Cardio boot camp workouts incorporate a fast-paced military-style interval training approach. They focus on strength moves, like push-ups, alternating with bursts of aerobic cardio moves, such as running stairs or jumping rope. The theory behind the boot camp-style workout is that alternating quickly between movements enables you to burn calories and fat at a faster pace. The benefit of a boot camp-style workout is that you will burn about 600 calories in one hour, according to an American Council on Exercise study that was conducted by the University of Wisconsin and led by John Porcari, Ph.D.
Squat thrusts are one of the backbone moves of any cardio boot camp workout. Used regularly on the football field and in military training camps, squat thrusts require strength and cardio vascular output. To perform a squat thrust move, stand tall with your feet hip distance apart. Bend your knees and place your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart. Hop both legs back into high plank or push-up position. Perform one push-up. Lift from your core and jump both legs back to standing. Perform a vertical jump or jumping jack to finish off the move. The squat thrust move is performed in a continuous movement without pausing between positions. Start with one set of 10 repetitions and work up.
Lunges work the muscles in your legs and glutes. Plyometric lunges add a cardio twist to an already challenging move. To begin this exercise, stand up tall with legs side by side hip-distance apart. Lunge forward with your right leg bending your knee into a 90-degree angle. Spring up by pushing off with both feet and change in the air to the left leg leading the lunge. Continue interchanging the lead leg, lunge right, spring up and lunge left, etc. To increase the intensity of this move, hold both arms overhead throughout the duration of the exercise. Start with one set of 10 repetitions.
The karaoke movement is another exercise recruited from the football field and drafted into cardio boot camp workouts. This movement is an asset to any interval workout because it specifically targets the muscles of the adductors or inner thighs which normally do not come into play in other calisthenic exercises. To begin this exercise, stand up tall with legs hip distance apart. Cross your right foot over and in front of your left foot with your arms out to your sides. Step open out to the side with your left foot, then cross your right foot behind your left foot. Continue moving laterally for several steps then repeat the movement to the right. The karaoke pattern is cross front, step to the side, cross back, step to the side, as in the grapevine jazz step that keeps on moving. Start with one set of 10 and build your progress.
For athletes who love the game of basketball, the jump shot move is always a favorite in boot camp workouts. To begin this exercise, hold an imaginary basketball between your hands. Slightly bend your knees and vertical jump, moving your arms as if you were shooting a basket. Upon landing back on your feet, reach down and touch the ground with both hands and repeat. The action is bend, jump and shoot, bend, touch the ground and repeat. Start with one set of 10 and work up to more.
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.