Exercise Cheat Sheet
Improve your workout vocabulary with these simple instructions for performing common moves
Ball slam: Stand with feet hip width apart, arms extended overhead holding a weighted ball. Exhale as you bring your arms down in front of you, slamming the ball onto the floor. Squat down to pick up the ball with both hands, then rise up to starting position.
Burpee: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Squat down to the floor, placing hands below shoulders, and quickly jump feet back into plank position. Jump feet forward into squat position and explosively jump up, reaching arms overhead.
Box jump: Stand facing a box, step, or bench (choose a height and width that you can safely clear). Squat and then quickly rise up and jump over the object. Turn around and repeat in the opposite direction.
Calf raise: Stand on a flat surface or, for more of a challenge, on the edge of a step or stair. On the latter, keep toes on edge of stair and let heel come off. Rise up onto toes, squeezing calf muscles tightly, and lower heel to start position; repeat. Do one leg at a time if you can.
Clean and press: (Do this with a trainer's supervision until you get comfortable with it.) Stand with feet under a light barbell or just behind a Body Bar, feet about shoulder-width apart. Squat down and grasp bar with hands slightly wider than shoulders and palms facing behind you. Shoulders should be aligned over the bar and your back should be flat. Straighten legs and push hips forward to stand up; keep bar close to shins as you rise up. Shrug shoulders and bend arms out to sides to pull bar up in front of chest, then flip hands over so arms are underneath bar and it rests under your chin (bend knees to cushion the impact). Press bar straight overhead. Slowly lower bar until it's in front of thighs and then squat to lower it completely to floor, keeping it close to shins again.
Crunch on a stability ball: Lie back with a stability ball centered under your back, hands resting lightly behind head with elbows out to sides and feet about shoulder-width apart. Lift hips so body is straight from head to knees. Slowly crunch head and shoulder blades off ball, then lower back to start and repeat. The farther the ball is from your head, the more challenging the move.
Figure Eight with Kettlebell: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulders, arms extended at sides, holding a kettlebell in right hand. In one motion, squat as you lower the kettlebell between legs, then pass it to the left hand, grabbing handle behind left knee. Rise up as you bend left elbow, curling the kettlebell toward left shoulder. Extend left arm and repeat entire sequence in opposite direction. Continue, alternating sides each time.
Fast feet: With hands out to sides for balance, stand with feet about hip-width apart. Lower into a half-squat, then step right foot out to right and left foot out to left then bring them back in to the start position again, right then left. Repeat, trying to move feet as quickly as possible.
High knees: Stand with feet about hip-width apart, hands on hips or at sides as if jogging. Jog in place, lifting knees as high as you can in front of you.
Jump lunge: Lunge with left leg, elbows bent and hands in fists, right hand in front of chest and left hand at hip. Jump as you switch legs and arms, landing in a lunge with right foot in front. Continue, alternating legs.
Jump squat: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a deep squat position with knees tracking over toes, hands in front of thighs. Jump straight up, swinging arms overhead to help lift body. Land in squat.
Kettlebell Swing: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell with both hands in between thighs. Slightly bend knees, shift hips back, and lower chest until it's nearly parallel with the floor. Stand up, tightening your butt and driving hips forward to swing kettlebell up to chest height in front of you.
Lunge: Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips or hold dumbbells. Step forward (or back, which is a rear lunge) with one leg and lower until front thigh is parallel to floor and knee is aligned over front ankle. Step back to start and repeat.
Mountain climbers: Get on hands (wrists aligned under shoulders) and toes so body is straight from head to heels. Lift hips slightly and bring right knee toward right elbow. Switch legs and repeat; try to hop legs back and forth.
Push-up: Position yourself facedown on hands and toes (or knees). Pull abs in and keep body aligned from head to heels (or knees). Bend elbows about 90 degrees and lower chest toward floor. Push up and repeat.
Push press: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your shoulders with palms facing in; bend your knees. Straighen your legs and press weights overhead. Lower weights and returning to starting position.
Plié squat: Stand with feet extra wide, toes turned out, and place hands on hips, hold dumbbells, or extend arms in front of you. Keeping chest high and abs tight, bend knees and lower hips until thighs are parallel with floor; keep knees aligned over toes. Stand up, squeezing glutes tight, and repeat.
Plank: Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend over, and place palms on the ground (bend knees if necessary). Walk hands forward until your body is aligned from head to heels, balancing on toes with wrists under shoulders. Tighten your abs and hold for 30 seconds. Rest then repeat.
Side shuffles: With knees bent in a half-squat and hands on hips or at sides for balance, step to the right with right foot and quickly bring left foot in to meet it. Continue across the floor.
Single-leg knee drive: Stand with your right side next to a plyo box or step, feet hip-width apart. Place right foot on the box; bring left elbow forward and extend right arm behind you. Push off right heel as you jump straight up, drawing left knee to hip height in front of you as you switch arms. Land in the starting position and immediately repeat. Switch sides on next set.
Single-leg squat: Stand on one leg, other leg bent or extended in front of you (hold onto something stable for balance if necessary). With hands on hips, out in front of you, or holding dumbbells, bend balancing leg and lower into a squat, trying to keep knee from extending past toes. Rise up and repeat.
Squat: Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, and place hands on hips, hold dumbbells, or extend arms in front of you. Keeping chest high and abs tight, bend knees and lower as if you were going to sit in a chair behind you; keep knees aligned over toes. Lower until thighs are parallel to floor (if you can go that far) and stand up and repeat.
Squat jump: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms extended at sides, palms facing thighs. Squat as you raise arms to chest height in front of you, then bring arms down to your sides (and slightly behind you) as you jump up. Land in starting position.
Squat thrusts: Stand with feet about hip-width apart and place hands on hips. Lower into a deep squat and place hands on ground. Hop feet back so body is aligned from head to hips. Jump feet in to hands again (or do a push-up first for added difficulty), then stand or jump up.
Squat with shoulder press: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand next to shoulders, palms facing forward and elbows pointing down. Lower into a squat, keeping knees over toes and chest lifted. Rise up, squeezing glutes, and press arms overhead. Lower into squat and repeat.
Stability-ball squat: Place a stability ball behind your lower back and lean against a wall. Walk feet a foot or so in front of you, feet about shoulder-width apart and toes turned out slightly. With hands on hips, extended in front of you, or holding dumbbells, lower into a squat until thighs are parallel to floor and knees are aligned over ankles. Stand up and repeat.
Step-up: Stand facing a step or bench. Place left foot on the step, then bring right foot up beside it. Step down with left foot, and then right, to return to the starting position.
Triceps dip: Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with hands gripping chair edge next to hips. Legs can be extended in front of you on floor, toes up, or keep feet flat and knees bent (the closer feet are to butt, the easier the move). Straighten arms and lift hips off bench and slightly in front of it. Keeping chest high and shoulders down and back, bend elbows 90 degrees and lower hips toward floor. Keep elbows pulled behind you; don't let them flare out to sides too far. Press up and repeat.
V-sit: Sit with knees bent, feet on floor in front of you, and arms extended forward at shoulder height. Lean back slightly as you extend legs up in front of you, until your body forms a "V." Hold for 30 seconds.