“I’m into CrossFit now!” says “Loser” trainer and lifestyle coach Bob Harper. “Working out at a high intensity for a shorter amount of time is very efficient on the body, especially if you’re hitting a fitness plateau.”
CrossFit integrates a short series (20 minutes or less) of challenging training drills that build strength, endurance, and overall conditioning.
“It’s a great full-body, fat-burning workout—and without getting on a treadmill!” explains Harper. So grab a timer (or stand by a clock) and go for it!
Warm it up! (Standing Kicks)
“This exercise will not only warm you up, it will strengthen your legs and help steady your balance,” says Harper.
1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms at sides.
2. Keeping right leg straight, kick it up about 90 degrees. As you do so, reach left hand toward top of foot. (Keep back straight and head up.)
3. Repeat with left leg and right hand. Alternate legs for 60 seconds.
Get in Step! (High Knees)
1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Lift right leg, bending knee at 90-degree angle. As you do, lift left arm, bending elbow at 90-degree angle (marching band-style).
3. Alternate by jumping to left leg and right arm. Continue back and forth for 30 seconds.
On Your Toes! (Calf Raises)
1. Stand facing wall.
2. Place hands on wall with arms straight at shoulder-height and shoulder-width apart.
3. Raise heels of both feet, then return to starting position. Repeat for 60 seconds.
Take a Seat! (Air Squats)
“The air squat for strength and balance is one of the fundamentals of functional fitness,” says Harper. “It’s a great fat-burner, too.”
1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with both arms overhead and even with ears. (Beginners: place one hand on a sturdy chair or nearby surface for support and safety.)
2. Bend knees and squat as though sitting in imaginary chair. (Keep back straight and knees behind toes.) Then, return to standing position.
3. Do as many squats as you can in 60 seconds.
Ready, Set Go! (CrossFit Round for time)
10 Assisted Pull-ups—Loop a thick resistance band (one made for your body weight) around the pull-up bar. With hands on bar, place one foot inside the band and straighten leg. Pull yourself up above the bar and then slowly lower back down.
15 Wall Balls—Assume squat position with toes pointed out and approximately 2 to 3 feet from cement or brick wall. Hold 12 to 20 pound medicine ball under chin with elbows down and back straight. Raise to standing position, extending legs and arms and shooting ball toward target marked on wall. In a controlled and steady motion, catch ball and return to squat position.
20 Step-ups—Begin in standing position with both feet on floor. Place right foot on a sturdy and stable box (the higher the box, the more hip flexibility is required). Push down into right heel to lift body, placing left foot on box and coming to standing position. (Keep back straight and body upright.) Step down with right leg, then left leg. Alternate legs or do a set on each side.
25 Sit-ups—(Harper suggests using an ab mat.) Place ab mat on floor and under curve of your lower back. From a seated position and with bottoms of feet together (butterfly position), lie back with arms extended and touching floor behind you. Tighten abs to return to seated position, and touch hands to toes.
30 Burpees—Begin in standing position. Squat down, placing hands shoulder-width apart on floor. Kick out feet to a push-up position and do a push-up. Then, bring feet back in, jump up to a standing position and clap hands above head. (Feet should come completely off the ground when jumping.)
Check with your doctor when starting a new fitness routine. Don’t overdo it. Gradually increase reps as you become stronger.
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