For a lot of guys, making progress in the gym is about staying motivated — and that means looking forward to your workout, not hating a series of boring exercises. When you’re bored, you need a shake-up; a new program to shock your system and get you excited to hit the gym again. Curtis Williams, former NFL-player-turned trainer, and the man responsible for singer Ne-Yo’s workouts, put together this hard-hitting, high-intensity interval routine requiring nothing more than your bodyweight and a kettlebell. You’ll be in and out of the gym in less than 45 minutes.
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Before ramping up your intensity, it’s important to get your body warm by moving your major joints through their full range of motion. Curtis suggests an active warm-up — perform one set of 10 repetitions of each of the following moves:
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Once you’re nice and warm, dive straight into your core routine. Hitting your core at the beginning of your workout helps ensure you won’t skip it when you’re tired at the end of your routine. Knock out three total rounds of the following exercises. Keep rest between exercises and rounds as short as possible.
Plank Twists, 45 seconds
- Start in a low plank position, balanced on your forearms and the balls of your feet, but position both feet so they’re angled just outside your left shoulder.
- Keeping your elbows under your shoulders and your shoulders as stable as possible, hop both feet laterally so they’re angled outside your right shoulder.
- As they land, twist your hips toward the floor to the right. Immediately hop both feet back to the left, this time twisting your hips to the left.
- Continue for the full 45 seconds.
Sprinter Situps, 45 seconds
- Start lying flat on your back with your arms at your sides.
- In a powerful movement, engage your core and lift your torso from the ground while simultaneously driving your right knee toward your chest and your left arm upward, your elbow bent at 90-degrees, as if you were taking off in a sprint from the ground.
- Keeping your chin and chest lifted, slowly lower yourself back to the floor, extending your right leg and left arm to the starting position.
- Repeat to the other side and continue for the full 45-seconds.
Hip LIfts and Alternating Twists, 45 seconds
- Lie flat on your back with your arms along your sides.
- Lift your legs so your feet are extended toward the ceiling, your knees slightly bent.
- Engage your core and lift your hips from the ground as high as you can.
- As you drive your legs upward, twist your hips to the right.
- Lower your hips back to the floor, then repeat to the other side before continuing for the full 45-seconds.
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It’s time for the rubber to hit the road. Complete four full rounds of the following exercises. Switch between exercises with little to no rest, and only allow up to a minute of rest between each round.
Kettlebell Squat Jump, 30 seconds
- Start with your feet hip-distance apart, holding a kettlebell in your hands between your legs.
- Squat down, driving your hips backward and bending your knees until they’re bent at 90 degrees.
- Immediately drive through the balls of your feet to jump into the air as high as you can.
- Land with your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact; repeat.
Frog Hops, Knee Twist, Push-Up, 30 seconds
- Start in a high plank position with your back flat, palms under your shoulders, legs fully extended.
- Hop your feet into the air, tucking your knees toward your chest as fast as possible before extending your knees to land back in plank.
- Immediately drive your left knee across your body toward your right elbow, then your right knee across your body toward your left elbow.
- Finish the series by performing a full pushup, lowering your chest toward the floor before returning to the high plank position.
- Continue the full series for 30 seconds.
Scissor Jumps, 30 seconds
- Stand in an athletic “ready position” with your feet hip-distance apart, and your legs staggered.
- Bend your elbows to 90 degrees, with your left arm in front of your body and your right arm behind.
- Bend your knees and sink your hips toward the ground before driving upward through your legs, extending your ankles, knees, and hips as you jump into the air, switching the position of your legs so your left leg lands in front and your back leg behind.
- Repeat, switching leg position with each jump.
Squat and Kettlebell Shoulder Press, 12 per arm
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, holding the kettlebell in your right hand “racked” at your shoulder, with your palm facing toward your midline, your left arm extended out from your shoulder to help with balance.
- Shift your hips backward and bend your knees, lowering yourself into a squat.
- When your knees are bent at 90 degrees, drive through your heels, extending your knees and hips as you press the kettlebell overhead, extending your elbow and drawing your biceps toward your ear.
- Lower the kettlebell back to the racked position; repeat.
Kettlebell Swings to Split Squats, 10 per arm
- Start with your feet wider than hip-distance apart, holding a kettlebell between your legs in your right hand, with your left arm extended out from your shoulder.
- Press your hips back and bend your knees slightly before driving your hips forward to initiate the upward kettlebell swing.
- As the kettlebell swings overhead, drive your feet through the floor, jumping your right foot forward and your left foot backward, landing in a split squat, or lunge-like position.
- Stabilize the kettlebell overhead, and once you’re balanced, hop both feet back to their starting position; repeat.
Single-Arm Bent Over Row, 12 per arm
- Start with your feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent with a kettlebell in your right hand.
- Keeping your torso straight and core engaged, press your hips back and tip forward from the hips until your chest is almost parallel to the ground.
- Allow the kettlebell to hang straight down from your right shoulder.
- Retract your shoulders and pull the kettlebell straight up toward your rib cage.
- Reverse the movement and lower the kettlebell back toward the floor; repeat.
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