The 20-Minute Body-Weight Strength Workout

You don't need a gym membership to be ready for race season

Get fit without hitting the gym.     Photo: Maridav

Gyms are great for building strength and avoiding injury, but you don't have to throw down $100 a month for that. Instead, do a series of body-weight-resistance exercises that target nearly every muscle, like the following four moves from certified strength and conditioning specialist Paul Hiniker.

"This workout is formatted so you'll have stability in every plane of movement, making it beneficial no matter what your sport," says Hiniker, cofounder of SurfFit.tv, a surfing-inspired video exercise program. Hiniker's circuit is a full-body blaster and highly time efficient. "You can get two hours of workout benefits in 20 minutes," he says. No contract required.

Complete the circuit below three times, doing six reps per side. This should take about 20 minutes at a comfortable pace. Your goal is to work up to ten circuits in one 20-minute session, three times per week.

1. External Hip Rotation with Side Plank

Start in push-up position. Bring your right knee to your right elbow. Return to push-up position. Lift your right hand straight up into the air. Return to push-up position. Repeat on left side.

2. Reverse Lunge to Crossover Kick

Step back into a lunge with your left leg. Move back to starting position, then kick your left leg up to touch your right hand, exhaling as you do. Repeat with right leg.

3. The Windmill

Lie on your back with your arms straight out at your sides, palms up. Lift both legs until they form a 90-degree angle with your torso. Turn your head slightly to the left and drop your legs to your right, stopping when your ankles are about 12 inches off the ground. Return to starting position. Repeat on left side.

4. Side Plank with Hip Flexion and Adduction

Start by elevating your body to a modified side-plank position, with your weight on your left elbow and knee, your torso parallel to the ground, and your right leg straight out. Bring your right knee toward your chest to form a 90-degree angle with your torso. Return to side plank. Lift your right leg toward the sky, making sure your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles remain in a straight line. Return to starting position. Repeat on left side

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