Works: Your Glutes, hamstrings, hips, quads, back
Purpose: The move strengthens your posterior chain – the stride-driving muscles in your hamstrings and glutes
How: Stand with your feet under a barbell, shins almost touching the bar, feet under your hips.
Keeping your back straight and chest up, sit back into your hips and grip the bar.
Take a deep breath in and hold it as you push your hips forward, keep your arms straight and lift the bar so it travels a vertical path along your body. Do one set of five to 10 reps.
Build on it: Increase the weight over time until you reach the maximum you can lift two or three times for one set. Progress to three sets, aiming for five reps, then three reps, then one rep.
2. Butterfly Sit-Ups
Works: Your abdominals
Purpose: Challenges the abs through their full range of motion
How: Sit on the floor, knees bent with the soles of your feet together.
Place a folded towel on the floor behind you, positioned under your lumbar spine when you lie back. Extend your arms until straight out in front of you.
Keeping your back straight, lie back until your shoulder blades touch the ground, arms over your head.
Sit up immediately and reach forward till your fingertips are in line with your toes. Repeat 10-20 times.
Build on it: Aim for 50 reps.
3. Double Unders
Works: Your Cardiovascular system, calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes
Purpose: Builds speed, agility, coordination, balance and endurance
How: Skip, keeping your head up, eyes forward and elbows close to your body, and letting your wrists drive the rope around.
Jump just high enough to allow the rope to pass under your feet. Land softly on the balls of your feet. Then swing the rope a little faster so it passes under your feet twice per jump.
Aim to do 20 jumps without getting tangled.
Build on it: Work up to two minutes.
Works: Your abs and hip flexors
Purpose: Increases core strength
How: Sit on the floor between two raised platforms; keep your legs straight and together. Place a hand on top of each platform.
Extend your arms to lift your body off the floor while bringing your knees toward your chest. Hold for 10 seconds.
Build on it: Work up to 30 seconds. As you get stronger, extend one leg, hold for 15 seconds, then switch legs. Graduate to holding the position with both legs straight.
5. Kettleball Swings
Works: Your hamstrings, glutes, core, back, shoulders
Purpose: Hits nearly every muscle, sends your heart rate soaring, and builds flexibility, endurance, and strength
How: Hold a kettlebell with both hands, arms straight, feet 75cm apart.
With back straight and a slight bend in your knees, press your hips back and swing the kettlebell between your legs and behind your hips.
Stand up and use your hips to drive the kettlebell forward and swing the weight over your head. Do 10 to 15.
Build on it: Work up to 50.
Works: Your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core
Purpose: Builds full-body strength
How: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.
Keeping your back straight, extend your arms for balance and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground (don’t let your knees travel beyond your toes).
Press into your heels and return to the starting position.
Build on it: Work up to 50. Add weight with dumbbells or a barbell.
7. Box Jumps
Works: Your quads, hamstrings, glutes
Purpose: Increases explosive strength and stamina
How: Stand in front of a stable platform about 30cm to 45cm high.
Push your hips back while swinging your arms back. In one explosive move, swing your arms forward, spring up, and land on the box with soft knees. Hop down. Repeat up to 10 times.
Build on it: Work up to 50 and/or increase the platform height.
8. Kipping Pull-Ups
Works: Your core, back, chest, shoulders, biceps
Purpose: Turns pull-ups into a full-body, functional exercise
How: Consider the Kipping Pull-Up to be your aspirational CrossFit exercise - it’s a challenging move that takes time and practice to master (and bestows significant bragging rights once you do).
Hang from a chin-up bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip with your palms facing out. Snap your hips to start swinging your body.
When you have enough momentum, bend your knees and pull your torso up until your chin clears the bar. Continue in a fluid manner. Do as many as you can.
Build on it: Every week add one rep. Or two to four if you’ve finally nailed it.