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5 Things You Need to Make Your Own Boot-Camp Workout

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    The Deets

    This workout consists of work and rest intervals, meaning first you give it all the energy you've got, then you back off to briefly rest. For best results, don't go easy on the work, and don't skimp on the rest. This kind of high-intensity workout will build muscle, burn fat, challenge fast-twitch muscles (which are used for quick, powerful movements), and dramatically increase your VO2 max (the body's ability to take in and utilize oxygen, aka your cardiovascular health), says Tamir.

    Grab some equipment, set your timer, and get ready to feel the total-body burn in just 20 minutes.

    How it works: There are 5 moves in the circuit. Beginners should perform each move for 20 seconds and rest for 40 seconds. Intermediate/advanced should perform each move for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. During the work period, do as many reps as possible (AMRAP). Repeat the circuit 4 times.

    You'll need: Kettlebell, battle ropes, slam ball, sandbag, timer app (like Gymboss or Seconds)

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    Kettlebell Swings

    Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and place kettlebell on the floor in front. Hinge at the hips to tightly grab the kettlebell's handle with an overhand grip in both hands. Swing the weight backwards between legs, keeping core engaged, back flat, and neck in a neutral position. Swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height, squeezing glutes and exploding through hips. Inhale through the nose quickly at the bottom of the swing and exhale through the mouth at the top. In the backswing, keep core tight and control the kettlebell's momentum, keeping the weight above knees throughout the swing, meaning, don't bend into a squat.

    "A lot of people start doing squat swings, which puts a lot of pressure on your lower back, and you're not doing a swing anymore," says Tamir. "It's almost like you're going to sit on a bar stool, then exploding up, driving your hips, and locking out your knees." (Learn even more about how to master the art of the kettlebell swing.)

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    Standing to Kneeling Battle Ropes

    Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, elbows by sides and one rope in each hand. Alternate pulling the ropes up to shoulders, creating waves. Continue this arm motion while lowering onto the right knee, then left knee, keeping hips up in a tall kneeling position. Step up with the left foot and then the right foot to return to standing. Continue making waves in the ropes while kneeling and standing, alternating the starting foot each time. (To switch it up, try six other fat-blasting ways to use battle ropes.) 

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    Crab Walks

    Sit on the ground with feet flat on the floor, palms placed firmly on the floor behind hips. Fingers can face whichever direction is most comfortable. Lift hips just off the ground. Do not raise hips to be level with knees. Keep shoulders back and chest up while moving forward, alternating limbs. Focus on stepping with a heel-to-toe motion. Move forward for 2 rounds of the circuit and backwards for 2 rounds of the circuit. 

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    Rotating Ball Slam

    Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, hold a slam ball on the left side of your body in both hands. Raise the ball overhead and slam onto the floor to the right, pivoting the left leg to form a lunge position. Grab the ball, windmill it overhead to slam on the left side, pivoting the right leg. Continue alternating sides.

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    Sandbag Pull-Through

    Start in plank position, with the sandbag on the floor underneath your ribcage. Grab the sandbag handle with left hand, dragging it across the floor until it rests outside the left shoulder. Place left palm on the floor, and repeat with right hand, pulling the sandbag until it clears under the body and rests on the other side. Hold core tight and resist rotating shoulders and hips. Continue alternating sides.


Lauren Mazzo

Lauren Mazzo is a digital assistant editor for Shape and Fitness. She's an Ithaca College alumna, a Rochester, NY, native and an NYC transplant.  More →

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