Since fall sports are upon us, fitting in weight room work won’t be easy. When time for exercise is limited, busy student-athletes must make the most of their workouts without wasting time changing plates or waiting for equipment. But athletes can still perform quick, efficient full-body conditioning workouts with only an ordinary exercise mat or long towel.
Below is a creative, intense, fast-paced and endurance-building workout that can be completed in under 30 minutes (including a dynamic warm-up and cool-down static stretches.) The workout includes challenging movements that test balance, endurance, core strength and upper- and lower-body strength. Perhaps best of all, the workout can be done pretty much anywhere.
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- Perform a dynamic upper- and lower-body warm-up (e.g., Arm Circles and Lunges.)
- Finish with cool-down upper- and lower-body static stretches for greater flexibility and range of motion.
- Hydrate before, during and after the workout.
- Perform the workout on non-consecutive days for adequate recovery.
- Sets: 1 per exercise.
- Rest: 15-30 seconds between exercises (hydrate after a few exercises).
Single-Leg Squat and Overhead Press
- Roll up the mat and hold it horizontally at shoulder level while standing on one leg.
- Perform a Single-Leg Squat and simultaneously press the mat overhead.
- Return to start position.
- Repeat 9 more times and, without rest, repeat with other leg.
Single-Leg Bent-Over Rows
- Hold the rolled-up mat vertically with your arms extended below the waist while standing on your left leg and holding your right foot off the floor.
- Bend over slightly, bend your left leg and pull the mat toward your waist while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Pause one second and return to start position.
- Do 10 reps on each leg.
Side Lunges and Twists
- Hold the rolled-up mat vertically with your arms extended at chest level.
- Assume the athletic position.
- Lunge laterally to the right while simultaneously rotating your torso and the mat to the right.
- Drag your right foot back to start position and repeat for 9 more reps.
- Without rest, do 10 Side Lunges and Twists to the left.
Boot Camp Crawls
- Unfold the mat and place it on ground.
- Assume the prone plank position on the back edge of your mat with your forearms on the mat about shoulder-width apart.
- Start your crawl by moving your right forearm diagonally forward and your right foot forward, then your left forearm/left foot forward, and so on.
- Alternate the crawl movement to the front edge of your mat, then reverse the movement to return to starting position.
- Without rest, repeat 4 more times forward and back.
Lateral Jumps With Both Feet Over Mat
- Assume an athletic stance beside the left center section of your mat.
- With your arms extended overhead, jump over the mat to the right.
- Continue jumping back and forth from one side to the other for 30 seconds without pausing.
Lateral Hops With One Foot Over Mat
- Hop on your left foot from one side of the mat to the other and back.
- Repeat for 15 seconds.
- Without rest, repeat Lateral Hops on your right foot.
Alternate Push-Up and Prone Plank
- Assume the push-up position on the mat with your hands shoulder-width apart, back straight.
- Without your knees touching the mat, immediately go on your forearms to a prone plank position.
- Continue alternating from push-up to prone plank position for 30 seconds.
Burpees and Jog in Place Superset
- Start on the mat in push-up position.
- Perform 10 Burpees.
- Stand up and hold the mat upright with both hands at shoulder level.
- Jog in place for 30 seconds.
Single-Leg Mat Rollups
- Hold the mat open with your arms extended at shoulder level while standing on a slightly-bent left leg and holding your right foot off floor.
- Gradually roll up the mat with your hands.
- Switch to standing on your right leg with your left foot off the floor.
- Unroll the mat to start position.