Working out doesn’t have to be boring. Need proof? Check out these seven exercises that are as effective as they are fun.
Run through each move for 45 seconds per exercise or per side, with a 15-second break in between. Do them twice, add a five-minute warmup and five minutes of stretching after and you’ve got more than the recommended 25 minutes of exercise per day.
Medicine Ball Slams
Moves: With a 10-pound medicine ball in both hands, lift it up and over your head. Slam it as hard as you can onto the ground, aiming about a 30 centimetres in front of you. Squat to pick up the medicine ball and do it again.
Make it More Fun: Scream while you slam.
Up the Ante: Increase weight; jump into the air while slamming; stand on a wobble-board or Bosu.
Medicine Ball Throws
Moves: Stand two metres from a solid wall with a 10-pound medicine ball. Turn sideways and, engaging your core, twist back and then forwards, throwing the ball at the wall. Pick up the ball and repeat, switching sides after a minute.
Make it More Fun: Stand on a Bosu and have a partner toss you the ball.
Up the Ante: Increase weight; change sides between throws; add chest and underhand passes; drop and do a pushup between throws.
Moves: Hook an elastic exercise band to something solid, tension the elastic and turn sideways. Gripping the handle with both hands, arms straight, knees bent and core engaged, twist to one side and return, stopping at your body’s midline. After a minute, switch sides.
Make it More Fun: A partner holds the other end of the elastic and changes the tension, trying to throw you off.
Up the Ante: Increase elastic tension; sit in a squat or lunge; alternate lunges while you pull.
Obstacle Mash Up
Moves: Think like a kid and build an obstacle course to run, jump, roll and hop through. Be creative. An example: line up a hurdle, Bosu, skipping rope, footwork ladder and medicine ball in a row with a few paces in between. Assign an exercise for each station. Start at one end and move as quickly as possible through each before returning to the start and doing it again.
Make it More Fun: Draw a hopscotch course with chalk and hop through it one-legged.
Up the Ante: Set up two, side-by-side, and race a friend.
Moves: Take a ball (a tennis or racket ball works best) in one hand and toss it against a wall, aiming for it to bounce off the wall, hit the ground once and catch it in the opposite hand. Without switching hands, throw it again, catching once again with the opposite hand.
Make it More Fun: Use a bouncier ball.
Up the Ante: Stand on a Bosu or wobble board; kneel on an exercise ball; play with a partner, alternating who throws.
Walking Lunge with Press
Moves: With light dumbbells in each hand, drop into a lunge position, right foot forward. Extend left arm straight overhead and leave the right arm in line with your shoulder. Stand up from the lunge, at the same time dropping your left arm and raising your right, and drop into another lunge, this time with your left leg forward. Continue walking like this, alternating arms held overhead.
Make it More Fun: Switch arm positions: raise your right arm with your right leg forward; lift both arms simultaneously; hold arms overhead throughout.
Up the Ante: Increase weight; add distance and time.
Kettle Bell Combo
Make Fitness Fun
Moves: Holding a light kettle bell, dumbbell or medicine ball in both hands, drop into a squat. In an arc, swing the weight from between your legs until your arms are parallel to the ground and then back down between your legs, keeping your feet planted throughout. Now lift the weight straight up to your chest, then pop up to standing, driving the weight overhead. Drop back into a squat and begin again.
Make it More Fun: At the end of the move, with weight overhead, pass it to a partner.
Up the Ante: Increase weight; use a medicine ball and slam it from the overhead position before starting again.
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