Your guest writer today, Shawn Clark, is sharing 10 bootcamp style exercises he recommends. Staying active is an important aspect to being healthy, and I love how bootcamp style workouts minimize your time spent working out if you aren’t naturally active during your day. Onto you, Shawn!
Working out usually consists of jogging, lifting weights, biking, or swimming. While these are all effective ways to drop weight and gain muscle, is this what you want to do? There’s nothing wrong with engaging this these forms of exercise. However, when you’re looking for an alternative, you may want to give some bootcamp style workout ideas a go.
Bootcamp workouts are inspired by, you guessed it, bootcamp. These workouts can be fast-paced and/or brutal. Even so, they’re also intriguing and novel for those tired of conventional exercises.
Before we get started on this first workout, it’s important to talk more about bootcamp workouts. This style of exercise can be more intense, thus, isn’t for everyone. Mayo Clinic states people 40+, pregnant, or have declining have trouble with bootcamp workouts. If you are not within this group, please continue.
Here are ten crazy (but efficient) bootcamp style workout ideas to trying your workout:
10. Cone Cardio Drill (Figure 8 Jog)
To amp up your traditional cardio, replace it with the Figure 8 Jog. This cone drill activity works on cardio, grace and agility. You’ll jog in the shape of the number eight, so prepare yourself!
- In an open room or outdoors, set up two cones five to eight feet apart. The closer you put the cones, the faster you may have to jog, and the sharper the turns. Cones are optional but help you with consistency in the workout.
- If you opt for cones, you’ll weave around them as you form the number eight. Without cones, you’ll do the same, just without cones indicating where to turn.
Set a goal for yourself. One idea is to complete this exercise in a certain time frame (e.g., one or two minutes). Another is to complete a certain number rounds. Some people prefer to keep going until they run out of energy. Choose the one that appeals to you.
9. Jump Rope Crossover Jump
Then next workout requires some simple equipment: a jump rope.
Before we get started, it’s best to practice traditional jump-roping beforehand. The Crossover Jump can be done by children. Even so, people of all ages can struggle at first.
- With a jump rope in hand, begin by completing several traditional jumps.
- When you’re read for the Crossover Jump, cross your arms. The right arm holding the right jump rope handle will instead be on the left. The left arm holding the left jump rope handle will instead be on the right.
- As you hold the rope with crossed arms, continue jumping as the rope hits the ground towards your feet.
- After you complete a jump through the rope with crossed arms, uncross them. Then continue your normal jump. Add more Crossover Jumps into your jumping as you continue. Some like to do a certain pattern such as two normal jumps for every one Crossover Jump. Others like to randomize it.
Continue this workout for about two to five minutes or however long you wish.
8. Mountain Climbers
Another aerobic exercise is Mountain Climbers. This workout can aid with blood circulation and improve strength in the legs, core, and upper arms.
Best of all, you won’t be needing to climb a mountain when engaging in this bootcamp workout. Yet, this workout is for intermediate to advanced persons, so listen to your body
- Start by planking on the floor on your hands. You may place a mat on the floor to make the surface less hard or slippery. Your knees and feet should be about hip-width apart from each other. Keep your toes pointing toward your body.
- Keep your arms straight without locking your elbows. While keeping your other leg straight, bend one knee inward towards your core as far as you can, almost like a crunch.
- Quickly bring the leg back to its original position while bringing the other leg to the core.
Repeat this process several times. You can set a goal for 1-2 minutes or go until you’re tired.
7. High Knees
This next bootcamp style workout idea is great for the abdominal muscles and flexors. You can high-knee in place or combine High Knees with a jog. Best of all, this is a pretty basic exercise many can engage in, even children.
Begin standing tall, and jog in place as a warm-up.
- When you’re ready to begin, life your knees as high as you can while jogging in place. Each time you lift your knee, it should reach your hip or bellybutton area.
- Continue High Knees for one to two minutes.
I recommend a cool-down exercise after this intense activity.
6. Box Jumps
Box Jumps are a great aerobic exercise, especially for the glutes and hamstrings. One study found that aerobic exercise improves mental health.
Note: if you suffer from pain or injury in your foot, knee, or leg, please skip this workout. Otherwise, this is a very fun workout that can be as fast-paced as you would like.
Before beginning, you’ll need a sturdy plyometric box designed for working out. Don’t use any box, a plastic stool, or other objects not designed for this activity, as you can hurt yourself.
