When you grow up, you don’t jump anymore. As kids, we played basketball and other playground games that had us leaping through the air, but it seems like when our school days are over, our whole idea of exercise changes. Fact is, training can still be fun and playful at any age, and it should be if you want to see results. Learning to jump again is part of it, and we’re offering a six-week fat-loss program that will have you getting air to get lean and strong.

How It Works

Explosive exercises like jumps, throws, and plyo pushups recruit muscle fibers you don’t work with conventional lifts. Furthermore, they teach your body to produce and absorb force, such as when you land or catch, which prepares you to move more athletically, should you play a sport. If not, these exercises still raise your heart rate and burn calories to deliver the lean body and conditioning of a superstar in his prime (even if you thought yours was behind you).

Directions

FREQUENCY:

Perform each workout once per week. Rest a day in between each session.

TIME NEEDED:

30–40 min.

HOW TO DO IT:

Alternate sets of exercises “A” and “B” until you’ve completed three sets for each. Then go to the next pair. Rest 30 seconds after “A” exercises and 60 seconds after “B” moves.

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Day 1

1A.Squat

Reps: 12–15

Grab the bar and pull your shoulder blades together. Arch your back to take the bar off the rack. Set your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your hips back, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

1B. Squat Jump

Reps: 10–12

Stand with feet shoulder width and squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Jump as high as you can. Land, reset your feet, and repeat.

2A.Reverse Lunge

Reps: 6–8 (each leg)

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step back with one leg until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Complete your reps and repeat on the other leg.

2B. Lunge Jump

Reps: 6–8 (each leg)

Get into a lunge position and jump straight up. Switch legs in midair, land, and immediately begin the next jump.

3A. Pistol Squat

Reps: 10–12 (each leg)

Extend one leg in front of you and squat down as low as you can with your support leg. You can hold on to a power rack or suspension trainer for support. Complete your reps and repeat on the opposite leg.

3B.Single-leg Tuck Jump

Reps: 8–10 (each leg)

Dip your hips and knees and jump straight up. Tuck one knee in to your chest at the top of the jump, and then land softly on that leg. Complete your reps and repeat on the other leg.

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Day 2

1A. Push Press

Reps: 8–10

Hold the bar at shoulder level. Dip your knees as if you were going to jump, and use the momentum to press
the bar overhead.

1B. Overhead Med Ball Squat Throw

Reps: 8–10

Hold a medicine ball at your chest and stand with feet shoulder width. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then jump as high as you can. As you jump, throw the ball overhead. Allow the ball to bounce once, scoop it up, and repeat.

2A. Incline Dumbbell Press

Reps: 8–10

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree angle and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lie back against the bench and position the weights at chest level. Press overhead.

2B. Lying Med Ball Chest Throw

Reps: 8–10

Hold a medicine ball at chest level with both hands and lie on the floor. Throw the ball straight overhead and catch it on the way down, letting your arms decelerate it back to your chest.

3A. T-Pushup 

Reps: 12–15 (each side)

Perform a pushup and then rotate to your right side, reaching your right arm straight overhead so your body forms a T shape. Raise your left arm on the next rep.

3B. Plyo Pushup

Reps: 8–12

Perform a pushup and come up explosively so that your hands leave the floor. Land with soft elbows and begin the next rep immediately.

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Day 3

1A. Deadlift 

Reps: 6–8

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend down and grasp the bar just outside your knees. Take a deep breath, then sit back on your heels. Keep your lower back in its natural arch and pull the bar as you rise until your hips are locked out.

1B. Double-leg Tuck Jump

Reps: 12–15

Bend forward at the hips and then jump straight up and tuck both legs in to your chest. Land, reset your feet, and repeat.

2A. Dumbbell Single-leg Deadlift

Reps: 8–10 (each leg)

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and balance on your left leg. Bend your hips back and, keeping your lower back arched, lower your torso until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Extend your hips to return upright. Complete your reps and then switch the arm and leg and repeat.

2B. Single-leg 360-degree Jump

Reps: 8–10 (each leg)

Stand on one leg and jump straight up. Spin 360 degrees in midair and land facing forward again. Complete your reps and repeat on the opposite leg.

3A. Dumbbell Row

Reps: 8–10 (each side)

Hold a dumbbell in
one hand and rest your opposite hand and knee on a flat bench. Allow the arm with the dumbbell to hang. Pull it to your ribs. Complete your reps and repeat on the opposite side.

3B. Hanging Leg Raise

Reps: 12–15

Hang from a chinup bar. Keeping your legs straight, raise them up until your feet touch the bar.