Jumping rope is great. Ditto for squats. Deadlifts? Awesome. But just as you’d get tired of eating meatloaf every night for dinner, sometimes you get tired of doing the same old moves in the gym. Here are five fresh exercises to spice up your next workout. The best part? None require fancy equipment. Do them all together, and you’ll be toning up from head to toe, burning calories and staving off WMD (weight-room monotony and dullness). Give ’em a go today.
1. Single-Leg Bench Stands
This is a sneaky good one. Sit upright on one side of a bench. Using only your right leg (not your left leg and not your hands), step off the bench and stand up in one motion. It sounds easy, but it’s actually very difficult. Most people can’t even do one. Do as many as you can. Then do as many as you can with your left leg.
Stand on your right leg, with your hands extended over your head and your left leg bent 90 degrees. While keeping your balance, reach down and touch the floor with both hands, then return to the original position. (It’s OK if your right leg bends slightly.) Do as many as you can in 30 seconds. Then switch legs and go for another 30 seconds. (As you get better at it, try to do them really fast.)
3. Single-Leg Crawl-Outs
Start this one just as you would a Popsicle. But when your hands touch the ground, walk them out till you are in a push-up position. Hold that pose for a second, then crawl your hands back toward your toes and stand up. Do as many as you can on your right leg for 30 seconds. Then switch legs and go for another 30 seconds.
4. Donkey Kicks
Assume the push-up position from the previous move. Crawl back halfway to form a triangle with the ground, almost like you’re in a Downward Dog yoga pose. With your right foot on the ground and your left foot up near your rear, jump off your right foot and try to kick your right glute with the back of your heel. Return that foot to the ground and repeat. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds. Then switch legs. (If you’re having trouble, just try to jump an inch off the ground. Work your way up to six inches, 12 inches and so on.)
Get into a push-up position with your hands resting on a towel and next to each other so that your thumbs are touching. Take a small step to the left with your left foot, followed by a small step to the left with your right foot. Work your way in this manner until you’ve traversed 180 degrees (while your hands remain stationary). Then reverse directions and return to the starting position. Continue making “half-moons” as many times as you can in 30-60 seconds. This exercise is great. I actually have my MMA guys do it for three minutes on a medicine ball. It works every muscle in the body. Which is pretty much all you can ask of an exercise, right?
Jay Cardiello is Made Man’s fitness and nutrition expert. As a top certified strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer and sports nutritionist, Cardiello has helped Hollywood A-Listers, Fortune 500 CEOs and NFL players sculpt the best bodies of their lives. Learn more at jcorebody.com. Got a question for him? Email us here, with ASK JAY in the subject line, and he’ll do his best to address it in a future column.