Just a Minute

Appears in the October 2019 issue.

By Jim Hughes

GOAL Increase strength, endurance, and coordination with this cross-training program guided by the clock.

PLAN Warm up by doing 20 seconds of lateral jumps, 30 seconds of arm swing scissors, and 20 seconds of forward-and-back line jumps. Starting with Block A, perform each exercise superset (e.g., 6–8 rows and 6–8 squat thrusts), starting every minute on the minute for 6 minutes (each block will be performed 6 times, then you move to the next block). Complete each rep range and then rest until the next minute begins, and repeat. When all four exercise blocks are completed, cool down with 45 seconds of hip flexor and shin box stretches on each side.

EQUIPMENT TRX straps, dumbbells, medicine ball, fitness step

Block A (6 minutes)

Table top row
Arrange TRX straps high and move into a tabletop position under the straps. Keeping knees bent at 90 degrees, hold body parallel to floor. Pull elbows to side, pinching shoulder blades together, pulling chest toward the ceiling. Do 6–8 reps.
Squat thrust
Using dumbbells held at shoulder height, squat down by sitting back into an imaginary chair. As you return to standing position, drive dumbbells toward the ceiling, then return them to shoulders as you squat for the next repetition. Do 6–8 reps.

Block B (6 minutes)

TRX Pull-Ups
Sit under TRX straps in a crisscross position, with arms fully extended. Pull chest vertically up and between your hands, while pulling elbows to your side. Do 6–8 reps. Tip: Use your feet as much as you need to, your back and arms as much as you can.
Push a medicine ball over your head, while fully extending body toward the ceiling. Forcefully drive the ball into the ground. Pick the ball up off the floor and repeat. Do 6–8 reps. Tip: Pick a medicine ball that is challenging, but not impossible, to lift overhead.

Block C (6 minutes)

Hot Steps
Straddle a 6-inch step, then jump onto the step, tapping the top quickly, then jump back off the step and land in a smooth squat position. Do 8–10 reps. Tip: the goal is to minimize time on top of the box, spending more time on the floor as you absorb the momentum and descend into a squat.
Using the floor, step, box or stability ball place your hands on the floor and perform the required amount of pushups keeping your torso tight and rigid. Do 8–10 reps.

Block D (6 minutes)

Triceps Over Head
Hold each end of a dumbbell with the weight extended over your head. Keeping torso tight, lower the weight behind your head, wrapping elbows behind ears. Keep elbows pointed high and return weight to fully extended arm position. Do 10–15 reps.
Using a dumbbell or barbell, stand with knees slightly bent. Hinge waist while keeping back straight. Drive hips back, placing load/stress on hamstrings and glutes. Return to the upright position, squeezing glutes and hamstrings as you stand up. Do 8 reps.

Illustrations by Ievgenii Volyk