12 Days of Fitness Challenge: Day 8 - Military Squats

Happy Day 8, everyone!  We've gotten through a variety of exercises so far targeting the main muscle groups, but what we haven't done a lot of is cardiovascular exercise.  So, today's challenge is to combine cardio with legs/glutes using a great plyometric exercise: military squats.  Plyometrics utilize "jump training" techniques, involving maximal contraction and extension of major muscle groups, typically in the legs, in an explosive manner (i.e. jumping).  Here's what to do:

  • Start standing, with your feet together, chest up and gaze forward (shown below, A).

  • From standing, jump both feet out wide and squat down, touching your finger tips to the floor (shown below, B1).  Keep your back flat (no arch in your shoulders or upper back), and maintain your forward gaze with a neutral head position (shown below, B2).
  • Immediately jump back to standing position with your feet together, using your quadriceps (thigh muscles) and glutes to propel you up. 
  • Repeat this jumping pattern for 30 seconds - 1 minute.  Get through this exercise 3 times today.

If you're experiencing ankle or knee pain or need to rest your lungs, try this less intense variation:

  • Start in the same standing position as above.
  • Instead of jumping your feet out, step your right foot out to the right and squat down.
  • Return to standing, and then step your left foot out and squat down. 
  • Repeat that pattern for the same amount of time: 30 seconds - 1 minute, or do this whenever you feel you need a cardio break from the jumping.  

Good luck!  Remember to check in on social media or right here on the blog - I can't wait to hear how you're doing!  Until tomorrow, have a healthy and happy day ahead!