Health & Fitness

Try This! A great leap

FitnessHealth

Don't forget to bring water to your workout, and not just to quench your thirst. Two water bottles are handy for this simple drill, demonstrated below by celebrity personal trainer Mike Donavanik (www.mikedfitness.com). What you're going to do is leap in a skating motion from one bottle to the other, picking up each bottle in its turn. Just remember to keep your core tight through the entire drill and to not overreach when you pick up the bottle.

Why you should try it: It's a great plyometric exercise that will work your legs, butt and core and improve hand-eye coordination. Plus it works the cardiovascular system.

How to do it: Place the water bottles in front of you, about 4 to 6 feet apart (this can be done on hard sand or a firm surface). Stand behind the bottle on the right and shift your weight to your right leg. In a skating move, powerfully drive off your right leg, leap toward the left and extend the left leg out to the side — land on your left leg, behind the left-most bottle. Pick up the bottle. Then repeat your skating motion, carrying the bottle along with you, this time leaping to your right leg to land back behind the right-side bottle. Finally, leap to the left and return the bottle to its start position.

With us so far? Now do the same thing with the right-most bottle — right leg to right bottle, pick the bottle up, leap to the left, leap back to the right, then place the bottle back down. This is one exercise in which it pays to watch the online video. Just make sure you're absorbing the impact of each leap by landing on the balls of your feet and bending your knees upon landing.

How much: If you're a beginner exerciser, keep going for 20 to 30 seconds. If you're intermediate or advanced, try for 45 to 60 seconds, but listen to your body and stop if you're hurting.

health@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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