Jimmy Pedro can’t remember the last time he slogged away on an elliptical machine or stair-climber. Come to think of it, the two-time Olympic judo medalist can’t recall when he last engaged in any activity that required monotonous effort. “Judo is like life. It’s performed in explosive bursts,” says Pedro. “That’s why, when I train, I string total-body exercises together into a five-minute power circuit.” The following is his favorite. Run through the exercises twice, moving from one to the next without rest, but pausing for three minutes between sets. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re training for a fight or playing with your kid,” says Pedro. “These moves will prepare you by providing real-world strength and endurance…the best type of fitness there is.” And if you need motivation getting to the gym, be sure to check out the life hacks that will get you there.
Stand with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees and lower your hands to the floor. Kick your legs behind you so that you’re in a push-up position. Now do a push-up. Bring your feet back toward your hands, then jump as high as you can, attempting to touch the ceiling with your hands. As you land, immediately go into the next rep. Aim for 15 reps. It’ll be tough, but there’s good news: high-intensity workouts like this can work magic on your aging.
Drape a towel over a chin-up bar and hold on to each end, hanging so that your feet don’t touch the ground. Starting in an arms-extended position, pull yourself up until your chin reaches your hands. Lower yourself to the starting position, but instead of going right into your next pull-up, raise your knees to your chest, pause, then lower them. That’s one complete rep. Do 10 to 15. This should work your back, but if you need more back exercises, check out the 5 that will eliminate back pain forever.
Do a classic push-up, then instead of immediately going into another rep, bring your right knee to your right elbow (so that you’re in a horizontal rock-climbing stance), and then reach forward with your right arm and walk the rest of your body forward so that you’re in a push-up position again. Do a push-up, and then repeat the walk with your left leg and arm. Continue for one minute.
Stand on a bench with your left foot on the bench’s edge and your right foot in midair at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Hold your arms straight in front of you and squat until your left thigh is as close to parallel with the floor as possible. Return to the starting position. Do 10 to 12 reps on each leg.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and fingertips touching behind your ears. Slowly bring your chest to your knees, using your abs to flex your spine. Then place your hands next to your hips, lift your butt off the floor, and move it back until your legs are straight. (Don’t push with your feet. Use your upper body.) Do another sit-up, and then repeat the move, going forward this time. Continue for one minute. And believe it or not, that’s not the only abs exercise that isn’t a sit-up.
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