Seeking to shape up this summer for your fall sport? These six stand-up exercises, when combined with good nutrition and adequate sleep, will help tone your abs, build muscle throughout your body, and improve your balance and muscle endurance.
- Moderately heavy medicine ball or dumbbell (about 70-80% of your one-rep max)
- Stopwatch, wristwatch, or nearby clock with a second hand
- Water bottle (for hydrating before, during and after workout)
- Bench or chair
Guidelines (Think “Six” For That Six-Pack)
- Perform all six exercises in six minutes (Do six supersets. Perform just one set per exercise without resting between exercises)
- Perform six reps per exercise
- Rest 60 to 90 seconds after completing all six exercises to hydrate, then repeat the six-minute cycle
- Start with an upper- and lower-body warm-up. Finish with cooldown upper- and lower-body static stretches for flexibility
Hold dumbbell or medicine ball overhead and perform Single Leg Squat six times, then switch legs. This promotes balance and strengthens core muscles (abs, lower and middle back); quadriceps; hips; hamstrings; and shoulder and arm muscles. Learn more about the Single-Leg Squat.
Side Lunges and Press Outs
Lunge laterally right and simultaneously explosively press ball or dumbbell away from your chest. Continue lunging/chest presses five more times, then do six left Lateral Lunges/Press-Outs. Muscles worked: chest, triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and core muscles, including upper and lower abdominal and oblique muscles. Watch a video demonstration of the Side Lunge.
Dumbbell Cross Rows
Assume the athletic position with dumbbell in right hand. Bend knees and slowly lower dumbbell across your body toward your left ankle, pause one second, and quickly pull dumbbell up toward waist. Repeat five times, then switch dumbbell to left hand for six rows toward right ankle. Builds lower, middle and upper back muscles; biceps; and abdominal muscles.
Step-Ups and Press-Ups
Place right foot atop bench or chair holding dumbbell or ball at chest level. Explosively push off with right foot and lift left leg high off ground while simultaneously pressing ball/dumbbell overhead. Repeat five times, then switch to left foot Step-Ups. Excellent lower- and upper-body muscle endurance builder.
Hold dumbbell in right hand and walk forward six steps, then switch hands and walk backward six steps. Promotes core stability by forcing the side without the dumbbell to work harder. Learn more about the Farmer’s Walk.
Ball or Dumbbell Woodchops and Twists
Assume athletic stance while holding ball or dumbbell overhead. Quickly drive ball/dumbbell through legs while bending knees and extending hips. Stand up and bring dumbbell/ball to chest level, rotate side to side and repeat sequence five more times. Muscles worked: core, shoulders, arms, chest, upper, middle and lower back, obliques, hips, quadriceps, hamstrings. Learn why you may want to perform this exercise if you’re a baseball player.