Here’s an easy take on a minimalist conditioning session that focuses on three points. For each mini-workout, set up three stations – one for each exercise – in the shape of a triangle. Beginners should aim for 25-50 meters between stations, while advanced trainees may want to double that. Similar to an AMRAP workout, the goal is to complete three circuits of the triangle as fast as possible with minimal rest.
This workout was originally written for Supplement.co.nz.
Triangle A: sprint to move from station to station
1) Clap Pushup to Pause Pushup: 10 reps
Set up in a pushup position. For better stability, use a wide foot stance. Start by dropping to the floor and exploding upward into a clap – that’s 1. On the next rep, pause for a quick second in the bottom position, then complete the pushup – that’s 2. Alternate between clap and pause pushups. Even if you’re normally great at clap pushups, you may find that the pause reps cause you to fatigue significantly faster than usual!
2) Side Lunge with Jump: 6 reps per side
Place your feet shoulder-width apart and settle into a nice athletic stance. Lunge directly to the side with one leg, allowing your butt to sink low to the ground. As you move to finish the rep and return to the starting position, explode off both feet into a tuck jump – pull both knees close to your chest. Continue to repeat this sequence and alternate sides as you go.
3) Seated Twist: 10 reps per side
Sit on the ground with butt and feet touching and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell between your hands. Lean back into a 45-degree angle – this is the starting position. Bring the weight to your right side by twisting your torso. Tap it on the ground, twisting as far as possible, and then bring the weight to the other side and do the same. That’s one rep. Continue to alternate sides. To increase the difficulty, eliminate your base of support by holding your feet slightly above the ground.
Triangle B: alternate between single leg and double leg hops to move from station to station
1) Spider Pushup to Renegade Row: 12 reps
Start in a pushup position with a wider than normal foot stance for extra stability on the renegade row. Grip a light dumbbell with each hand. As you drop to the ground, bring your left knee to your left elbow. Return to the resting pushup position and slightly shift your hips to the right side – make sure there’s no excessive tilt. Now, use your left arm to pull the dumbbell to your chest. That’s one rep. Repeat this sequence on your right side and continue alternating sides.
2) Side to Side Single Leg Squat: 5 reps per side
Set your feet in a shoulder-width position, then pull one foot off the ground. Push your hips back, bend your knee, and drop as low as possible with one leg. Your best bet is to hold your off leg out in front of you. Don’t worry about keeping it completely straight – flexibility issues make this tough for many people. As you move to finish the squat, explode off your toes into a jump. Allow your body to move to the opposite side and land on your other leg. Repeat the single leg squat on this leg and continue alternating sides.
3) Kettlebell Swing: 15 reps
Grab a kettlebell – or a dumbbell if you don’t have access to a KB – and settle into a slightly wider than normal stance. Point your toes out and hold the kettlebell with both hands between your legs. Using a powerful hip hinge, pop the kettlebell up to chest height. Bring it back to the starting position in a controlled motion, then once again use your hips to push it upward. Use a single arm swing and alternate sides to increase the difficulty.
Triangle C: alternate between shuffle and carioca to move from station to station
1) Single Arm Push Press: 8 reps per side
Settle into a shoulder-width stance with toes pointed out and knees slightly bent. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in one hand and raise it to your shoulder – this is the starting position. As if you were about to perform a vertical jump, quickly ‘dip’ to the ground by very slightly bending your knees. Use this momentum to push the KB or DB up into the air by extending your arm. Carefully return to the weight to the starting position and repeat. You can alternate sides or complete all reps on one side before switching.
2) Inchworm Bear Crawl: 5 reps
Start in a standing position with feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping your back and legs as straight as possible, bring your hands to the ground. Slowly walk your hands forward until you’re in the bear crawl position. Now, start crawling! Crawl forward 10 meters, crawl backward 10 meters, then reverse the inchworm movement to return to the starting position. That’s one rep.
3) DB/KB Alphabet: 1 rep
Settle into an athletic stance and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell directly in front of you with arms fully extended. Using fairly small motions, start drawing the alphabet by moving the weight to create each letter. Don’t let your body sway in any one direction – try to maintain a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. To increase the difficulty, use larger motions to draw the letters.