Burpees: Love 'em or hate 'em, they are extremely efficient for working the entire body and getting the heart rate up so you can burn both fat and carbs. At the same time, they can be really inefficient if you're fatigued, protecting an injury, or at a beginner fitness level. Form is everything. The burpree really requires full-body coordination, abdominal control, strong knees and shoulders all without getting dizzy from the constant up-and-down motion. Perhaps, too, you're just plain tired of doing them and want to spice up your routine with something new.
1. The Turkish Get-Up: Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell as this move is a strength-based exercise. The Turkish Get-Up is a bit tough to master at first because it feels a little unnatural. Lie on your back with the weight in one hand and hold it straight up over that shoulder. The other arm lies on the floor at 45 degrees. Legs are out in front of you — if the right hand is holding the weight, then the left knee will be bent, foot flat on the floor. Never take your eye off the weight. As you peel the shoulder off the ground, then press out of a sitting position, you'll feel your core saying, "Ahh!" Without letting you arm or weight drop, swing that front let under and behind you into a lunge. Stand up. Reverse it. Your shoulder will be challenged; your core will be pushed to its limit, and your legs will quickly fatigued. Because this takes so much control, you'll notice your heart rate picking up as you huff and puff to finish a rep. Check out the video below as we break it down for you during the June 2015 Pushup Challenge:
2. Side Climbers: Stay in the lower half of the burpee exercise and add a little side-to-side action. Start in your high plank with the hands under your shoulders, firing up the upper body: shoulders, upper back, chest, lats and arms. At this point, your core is already working hard to suspend your weight. Bend the knees as you jump the legs over to one side, knees to elbow. Return to the plank – don't skip this move! Make this a good, solid plank with your hips down and feet together. Repeat on the other side. This back and forth motion will work the abs just like the burpee does, but this time you include more of the obliques to whittle at your waistline. This body weight move will get your heart pumping fast, too. Get more details on the how-to here. See it action below:
3. Prisoner Jacks: For those who may get dizzy with the quick up-and-down movements, or if you have weaker shoulder, this jack is a perfect substitute. Even though you're not putting weight on the shoulders, you're still activating them by placing your heads behind your head with the elbows out. You'll feel the burn as the shoulder blades draw together to stay lifted. Your core has to work even harder now to keep the body coordinated during the jumps since you can't balance yourself with your arms. Meanwhile, the legs are getting a brutal workout, driving the heart rate from zero to 60 in seconds flat. Your leg muscles are the biggest muscles in your body and require a lot of blood flow! Remember to keep the chest lifted and the back flat throughout this exercise (see more tips here).
Check out the workout below to see how Real Mom Model Ashley uses this move in a HIIT workout: