Jump-start your routine — or progress — with Alex Carneiro’s strength workout.
Whether you trained for and nailed your first obstacle run or didn’t quite make it to your goal, it’s time to start fresh. If you’re just getting started or you’re de-conditioned, there are some tried-and-true moves that will get you feeling fit, athletic and strong. And if you’re in great shape or you’ve plateaued, there’s nothing like a return to some basics and multifunctional movements. Changing things up — even with simple moves — challenges your body in ways that you haven’t for a while, creating “muscle confusion” that is a necessary step toward progress.
Fitness and nutrition coach and competitor Alex Carneiro created this full-body circuit exclusively for 24Life to help you reach your goals efficiently and quickly. To optimize your workout, watch the videos and listen to the technique tips first and then follow along maintaining a focus on your breath and your best execution in technique and intensity.
Explosive bodyweight jump squat
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed forward and parallel.
- Relax your hands at your sides. Descend into a full squat position, with your thighs parallel to the ground, and hold for two seconds.
- Quickly explode up, driving through your heels to jump off the floor.
- As you jump up, raise your hands to the sides as if you were doing a jumping jack until they almost touch.
- Land softly and return to the starting position.
- Tip: Jump as explosively and safely as possible.
1. Goblet squat to single hand press
- Stand in a half-squat, with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell that’s a comfortable weight for you at chest level.
- Descend into a full squat, with your thighs parallel to the ground, and hold for two seconds.
- As you return up from your squat, start elevating your kettlebell or dumbbell with one hand.
- Option: To add rotation, rotate from your hips as you press the kettlebell or dumbbell up, making sure to fully extend your elbow. Bring the kettle bell or dumbbell back down to chest level, and initiate the full movement again.
- Breathe in as you lower the weight and squat down. Breathe out as you come up and raise the kettlebell or dumbbell in the air.
- Perform 10 reps and then switch the weight to the other hand.
- Tip: Use your core to counteract the force of the weight pulling you in the opposite direction.
2. Stationary lunge with diagonal upward medicine-ball twist
Reps: 12 per leg
- Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward. Hold a medicine ball close to your midsection.
- Slowly lift a foot off the floor and step forward, engaging your core to stabilize yourself. The size of each step is up to you. Start with short steps and progress into longer strides.
- Press the standing foot firmly into the ground with first your heel, then your toes. Shift your weight forward and focus on lowering yourself down toward the floor rather than forward.
- As you shift your bodyweight onto your foot, engage your core to avoid any swinging.
- Your knee should not pass your toes as you lower yourself down. While in a lunge position, slowly exhale and twist your body with the medicine ball to one side and upward over your forward leg.
- Maintaining the lunge position, rotate back to center.
- Bring yourself back to an upright position, and center your weight on both legs again. Re-center the medicine ball.
- Repeat with the opposing leg. Keep walking forward for 12 steps on each side.
3. Push-up/Plank drop set
- Start in a plank position. Place your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Inhale as you bend your elbows inward, lowering your chest until it almost touches the floor.
- Exhale and push up to plank position. Hold for five seconds, keeping your glutes and spine aligned and maintaining a straight line from your head to your toes.
- Repeat the push-up and hold for another five seconds while keeping your core tight. Repeat until you finish your full number of reps.
- Tip: For a greater challenge, elevate your feet by placing your toes on a chair or bench. If you feel like your body is giving up, move your feet off the bench and lie facedown on the floor or mat until you regain your strength. Then restart the movement.
4. Back row to triceps kickback
- Choose a pair of dumbbells you can comfortably lift.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width or slightly farther apart, toes pointed forward.
- Take a dumbbell in each hand, and begin with your arms straight and parallel. Bending your knees slightly, hinge forward at your hips. Make sure to keep your back flat.
- Retract your shoulder blades and flex your elbows to row the dumbbells up to your sides.
- Pause at the top of the movement. Holding the row, exhale and extend the dumbbells straight behind you to initiate your triceps kickback.
- Flex your elbows to return the dumbbells to your row position and then straighten your arms slowly into your starting position.
5. Jump rope
Duration: 45 seconds
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed forward and parallel. Hold the jump rope in front of your feet.
- Keeping your body relatively straight, with no forward hunch, jump slightly off the floor from the balls of your feet.
- As you start each jump, use your wrists to begin the movement of the jump rope.
- Tip: You might have to stop and restart a few times as your coordination develops. Don’t get discouraged! Just keep at it.
Child’s pose stretch
Reps/Duration: 30-40 seconds
- Begin by kneeling on the floor. Sit on your heels and touch your toes together with your knees about shoulder-width apart (or more if you wish).
- Drop your pelvis and glutes toward your heels as you stretch the rest of your body down and forward.
- Reach forward with your hands as comfortably as you can.
- In this fully stretched position, allow your arms to rest and relax in front of you on the mat or floor. Rest your head if you can on the floor or mat.
- As you stretch farther, you should feel this stretch all over your body.
- Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply to bring your heart rate down.
Photography: Mark Kuroda, KurodaStudios.com
Grooming: Katie Nash, KatieNashBeauty.com