Elbow Strike, Knee Strike
Targets: Shoulders, arms, legs
a. Stand in fighting stance with feet staggered, left in front of right, knees slightly bent, elbows bent, hands in front of face.
b. Lift right elbow out to side at shoulder level, bringing right thumb to right shoulder. Drive elbow forward while pivoting to left.
c. Return to fighting stance. Keeping elbows bent, bring right knee up in front of you, pushing hips forward, torso in line with hips. Do 15 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Side Kick from Ground
Targets: Abs, glutes, quads
a. Lie on left side with hips stacked, left elbow under shoulder, forearm on ground, and right elbow bent, hand by face. Bend knees 90 degrees in front of you, feet flexed; bring right knee in toward chest.
b. Shift hips forward, off ground, and extend right leg straight out. Bend knee and lower to start. Do 15 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Targets: Shoulders, arms, abs, glutes, legs
Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, elbows bent, fists in front of face, a pillow between feet. Squat, keeping knees behind toes. With back straight, hinge over from hips and punch right fist down to top left corner of pillow. Lift chest, holding squat, then hinge over and punch left fist to right corner. Quickly alternate right and left punches for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds. Do 3 reps.
Sprawl, Knee Tuck
Targets: Chest, abs, glutes, legs
a. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat low, placing palms in front of you.
b. Immediately jump feet back, landing in full push-up position (palms under shoulders, legs extended) with feet wide. Then arch back into cobra pose, lowering hips toward ground. Next, jump feet back into squat.
c. Jump straight up, bringing hands to chin and tucking knees into chest. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.
Tip: "To avoid injury, stop every strike just before your arm or leg straightens completely — keep a slight bend in your elbows and knees," says Jarrett Arthur. And for added power and core strength, exhale during the moment of impact every time you strike.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2008.