by Caitlin Boyle
Batter up! Take your body to the ballgame with these killer baseball-inspired moves that work your legs, rear, abdominals and arms. You’ll hit it out of the ballpark and get in shape for the beach with these challenging body weight workouts that require absolutely no equipment. Hall of Fame, here you come!
Forward and Side Lunges
Step up to the pitcher’s mound and work your legs, hips and rear by completing forward and side lunges. To do a forward lunge, step forward with your right leg, bending your right knee until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your left knee nearly touches the ground. Keep your hands on your hips for balance. To avoid unnecessary stress on your knee joint, don’t let your right knee extend past your right ankle. After sinking into lunge position, step back to standing and repeat the process with your left leg.
To do a side lunge, step to the side with your right foot and bend your right knee so your bottom sinks to the ground. Focus on bending at the waist and keeping your back straight as you lower your rear. Push up with the right leg and return to standing. Repeat with the left leg. This exercise targets your glutes and hamstrings, as well as other muscles in your legs.
Suggested Workout: Complete two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of both the forward lunge and side lunge.
Sprints With Push-Ups
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) builds speed and endurance while blasting calories. Baseball plates are about 88 feet apart, so prepare to steal bases by completing short sprints. Throw in a few push-ups for good measure.
Suggested Workout: Sprint for 15 seconds, complete three push-ups, and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Practice leaping into the air to catch that fly ball with squat jumps. Stand with your legs slightly apart and squat down, lowering your rear down and back up as you keep your back straight. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, immediately jump upwards while reaching your hands above your head. Land in squat position and repeat.
Suggested Workout: Complete two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Bicycle Crunches and Leg Lifts
Power hitting comes from a solid twisting motion that draws strength from your lower back and abdominal muscles. To complete a bicycle crunch, lie on the floor, place your hands behind your head and bend your knees so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Lift your head off the ground and twist your upper body to the left while drawing in your left knee. Instead of collapsing your arms inwards so your right shoulder touches your left knee, try to draw your right armpit towards your knee. Repeat on the other side.
To do a leg lift, lay flat on your back with your hands under your rear. Engage your core muscles by drawing your belly button down to the floor. Keeping your legs straight and pressed together, lift them above your hips. Hold this position for several seconds, and then slowly lower to starting position.
Suggested Workout: Complete two to three sets of 20 to 60 repetitions of bicycle crunches (each side counts as one rep). Complete two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of the leg lift