Do you want to strip away fat and sculpt functional muscle? Then it’s time to join the WOD squad!
The cult of CrossFit has taken theglobal fitness scene by storm: today,there are 187 CrossFit-affiliated gymsin the UK and 4,500 worldwide.And it’s no wonder, when youconsider how well the regime works and thebenefits it brings. CrossFit fuses Olympic weigh tlifting with power-lifting, calisthenics(simple movements, generally withoutusing equipment), gymnastics, sprints andplyometrics – exercises focusing on fast,powerful movements. The workouts are variedand intense – a CrossFit ‘WOD’ (workout of theday) pushes you to the limit and gets you fitterand firmer than ever. And you can expect toburn 300-400 calories in a 60-minute session.And you don’t have to train at a CrossFitgym to experience the benefits. Weasked leading CrossFit personal trainerBrian Sharp to create three CrossFit-inspired workouts especially for you.‘CrossFit is a functional training programmeused by the US Navy and Marines; it’s alsofun and effective,’ he says. ‘Combined,these workouts will prepare you for real-world tasks by boosting your strength,power, stamina and co-ordination, as wellas your balance, agility and flexibility.’
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Do these three micro workouts eachweek on separate days. Scribbledown the time or rep results to trackyour progress and improvements.When an exercise starts to feel easyupgrade to the tougher variationby following our progression tip.
A stopwatch, an 8kg kettlebell(or heavier) and a skipping rope.
RACE THE CLOCK
This is a task priority WOD, which meansyou have an exact number of reps androunds to do. Your goal is to race the clockand complete the exercises as fast as youcan with good form. Ready, steady… Go!
TARGET: Five rounds
BENEFITS: Builds stamina, strength and
power in the hamstrings, glutes and lower
back, while working shoulders and forearms.
◆Place the kettlebell on the floor. Stand withyour feet shoulder-width apart and your toesturned out slightly.
◆Bend your knees, push your hips back andgrab the top of the kettlebell with both hands.Keep your back straight.
◆Swing the kettlebell back between yourlegs and stand up quickly, by snapping your legs and stand up quickly, by snapping your hips forward and squeezing your glutes. Swing the kettlebell in an arc to chest height, as you stand (a) (progress to swinging it higher).
◆Let the kettlebell fall backthrough your legs (b) (don’t put it down) and repeat.
2. KETTLEBELL ROTATIONS
BENEFITS: Highly effectivewaist-whittling exercise that worksyour abs in a sideways movementand targets your lower back.
◆Sit with your knees bent and akettlebell on the floor to your right.
◆Pick up the kettlebell using the sidesof the handle, so your palms are facingtogether, lean back 45˚and lift yourfeet off the floor (a).
◆Rotate the kettlebell to the left andlower the weight to touch the floor (b).That’s one rep. Immediately repeat tothe right.
3. BUTTERFLY SIT-UP
BENEFITS: This sit-up variation is an intense abdominal exercise that relies on strong core muscles– plus a little hip action.
◆Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together. Your heels are tucked up towards your bottomand your knees are apart.
◆Lie back and stretch your hands above your head until your fingers touch the floor (a).
◆Sit up until you can touch your shoelaces (b). Don’t throw your hands forward to help you! Lie backand repeat.
PICK UP THE PACE
You have 12 minutes to perform AMRAP (as many rounds – or reps – as possible). Your goalis to pick up the pace and clock a personal best number of rounds in the set time.
TIME: 12 MINUTES
REPS: 100 SKIPS
BENEFIT: This simple aerobic exercisebrings many benefits – including improvedco-ordination, agility and balance.
◆Stand tall with your body in front of therope and a handle in each hand
◆Using a large arm movement, swing therope forward and over your head. As therope moves towards your feet, jump and letit hit the floor.
◆After the first jump, try to drive the ropearound with small wrist movements ratherthan large arm movements.
REPS: AS MANY AS POSSIBLE
BENEFITS: This bodyweight exercise strengthens muscles in your chest, arms and shoulders,as well as working the core, back hip flexors and quads.
◆Lie face-down on the floor,hands under shoulders, fingerspointing forward, palms downand arms slightly wider thanshoulder-width apart (a).
◆Engage your core and pushyour chest off the floor untilyou’re in a plank position (b).
◆Bend your elbows to loweryour body back down, until yourchest is nearly touching it. Pauseand repeat.
REDUCE THE RECOVERY
This is another task-priority WOD, with anexact number of reps and rounds to do. Tomake it extra hard, and complete the exercisesin super-quick time, reduce the amount oftime you spend resting between each round.
TARGET: THREE ROUNDS
1.SUMO DEADLIFT HIGH PULL
BENEFIT: This fantastic exercise targetsthe upper and lower body, building bothstrength and
◆Start with the kettlebell on the floor andyour feet in a wide ‘sumo’ stance with toespointing out.
◆Keeping your back extended and eyeslooking ahead, bend your knees and grip thekettlebell with both hands (a).
◆Quickly stand up, shrug your shoulders andbegin pulling the kettlebell upwards with yourelbows leading the way. Pause with the weightunder your chin and elbows high (b).
◆Lower the kettlebell to waist level,maintaining the shrug with straight arms (c).That’s one rep. Repeat.
2. OVER-THE-BAR BURPEE
BENEFIT: This is a full-body exercise that bolsters strength, power, balance and aerobic fitness.
◆Put a weight on the floor and stand to theright side of it with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart (a). Squat down and put your handson the floor in front of you.
◆Kick your feet back and hold a plank position(b). Lower yourself until your chest and thighsare close to the floor (c).
◆Push your feet back in towards your hands(d) and leap immediately up (e) and over (f) theweight. That’s one rep. Repeat and jump backover the weight.
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