Boot camp-style workouts challenge the total body in exercises that use body weight as resistance, build balance and coordination, and burn calories with exercises that bypass gym equipment and instead rely on the same good old-fashioned grit and determination required in basic training. To create your own boot camp-style workout without actually enlisting in the armed forces, head outside and try some of these military-inspired exercises:
Alternate 30-45 seconds of jumping jacks with 30-45 seconds of jumping rope for a great 5-7 minute warm-up that will prepare your body for the workout to come.
A burpee is a simple exercise that raises your heart rate quickly and should be done in quick succession for maximum effectiveness. To do a burpee:
- Begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you.
- Kick your feet back to a pushup position.
- Immediately return your feet to the squat position.
- Leap up as high as possible from the squat position.
- Return to the squat position and repeat the exercise.
Or, watch this video for an example.
Plyometric exercises are intense, explosive exercises used to develop athletic power, strength, and speed. Common plyometric exercises include hopping, jumping from side to side, bounding, and jumping onto and off of boxes at increasing heights. Plyometrics are advanced exercises, so ensure proper safety by progressing slowly, wearing supportive footwear, and avoiding hard surfaces that put a lot of stress onto muscles, legs, and joints. Some plyometric exercises to try include:
- High Jumps- Bend knees between a sitting and standing position. Explode up as high as possible. As soon as landing, spring back up. Repeat for 10 jumps total.
- No-Armed Jumps- Following the same instructions as the High Jump, place your hands either behind your back or on your head to avoid using them to propel your body upward. Repeat for 10 jumps total.
- Side-to-Side Jumps – Stand on one foot and bend your knees to about a 45 degree angle, placing your body weight on that leg. Jump to the side to land on the other foot, transferring your body weight. Once balanced, jump back to the other side. Repeat for 10 jumps on each side.
An effective boot camp workout is one that is fast-paced, challenging, and encompassing total-body exercises using your own body weight as resistance. It’s easy to create your own, but if you prefer group training, simply search for a boot camp workout in your city. Many boot camp workouts involve small groups that meet at a local park or in a facility outfitted with ropes, truck tires, ladders, and more. In Tallahassee, visit Boot Camp Fitness and Training for a free sample workout.
Before starting any exercise program, consult your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough for the specific workout you are planning. Once cleared for training, boot camp-inspired exercises can torch calories and build strength without that pesky drill sergeant. Give them a try today!