner from Ben Boudro, C.S.C.S., of Xceleration Fitness in Detroit, who’s trained several NFL players and specializes in crushing you with body-weight workouts.
Do it anyplace, whenever you can (heck, even twice a day if your flight’s delayed long enough), to hit every muscle in your body, rev up your metabolism, and improve balance and coordination.
The Bodyweight Burner Workout
Directions Do this workout at least three days a week; for optimal results, try to do it six days a week. (Remember: It takes only 25 minutes!) Aim to go for a 10- or 15-minute run
on days when you can’t find time for this workout.
Before you start training, loosen up your hamstrings and hips and relax your back
with 2 minutes of quick drills.
1. Pushup to Downward Dog
Start in pushup position, hands directly below your shoulders, core tight, then do a pushup. Return to the start, then raise your hips high, bending at the waist. (Shift your feet forward if you need to.) Keep your legs straight as you do this, stretching your hamstrings, and try to form a straight line with your arms and torso. Return to pushup position. That’s 1 rep. Do reps for 1 minute.
“Don’t focus on the number of reps,” says Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. “Fewer is better in the warmup; do each one slowly. Feel the stretch.”
2. Spider-Man Lunge with Overhead Reach
Start in pushup position, hands directly below your shoulders. Keeping your left leg straight, bring your right foot forward so that it’s just outside your right hand. Pause, then lift your right hand from the floor and raise it toward the ceiling, reaching as high as you can. Reverse the movements. That’s 1 rep. Alternate sides for 30 seconds.
Do 2 rounds of this circuit. In the first, do each exercise for 40 seconds, rest 20, then do 40 more seconds. Rest 90 seconds. The next round, do each move for 30 seconds, rest 15, then do 30 more seconds.
1. Around-the-World Pushup
Set up in pushup position, core tight. Do 1 pushup rep. Then, keeping your core tight, lift your right arm from the floor, rotating your torso as you reach your arm toward the ceiling. Continue rotating your torso so that your chest faces the ceiling (you can shift your feet as you do) and then place your right hand on the floor. “When your chest is facing the ceiling, squeeze your glutes to straighten out your body,” advises Samuel. Try to form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Reverse the moves to return to pushup position. That’s 1 rep. Alternate directions with each rep.
2. Superman Hold
Lie facedown on the floor, arms and legs extended. Tighten your glutes, raising your feet and thighs a few inches in the air. As you do this, squeeze your back muscles, lifting your arms and chest off the floor. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower back to the floor. That’s 1 rep.
“If you have time for just one exercise every single day, make it this one,” says Samuel. “It’ll fire up your mid-back muscles—a key to helping improve your posture.”
3. Lateral Bound to Pushup
Start in an athletic stance, feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent slightly, then leap to
your left as far as you can, landing on your left foot. Gather yourself as quickly as possible,
then leap back to the right, landing on your right foot. Complete 5 total jumps back and
forth, then immediately do 5 pushups. Stand back up and repeat the pattern until time is up.
4. High-Knee Run
Start standing, knees bent slightly, feet shoulder-width apart, arms relaxed, then begin running in place, concentrating on driving your knees up as high as you can. Aim to get your thigh higher than parallel to the floor on each stride.
“Don’t let this only be a lower-body movement,” says Samuel. “Make sure you’re pumping your arms as if you’re really running; that’ll help you drive your knees higher, too.”
5. Knee Tuck
Lie on your back, then press your lower back into the floor. Raise your shoulders off the floor slightly, supporting yourself with your hands. Keeping your legs straight, raise your thighs a few inches. This is the start. Now pull your thighs toward your chest, bending your knees as you do; squeeze your abs. Return to the start. That’s 1 rep.
6. Burpee Broad Jump
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and put your hands on the floor. Kick your feet backward into plank position, then lower your chest to the floor, as if doing a pushup. Reverse the movements to stand back up, then leap forward. Backpedal to your starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Set a timer for 3 minutes. Do 1 pushup, then 1 Russian twist. Then do 2 pushups and 2 Russian twists. Keep laddering up until time expires; rest as needed.
Get in pushup position. Bend at the elbows, lowering your torso until you’re an inch from the floor. Pause, then straighten your arms and return to the start. Focus on keeping your core tight and keeping your elbows close to your torso on each rep.
2. Russian Twist
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet a few inches off the floor. Tighten your abs, raising your torso so it’s a foot above the floor. Clasp your hands together just above your chest. This is the start. Keeping your legs as steady as possible, twist your torso to the right and touch your hands to the floor on the right side. Then twist to the left and touch the floor on the left. That’s 1 rep.
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