Our 5-minute workouts feature big-bang-for-your-buck exercises that work multiple muscle groups—some moves work the cardiovascular system, as well. Because they’re so efficient and over before you know it, these routines are made to be challenging yet achievable. Take it at your own pace, and modify as needed to suit your fitness level.
Box jumping and step-ups aren’t just for CrossFitters. They’re one of the most efficient and effective ways to get your heart rate up, metabolism moving and core working.
Using a box tests your balance while burning calories and building muscles. Plus it strengthens the muscles you need to perform daily movements like hopping over your child’s (or pet’s) toys in the middle of the room.
While box jumps and step-ups are favorites among many athletes, they can be a part of anybody’s fitness routine as long as you can handle the impact and build up slowly. Do this routine either on its own when you’re strapped for time or after your normal strength-training program to reap even more benefits. Make sure to do 5 minutes of walking quickly in place or walking quickly up and down stairs to warm up before you start this circuit:
1. Basic Step-Ups
Put the box about a foot in front of you. Face the box, place your right foot on the box, and stand up. Bring your left foot up to meet your right, then step down with the left, followed by the right. Repeat for 30 seconds on your right foot, then switch sides and repeat for 30 seconds on your left foot.
2. Basic Box Jump
Facing a small box, keep your feet hip-width apart and jump up onto the box. Land softly, knees bent. Pause, and step down. Repeat for 30 seconds.
3. Box Push-Ups
Place your hands on the outer edges of the box, and extend your legs straight out. Lower down so your chest is a few inches off the box, then press up. Continue for 30 seconds.
4. Side Step-Ups
Begin on the right side of the box. Take your left foot and place it on the box, lift your right leg up, then bring your right leg down to the ground. Left foot follows. Do for 30 seconds on the left foot, then switch sides.
5. Box Bridge
Lie down on the ground, and place your feet on the box. Your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Lift your hips up off the ground (about even to the box). Squeeze your glutes at the top, then lower down. Repeat for 30 seconds.
6. Box Jacks
Begin with a small box in between your legs, feet on the ground on both sides of the box. Jump up so both feet land on the box, then step down: right followed by the left foot. Repeat for 30 seconds.