Boot Camp Fitness Exercises

Boot camp-style workouts remain increasingly popular in the fitness realm due to the effectiveness of the exercises. An ACE (American Council of Exercise) research study analyzed the health and fitness benefits of boot camp workouts and found that the average participant burns about 9.8 calories per minute, resulting in roughly 600 calories per hour. Boot-camp style exercises such as squats, push-ups and mountain climbers help build muscle strength; sprints, jumping rope and kickboxing moves increase cardio-respiratory endurance. Perform boot camp fitness exercises to increase aerobic capacity and facilitate weight loss.

Push-ups

Push-ups are a staple exercises for any fitness regimen. They engage your core while strengthening your biceps and pectoral muscles. If you’re new to exercise, start by doing push-ups on your knees and gradually move up to your toes. Start in prone position, facing the ground with your arms extended to balance your body while extending your legs with your toes pushed into the ground. Maintain neutral alignment to protect your spine. Lower your body, bending at the elbows, until your chest hovers about an inch above the floor. Return to the starting position by pushing down into the floor. Start with two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions; add sets or repetitions as strength increases. Try variations by moving your hands closer together or farther apart to work a variety of muscles.

Squats

When performed properly, squats strengthen muscles in your lower body–including the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your feet flat on the floor. Engage the abdominals and keep your spine in neutral alignment. Slowly bend your legs. Do not allow your knees to move past your toes until your quadriceps and hamstrings are parallel with the ground. Return to the starting position by straightening your legs. Avoid leaning forward to prevent back injury. Squats can be performed with or without dumbbells. Begin with two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Increase sets or repetitions as strength increases.

Planks

Planks are a basic core exercise that also engage the arms, spine and legs. According to Active.com, planks allow your body weight the ability to increase muscle strength and flexibility. Beginners may perform planks on their knees, similar to a modified push-up. Begin in the starting position of a push-up and stabilize your core. Keep your neck and spine in neutral alignment. Hold the plank for up to 30 seconds. Planks can also be performed on forearms for variation. For added difficulty, lift one leg and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite leg. Leg lifts can be done in both the push-up position or on the forearms. Increase time as strength increases.

About this Author

Adrienne Weeks spends her time as a collegiate speech instructor, fitness instructor and stay-at-home mom. She holds a master\’s degree in communication studies from Texas Tech University. Weeks has written about a wide variety of topics, but enjoys sharing her passion about fitness, cooking and parenting.