Slideshow: Fast Boot-Camp Workout
By Rachel Crocker, Fitness Editor; Photography Paul Buceta; Model Rita Catolino
1. Who doesn’t have 25 minutes?
Exercise doesn’t have to be lengthy to be worthwhile. Circuit training – performing a series of exercises back-to-back – keeps your heart rate up and, in turn, your body burning calories long after your workout is through.
This boot-camp circuit is perfect for when you need a quick total-body workout in a pinch. Grab your gear, set up a spot in your backyard, garage or basement, and you’re good to go!
What you’ll need: Dumbbells (a little lighter than you would normally use, due to the high intensity), a skipping rope, a bench or stability ball, and a stopwatch or clock.
How to do it: Warm up for a few minutes by lightly skipping rope. Do each exercise for one minute, then move right onto the next. After your last exercise, rest for one to two minutes (keep in mind that the less time you wait, the more your metabolism soars), then repeat twice from the top.
2. Dumbbell reverse lunge
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and take a big step back with one leg. Bend both legs until your rear knee is about an inch from the floor, then push through your front heel and return to the start. Alternate your working leg with each repetition.
3. Incline dumbbell press
Adjust your bench so that the back is at a 30- to 45-degree angle. (No bench? Place your back against a stability ball on the floor, with your feet on the ground and hips slightly lifted.) Grab one dumbbell in each hand, sit on the bench and bend your arms as shown. Press the weights straight out in front of you (not up towards the ceiling), then slowly return to the start.
4. Seated alternating hammer curl
Sit on your bench or a chair, and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inward. Flex your right elbow to bring the weight towards your shoulder. Pause for a moment, squeeze your biceps, then return to the start. Repeat, alternating your working arm.
5. Sumo squat
Hold one dumbbell with both hands, space your legs wide and point your feet out slightly. Bend your legs to drop your glutes towards the floor; keep your torso tall, your chest lifted, and watch that your knees don’t extend past your toes. When you have lowered as far as is comfortably possible, press through your heels to stand, and clench your glutes at the top before beginning your next rep.
6. Upright row
Stand and hold two dumbbells in your hands, with your palms facing the front of your thighs. Pull the dumbbells up in a straight line towards your chest; at the top of the move, your elbows should be higher than your wrists. Slowly extend your arms to return to the starting position.
7. Bench crunch
Lie on your back on the floor and place your calves on a bench, couch or a stability ball. With your fingertips lightly touching the back of your head, contract your abs and lift your shoulders and upper back from the floor. Pause for one count, then slowly lower back to the start.
8. Skipping rope
Use whatever style of jumping you are most comfortable with – jumping with both legs, kicking your feet behind you, high knees – and go at a pace that is challenging but won’t cause you to fatigue before your minute is through. Remember to land lightly on the balls of your feet, not your heels, and keep your elbows tight to your sides.