The Superhero Workout
Develop the body of your favorite comic-book superhero with the web-exclusive, extended workout
Agility Like Spider-Man
Spidey relies on quick reflexes to stay one step ahead of his arch-nemeses. You can improve your ability to react and change direction with explosive speed-whether on the athletic field or in the street-using the exercises and drills below, provided by Joe DeFranco, a strength coach in Wyckoff, N.J.
Set up a box or aerobics step in front of you, high enough to be challenging, but low enough to be safe. Stand athletically and bend your hips and knees to gather momentum . Explosively jump onto the box and hold for a second . Then step off the box. That's one rep. Perform six sets of three reps, resting 60 seconds between sets. Do this first on a lower-body day.
Slalom Rope Skips
Stand with your feet together holding a jump rope, and imagine a line beneath your feet. Begin skipping rope while simultaneously jumping side to side, back and forth over the line, as quickly as possible, keeping your feet together. Continue for 30 seconds. That's one set. Perform fi ve to six sets, resting 30-60 seconds between each set before lifting.
"This can be part of your cardio workout," says DeFranco. Find a field or court with a lined surface, or set up cones to act in place of lines. You need three lines spaced five yards apart from each other. Straddle the middle line, get into a three-point stance, and place one hand on the ground. Now turn and sprint five yards to your left and touch the left-most line with your left hand. Now turn and run 10 yards to your right and touch the right-most line with your right hand. Finally, turn and sprint back five yards to the line you started at. That's one shuttle. Perform six to eight shuttles, resting 60-90 seconds between each. Begin each shuttle by running in a different direction than you did in the previous one. For example, in your second shuttle, start by sprinting to the right.