- Start in a standing position on the floor. You may want to stretch your legs and practicing jumping beforehand.
- When you’re ready, start with the legs slightly bent and your arms angled back. Then, with all your might, jump onto the box, then jump backwards off it.
- Continue Box Jumps. I recommend three sets of 10 jumps.
5. Plank Jacks
For better posture and a workout for the abs, glutes, hamstrings, buttocks, and lower back, try Plank Jacks. This exercise is a combination of planks and jumping jacks. Research shows that planks are great for the abs like push-ups, yet uses the arms and elbows for support. Thus, Plank Jacks are less taxing on your joints than traditional jumping jacks. Note that Plank Jacks don’t include any jumping.
Before starting, I recommend you get acquainted with planks and jumping jacks individually. Then you can combine the two.
- Start in the plank position. Support your body with your forearms and toes. Keep your back straight and your hands shoulder-width apart together. Keep your neck in line with your spine.
- Then, you will be doing jacks with the lower half of your body while in the plank position. Your toes should be on the ground with your heel up. Start with your feet parallel one another. At the same time, extend both feet outward. Then bring them back together. Repeat several times in a fast manner.
Through this whole process, you’ll remain in a plank position. Try to complete Plank Jacks for one to two minutes if possible.
Burpees are for individuals fit enough for fast-paced exercises. It requires getting in the plank position and jumping several times in a row. Some may not be up for the challenge, but if you are, let’s get started:
To get used to doing Burpees, I recommend starting slow before speeding up.
- Start in the plank position on the floor, keeping your back straight.
- Then, bring your legs forward so that your feet are now under your abdomen and you are now in a crouching position. Use this position to help you jump straight up.
- Jump up and shoot your arms up.
- Bring your arms down (back to a crouch) and then return to the plank position. Repeat. Each time you jump, try to jump as high as you can.
Complete as many Burpees as you can before getting tired. Many like to do Burpees in sets of 10.
3. Kettlebell Swings
You’ll need a kettlebell for this exercise. If you don’t, you might be able to use a bucket or pail with a handle. Kettlebells are a great equipment to boost strength and muscle. This exercise is ideal for improving posture and energy. Kettlebell swings specifically are ideal for the shoulders, hips, glutes, and abs.
Please ensure safety while using a kettlebell. Research shows there may be lower back discomfort, even if you can lift heavy loads. If you struggle with back or postural problems, you may want to skip this exercise.
The weight of kettlebell depends on your strength. Please determine your needs this prior to using a kettlebell for any exercise.
- Stand with your feet about one to two feet apart from one another.
- In a squatting position, pick up your kettle bell snuggly with both hands.
- Stand straight with your feet in place. Begin to swing the kettlebell through your open legs as your back swing with it.
- Return to starting
I recommend staring with 5 sets of 10 kettlebell swings.
2. Butterfly Sit-ups
You already know what a traditional sit-up is, but have you tried Butterfly Sit-ups? They’re similar but use a different leg position to workout your legs, too.
- Sit on the floor and place the soles of your feet together, so your legs form a “butterfly.”
- Lay flat while your legs are still in the butterfly position. Lift your body up, push your body forward, and reach your arms out as much as possible. Keep your feet together.
- Lay back down and repeat several Butterfly Sit-ups. Try completing 30 total to start out.
You’ll truly feel like Superman after trying this bootcamp style workout idea. Best of all, it isn’t highly strenuous. With the Superman, you boost lower back and glute muscular strength. Let’s get started.
- Start off on your stomach with your legs and arms straight out.
- To get in the Superman position, lift your upper and lower halves of your body up. This is called a Superman because it mimics the way Superman looks when he’s flying.
- Hold this position for two seconds. Then go back down.
- For beginners, try 10 to 20 repetitions.
Even if working out isn’t your favorite hobby, finding an enjoyable workout is important. For some, the best workout is running, doing push-ups, or even playing a sport. For others, bootcamp workouts are more engaging and motivating. In the end, getting up and moving around is important at any age.
About the Author:
Shawn Clark is a Health, Beauty and Fitness Adviser. For the past 5 years, he is providing nutrition counseling, fitness training and health advice over Phoenix, Arizona. Shawn is committed to providing modern, relevant and reliable health information in all its complexity, perpetuating positive messages. He specializes in customizing health programs for men’s health such. Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn.