Stay in OCR Shape: 10 Bodyweight Exercises to Keep You in the Game this Winter
The New Year is here, which means that MuckFest® MS 2016 is quickly approaching. In order to keep those New Year’s resolutions and get in muck-tastic OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) shape for MuckFest MS, the FUN mud and obstacle run, we teamed up with our friends over at Vita Athletics to provide our participants with quick, easy, and functional body weight exercises. These obstacle course race training experts joined us for MuckFest MS New Jersey in 2015 and believe that everyone has the greatness inside of them to conquer the mud!
We recommend you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Don’t get too crazy, folks.
First, let’s warm up!
A proper range of motion warm-up raises core and muscle temperature as well as prepares the joints for exercise.
- March in place for :30; activating the glutes and hamstrings. Swing those arms!
- Perform :30 of jumping jacks. Modify if necessary by stepping each foot out and raising both arms overhead.
- Extend both arms up then out on either side. Start with small circles and gradually get larger. Do this for :30.
- Next, you’ll do 30x reps of heel flicks. Standing in place, flick your heels out behind you. Do 15x reps with each foot with your arms by your sides, gradually swinging farther each time. Perform 15x reps forward and 15x reps in reverse.
- Walk your hands out on the ground to a high plank position. Next, step your right foot outside your right hand in a deep lunge. Hold for :15. Switch feet and hold for another :15. Repeat 4x per side.
Now, let’s go!
Today, we’ll be working on the following:
- Functional Movements: Exercises that mimic everyday activities.
- You vs. Gravity: Exercises that require nothing more than bodyweight for resistance.
- Metabolic Conditioning: Burn more fat; even at rest!
#1 Air Squat
- First stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward.
- Bend your knees and push your glutes/hips out and down behind you as if you were sitting into a chair.
- Keep your weight on your heels and make sure your knees are over your toes,
but not beyond them.
- Bend until you thighs are parallel to the ground and then return to standing, squeezing your glutes at the top of the squat.
- Repeat for 20x reps.
“Fitness fads come and go, functional movements allow our bodies to perform the way in which they evolved”
#2 Walking Lunges
- Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips.
- Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot.
- Drive through the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to raise yourself back up.
- Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg.
“Develop strong quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves to climb & run the course.”
#3 Low Plank
- Keeping your body in line, inhale and bend your elbows to 90 degrees to lower yourself toward the floor. Hold for :60s.
“Trunk stabilization is key to proper body awareness and injury prevention.”
#4 High Plank Shoulder Taps
- Begin in a full plank position with feet hip-width apart. Lightly tap left shoulder with right hand.
- Return to start and then immediately lift left hand and tap right shoulder.
“Widen your feet in plank for better balance”
- Start from the lunge position, stretch your arms forward, parallel to the floor and parallel to each other, palms facing each other. Exhale and press the head of the right thighbone back and press the heel actively into the floor.
- Synchronize the straightening of the front leg and the lifting of the back leg. As you lift the back leg, resist by pressing the tailbone into the pelvis. Hold each side for :30s
“Having good balance and proper posture are paramount for any athletic movement.”
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
- Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
- Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto them.
- Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or you butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
- Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
- Reach your arms over head and explosively jump up into the air.
- Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.
- Perform 10x-30x reps
“The burpee is the ultimate test of overall fitness…”
#7 Speed Skaters
- Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart
- Raise one foot off the floor and slightly lean your chest forward.
- Leap 12-16” laterally onto to the other foot.
- Use your arms and anticipate landing on the ball of your foot.
- Explode left and right for 40x reps.
“Plyometric movements create muscle stiffness, which in turn improves running economy.”
#8 Mountain Climbers
- Begin in a pushup position, with your weight supported by your hands and toes. Flexing the knee and hip, bring one leg forward until the knee is approximately under the hip. This will be your starting position.
- Explosively reverse the positions of your legs, extending the bent leg until the leg is straight and supported by the toe, and bringing the other foot up with the hip and knee flexed. Repeat in an alternating fashion for 20-30 seconds.
“Alternative plyometric move combining hamstring flexibility with added work for the chest and shoulders.”
#9 Butterfly Sit-Ups
- Lie face-up on the floor, soles of your feet together knees open to the sides, and arms overhead on the floor.
- Brace your core and sit-up reaching your fingers toward or past your toes.
- Slowly return to start. Aim for 50x reps.
“Challenges the abs through their full range of motion.”
#10 Bear Crawl
- Come to a hands and knees position (quadruped) on the mat or floor. You knees should be directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Engage your core and abdominal muscles to position your spine in a straight, neutral position and stabilize your pelvis.
- Maintain this abdominal bracing through the entire exercise. Slowly reach forward with the right arm and left knee.
- Shifting your weight forward. Once the right hand and left foot are planted on the floor (knee should not pass your belly button), pull yourself forward to prepare to use the left hand and right knee.
- Perform 3x sets of :60s
“Bear crawls build strength, increase mobility, improve conditioning, and are super versatile.”
Great job, Muckers! Happy New Year!
About VITA Athletics, OCR Training Experts
We are a small-group, full-service functional fitness & strength training facility delivering complete, body-transforming workouts.
About Coach Dominick
I co-founded Vita Athletics, a functional fitness and strength training facility that also is fully equipped to prepare athletes for an obstacle race. I believe that being a well-rounded athlete is possible at any age or fitness level, and functional movements are the only true sustainable form of exercise. Fitness fads come and go, functional movements allow our bodies to perform the way in which they evolved. My coaching and programming emphasize many foundational movements that simultaneously use multiple muscles and joints to improve muscular endurance, overall strength, coordination, balance, posture and agility to move more efficiently in the outside world. Vita Athletics builds better humans and each of our workouts is designed to be universal and equally effective regardless of gender, fitness level or experience. We train humans to “Conquer The Sport Of Life!”