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Push-ups aren’t the only reason to hit the floor during your workout. “Your hands and feet are covered with sensors that provide feedback about limb position and alignment,” says Jeremy Frisch, U.S.A.W., owner of Achieve Performance Training. The more you engage your hands and feet in ground-based exercises, the greater the boost you’ll see in your athletic performance.
Perform the following exercises as a circuit, moving from one to the next with 45 seconds of rest in between. Once you’ve done them all, rest for 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat the circuit as many times as you can in 15 minutes. For best results, do this workout barefoot at home.
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Elevated Bird Dog Reach
Get down on all fours with your hips up and your knees bent 90 degrees but only your hands and feet touching the floor. Raise your right arm and left leg until they’re straight and in line with your body. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg. That’s 1 rep. Do 8 to 10.
Straight-Leg Crab Hip Raise
Sit with your heels on a bench, your butt on the floor, and your weight supported on your hands. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Pause, and then lower your hips back down (but don’t let them touch the floor). That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.
Assume a pushup position with your arms straight and your hands slightly beyond shoulder width. Simultaneously move your left hand forward and place your right foot next to your right hand. Lower your hips and pause. Repeat using your right hand and left foot. Continue for 15 to 20 yards.
Crab Toe Touch
Assume a crab-walk position with your heels beneath your knees and your palms beneath your shoulders. Lift your hips, raise your right hand and left leg, and try to touch your toes. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left hand and right leg. That’s 1 rep. Do 10.
Four-Way Bear Crawl
Get on all fours with your hips up and your knees bent 90 degrees but only your hands and feet touching the floor. Crawl forward for 5 yards, right for 5 yards, backward for 5 yards, and left for 5 yards to complete a full square. Repeat, reversing the directions (backward, left, forward, right).