In 2006, I participated in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Physical Fitness Coordinator Program. I trained with some of the top federal government trainers who introduced me to some of the most effective exercises that both law enforcement and military personnel use in their basic training. These two exercises are considered compound movements because they work several muscle groups at the same time.
In honor of Veterans Day, here are two of the military’s most effective exercises that will be sure to generate a sweat.
Burpees are the exercise everyone loves to hate. The burpee is a full body exercise that is performed in five steps:
1. Begin in a standing position.
2. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
3. Jump or walk your feet back to a plank position (the top of a push up) and hold for a second.
4. Jump or walk your feet forward to the squat position while straightening your arms.
5. Return to an upright standing position and jump up.
The kettlebell swing is the bread and butter of all kettlebell workouts, and makes for an intense and exhilarating workout. Kettlebell swings help develop strong glutes, hamstrings, and back and shoulder muscles as well as cardio endurance.
1. Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart.
2. Lean forward at your waist slightly and bend your knees so as to go into a semi-squat. Keep your back arched and head facing forward.
3. Try a light kettlebell first. Let you arms hang loosely and swing the weight with both hands in between the legs towards the back of you while exhaling. Then simultaneously, thrust the hips forward and swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Hold for a second. Move the kettlebell using power thrusts from the hip, thigh, and lower back muscles. Powerful hip snap on every rep are musts. Do not use the force in your arms to initiate the movement.
4. Return to a squat with the kettlebell between your legs and repeat.
Jennifer Adams is a nationally certified personal trainer and exercise instructor who has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. She is the owner of Sand N Sea Fitness in Santa Cruz and is a practicing attorney. Contact her at [email protected]