The sun is scorching, the kids are out of school, vacations are on the calendar—in other words, summer is here. So you probably don’t want to spend all of your exercise time shut up in a stuffy gym weight room, toiling away at the same old standard sets and reps of the exercises you’ve been focused on around the rest of the calendar year.
Break out and take a chance on this alternative bodyweight workout, which takes some inspiration from wild sources like the animal kingdom (bear crawls) and comic books (Spiderman pushups) to get you moving in brand new ways. You’ll be able to spend more time outside and break through boredom and any training ruts that might have been plaguing you as the calendar hits its halfway point.
Plug in this routine for the month, and you’ll burn calories, build strength in different ways than you’re probably used to, and move better.
World’s Greatest Stretch
Start in pushup position, hands directly below shoulders. Shift your right leg to just outside your right hand and tighten your left glute. Pause. Reach your right hand toward the sky, following it with your gaze. Return your right hand to the floor, straighten your right leg, and rock backward, stretching your hamstrings. Return to the start. That’s
1 rep. Alternate reps between sides for 60seconds, then rest 30 seconds. Do 3 sets.
DIRECTIONS: Do this workout as a circuit. Do each move for 40 seconds, rest 40 seconds, then goon to the next move. Do 3 rounds of the circuit. Enjoy the sweat.
1. Lateral Bear Crawl
Get on all fours, hands directly below your shoulders, knees about shoulder-width apart. Tighten your abs and glutes, and lift your knees so your shins are parallel to the floor. This is the start. Keeping your back flat, move your body to the left 5 steps, aiming to move the opposite arm and leg at once. Then move to the right 5 steps. Work back and forth until time is up to challenge your abs, quads, and shoulders.
2. Squat to Broad Jump
Start standing, feet about shoulder-width apart. Push your butt back and bend your knees, lowering your torso until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand. Now push your butt back and bend your knees, throw your hands backward, and explosively jump forward. That’s 1 rep; repeat until time is up to build leg strength and elevate your heart rate.
3. Single-Side Kick Through
Get on all fours, hands directly below your shoulders, knees about shoulder-width apart, back flat and abs tight. Lift your right hand and left leg off the floor; tighten your abs. This is the start. Rotate your torso to the right, kicking your left leg out to the right as you do. Aim to finish with your chest facing to the right, shoulder blades squeezed. Rotate back to the start and repeat, building core strength and back muscle. Do 1 set on each side.
4. Mixed-Style Skater Lunge
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent. Lift your left leg off the floor and
leap to the left, landing on your left leg only. Quickly leap back to the right, then leap
again to the left. After this third leap, hold for 4 counts. Repeat this pattern (3 explosive skaters followed by a hold), building glute balance and strength.
5. Back Widow
Lie on your back, abs tight, heels near your butt. Place your upper arms on thefloor at a 45 degree angle to your torso and point your forearms upward. Squeezeyour shoulder blades and drive your elbows into the floor hard, tightening yourback muscles; this will lift your torso a few inches off the floor. Hold for 3 seconds,then lower. That’s 1 rep; repeat for 40 seconds. You’ll build mid-back strength andstrengthen your core more than you think.
6. Spiderman-Crawl Pushup
Start in pushup position. Raise your right leg, drive your right knee toward your right elbow, then shift your left arm a few inches forward. Tighten your shoulder blades and bend at the shoulders and elbows, lowering into a pushup. Press up. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep. Repeat this pattern, building chest and triceps strength while also alleviating hip tightness.
A version of this story originally appears in the July/August 2021 issue of Men’s Health, with the title “The Wild Summer Workout”.
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