We know how it is: summer is around the corner and you’re panicking you’ve left it too late to get into shape. Fear not, we’ve got just the tonic – a high-intensity interval workout to get you beach ready in less than six weeks.
The drills here are demonstrated by Sergeant Dean Hammond and Staff Sergeant Leanne Haslam, both of the The Royal Army Physical Training Corps. They recommend stringing all eight exercises together in a circuit format, holding or hitting each movement with maximum intensity for 20 seconds before resting for 10 seconds, and then moving on to the next.
Rest for two minutes between circuits and go again for five circuits. If you can do this four times a week, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you start to see results.
1. SUPERMAN HOLDS
Works: Abdominals, pectorals and posterior chain
Assume the plank position and raise one arm with the alternate leg. Hold for the full 20 seconds. Next round, swap arms and legs.
Too easy? Keeping your weight off the floor, repeatedly swap arms and legs during the 20 seconds.
2. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
In a press-up position, rapidly bring your knees up and across your chest one after the other, keeping your weight on your toes.
Too easy? As your knee comes across your chest, twist your body and raise the closest arm to your hip.
Works: Traps, lats and triceps
Using an overhand grip (palms facing away from you), take hold of a chin-up bar and raise your body up so your chin reaches the plane of the bar. Keep your body still and straight for proper form.
Too easy? Keeping form strict makes this move so much harder, but if you’re finding it too easy, then adding weight in the form of a vest, dumbbell between the feet or even a loaded backpack makes this harder.
Works: Abdominals, obliques and lats
Assume a press-up position before lowering yourself on to your forearms. Make sure your bum, back and neck are aligned and hold for the full 20 seconds.
Too easy? Work your body’s lateral chain by turning this into a side plank, and balancing its weight on one leg and one arm.
5. TRICEP DIPS
Works: Triceps and pectorals
Using a box, barbell stack or a similar raised object like a chair, start by facing away from the object, stretch your legs out fully and raise yourself up on to your hands until your arms are fully extended. Lower yourself to the floor and push back up for one rep.
Too easy? Place your legs on a raised platform and lower your body in deficit to make this more difficult.
For a basic burpee, drop flat to the floor from a stand, push yourself back up, stand, then spring into the air, clapping your hands above your head.
Too easy? Try a full military-style burpee by dropping to the floor, kicking your legs out and performing one press-up before rising back into a stand.
7. REVERSE LUNGES
Works: Glutes and quads
Take a step back, lunging your rear leg to the floor so your knee touches it. Keep your front leg’s thigh parallel with the floor and drive back up into a stand. Alternate legs for the 20 seconds of activity.
Too easy? Jump in the air and land into the lunge position every time you alternate legs.
8. HIGH KNEES
Works: Glutes and quads
Using a box, stacked barbell plates, or even a chair, stand on it with one foot and raise your other leg into the air. Alternate legs for the 20 seconds activity.
Too easy? Add resistance to make this move more difficult by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand.
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