Get Fit in 5!

Illustration by Katharina Drees

For a head to toe workout: Repeat each move for one minute, taking a 30-second break between exercises. Run through the circuit two more times.

 1. Jump Rope 
Why: This schoolyard staple is one of the best ways to get your heart rate up and burn calories.

How: Instead of the hopping-from-one-foot-to-the-other motion motion you used on the playground, jump so that both feet leave the ground simultaneously, turning the rope as fast as you can.

No rope, no problem. Swing your arms as if you're holding one—you'll get the same benefits.

 2. Squat Jump 

Why: Adding a jump to a squat strengthens your joints and increases muscle power—so you’re more explosive on the playing field.

How: (A) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then lower body into a squat position. (B) At the lowest point of your squat, push through feet to explosively jump into the air. Land with knees slightly bent.

When you squat, make sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes!

 3. Inch Worm 

Why: It strengthens your abs and back, making other activities—from swinging your softball bat to picking up your little sister—much easier.

How: (A) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then bend over to touch the floor. (B) Walk hands out in front of you until body is in a straight line, then walk hands back to feet and return to standing.

It’s OK if your knees bend a little!

 4. Push Up 

Why: When it comes to building upper-body strength, nothing beats this classic exercise.

How: (A) Support yourself on hands and toes, making sure hands are directly below shoulders. (B) Engage abs (as if someone is about to punch you in the stomach) and slowly lower body to the floor, keeping elbows tucked against sides. Push back up to start.

Is this too difficult? Do standing push-ups, where you place your hands on the edge of your desk instead of the floor.

 5. Shadow Boxing 

Why: Moving like Muhammad Ali boosts your agility, so you’re more nimble—whether it’s on the basketball court or the dance floor

How: (A) Start with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Make fists with hands at chin level. (B) Keeping your left hand in place, punch your right arm across your body, then return to start position. Continue punching, alternating hands.

Keep abs tight and make the jabs speedy, but controlled!

Forget gym memberships and pricey machines.

Your body weight is the only tool you need to shape up.

- Jonathan Crane,

certified personal trainer who designed this workout


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