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Backyard Boot Camp

Turn your home into a playing field with our calorie-blasting backyard boot camp routine.

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Laura Doss
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How This Workout Works

Take your workout from meh to gold medal. We asked Angela Parker, a trainer for Puma, to create a slim-and-sculpt circuit that would appeal to your competitive side and also peel off the flab, all while using simple summertime props that everyone has lying on the lawn. (City girls, we'll show you how to sub for that soccer ball, garden hose, and deck chair.) "You'll be too busy having fun racing the clock to notice you're burning tons of calories and toning every inch," says Parker, whose outdoor Body Inspired Fitness sessions in Los Angeles are highly sought after. Do the exercises on the following pages, cranking out as many reps per move as you can in one minute (aim for at least 20 reps each). Take a quick breather after each set -- 20 seconds tops -- then go on to the next exercise. Complete two to three full circuits, making a game of it by trying to squeeze in more reps than on each of the previous go-rounds. Tag -- you're fit!

Watch the workout video

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Ruby Slippers

Targets butt, legs, inner thighs, and outer thighs

  • Place a coiled garden hose (or a rolled-up towel) on ground and straddle it, hands on hips.
  • Lower into a squat, then jump as high as you can and tap heels together in midair. MAKE IT EASIER: Jump without tapping heels together or do move without hose.
  • Land with knees soft in start position. Repeat for 1 minute.

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Bridge 'n' Curl

Targets abs, hips, butt, and hamstrings

  • Lie faceup on ground, arms by sides, knees bent and feet flat, squeezing a soccer ball (or a rolled-up towel) behind knees. MAKE IT EASIER: Squeeze ball between thighs.
  • Keeping knees tightly tucked, curl hips off ground to bring knees toward chest.
  • Return feet to ground, then lift hips so that body forms a straight line from knees to chest.
  • Lower to start. Repeat for 1 minute.

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Superskater

Targets back, abs, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides.
  • Cross right leg behind left in a curtsy and bend left knee 90 degrees as you reach right hand to touch ground in front of left toes. MAKE IT HARDER: Keep right foot off ground when you curtsy.
  • Pushing off left foot, jump to right. Land on right leg, lowering into curtsy with left leg behind right and touching left hand to ground by right toes.
  • Repeat for 1 minute.

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Bottoms Up

Targets shoulders, back, chest, arms, abs, and butt

  • Start in full push-up position with hands shoulder-width apart on the seat of a sturdy bench or chair, legs extended behind you and feet together on ground.
  • Keeping hips level, lift left leg directly out to side as high as you can.
  • Return to start, switch legs and repeat to complete 1 rep. MAKE IT HARDER: Do a push-up after each rep.
  • Repeat for 1 minute.

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Olympic Rings

Targets abs, butt, quads, and calves

  • Form a garden hose (or piece of string) into a large figure eight on ground; step right foot inside front loop and left foot inside back loop.
  • Bend both knees to lower into a lunge, then jump straight up as high as you can, switching legs in midair so that you land in a lunge with left foot forward. MAKE IT EASIER: Omit the jump and quickly switch legs.
  • Repeat for 1 minute, alternating sides.

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High Plank Roll

Targets shoulders, back, arms, and abs

  • Start in full push-up position with hands shoulder-width apart on ground directly under shoulders and legs extended behind you, ankles resting on top of a soccer ball. (No ball? Place toes atop a rolled-up towel on a wooden or other smooth floor surface to allow feet to slide.)
  • Bring knees in toward chest, rolling with ankles on ball throughout.
  • Roll feet back to start position.
  • Repeat for 1 minute.

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Liftoff

Targets shoulders, back, abs, butt, and hamstrings

  • Stand with feet together, arms by sides.
  • Hinge forward from hips until back is parallel to ground, arms extended down.
  • Simultaneously lift left leg behind you and raise arms directly out to sides.
  • Maintaining hinge position, lower arms and leg so that they are a few inches off ground; repeat for 1 minute. Switch legs for next circuit.

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Air Crunch

Targets shoulders, back, triceps, abs, obliques, and butt

  • Start in full push-up position with hands shoulder-width apart on the seat of a sturdy bench or chair, legs extended behind you, feet on ground.
  • Lifting right hand off chair, rotate body to right into side plank position; rest right foot on top of left foot and reach right arm overhead, balancing body on left arm and foot.
  • Bring right knee and right elbow together at chest level. MAKE IT HARDER: Hold arm and knee in crunched position for 3 extra counts.
  • Return to side plank position.
  • Repeat for 1 minute. Switch sides for next circuit.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2012.

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tonalsimmons wrote:

you could try to do them in plank position on forearms, still will be challenging!

7/4/2012 09:52:13 AM Report Abuse
rjhemi331 wrote:

I like this workout! It is very intense without weights. Are there any good alternatives to pushups that will give you the same type of workout? I have wrist problems that don't allow me to do pushups which is too bad because I love the workout it gives me.

7/3/2012 04:48:29 PM Report Abuse

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