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Exercises for a Cardio Boot Camp

written by: Fitnessmom • edited by: Angela Atkinson • updated: 6/29/2011

Boot Camp-style fitness classes have become very popular in the last few years, and have branched out into many different varieties. Here are some easy to follow cardio boot camp exercises you can do on your own, no trainer required!

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    The Best Drills & Exercises

    Below is a list of just a few of the best cardio boot camp exercises you can use so you can have your own workout right at your fingertips. Most of these exercises can be done anywhere outside where there is an open space, such as a backyard or at a park. However, there are also many exercises you can do at home, and still get a great boot camp feel to your workout.

    Here are some basic moves for beginners:

    High Knees: begin in a standing position with feet together. Lift one knee high in the air as if marching, lifting the foot off the ground. Switch to other knee after placing that foot back to the ground. Swing bent arms back and forth in front to increase stamina.

    In & Out Shuffle: using an agility (rope) ladder, Begin at one end of the rope ladder and step into first square of ladder, then quickly step to the side, out to the side of the ladder. Keep going across ladder until you have reached the other side.

    Vertical Jump: begin in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart. Bend knees and squat low, with glutes behind you and knees over toes, bringing the arms back into a swing motion. Extend and jump explosively, reaching the arms straight upward into the air. (It is also helpful to have an object overhead to reach for.)

    Mountain Climbers: Begin in a plank position (similar to a military push up position), with shoulders aligned over the hands, and legs straight behind you with weight on the balls of your feet. Next, bend one leg and bring knee close to chest, quickly replace leg back to start position while bringing other knee to chest. This exercise should feel similar to running in place.

    Wind Sprints: These are a fantastic cardio booster! Begin with a marked distance of 25-100 yards (dependent on fitness level), run from one end to the other as fast as possible. Rest 10-15 seconds and repeat, or for more of a cardio challenge, add one of the other exercises listed, and continue on, resting only after completing entire circuit.

    Slow Crunch: Begin by lying face up on the floor with legs bent, and feet flat on the floor. Bring hands in front of stomach, and form two tight fists, tightening up upper body muscles. Then lift shoulder blades off the floor. This is the start position for this exercise, and contracts the abdominal muscles. Now slowly lift upper body slightly higher and hold for 5 seconds, come back to start position. Repeat for desired repetitions. This is a time under tension exercise that is great for the abdominals. You can work it into your workout routine as a finish move before stretching or a rest period.

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    Workout Boot Camp Style

    To create a boot camp workout, simply choose a few of the exercises above, and complete each exercise without rest, in a circuit before a brief rest period. Repeat entire circuit for time allotted for your workout. To get the most out of this type of training, it's best to aim for at least 30 minutes or more.

    Increase your overall cardiovascular fitness with a change of pace from the typical treadmill or lifecycle workout, and put together your own fun to do workout, using these cardio boot camp exercises.

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