Ever have one of those days when you pull on your workout gear and you realize you're mentally exhausted?
This workout by Tony Horton, the creator of P90X and author of "The Big Pictures: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life," is perfect for those times: Once you master these moves, you can keep the focus on repetition and perfecting your form and push aside all other thoughts. When you finish, you'll be physically exhausted but mentally recharged.
What it does
This is a heart-pounding, full-body workout that you can do anytime, anywhere, with no equipment needed.
How to do it
Walking push-ups: Start in the traditional push-up position, with hands slightly wider than your shoulders, abs tight, feet a few inches apart. Doing a "walking" push-up engages your core more, Horton says, so begin by shuffling your left hand and right foot over to the right several inches, then shuffle your right hand and left foot a few inches to the right to put you back in position to do your first push-up. Then, go back in the other direction. (It's tricky. This will require a few tries to reach a flow. But it's also kind of fun.)
Can't do a full push-up? No problem, Horton says. Lower your body as far as you can, even if it's just an inch. Or skip the push-ups altogether. The "walking" part alone will help you build upper-body strength until you're ready for the full push-up. "How many of those do you do? As many as you can do well. It's about form and function. When the form goes bad, you're done."
Jab, cross, knee pull. Just like it sounds. Jab with your right fist, throw a cross punch with your left and then pretend you're grabbing an assailant by the ears and slamming him in the face with your surging left knee. Then do it all over again on the other side. Keep your abs tight throughout and you'll really feel this in your core. "A nice, fast, frenetic motion is perfect. [Do] 30 seconds on one side and then 30 seconds on the other. ... That will get the heart rate up, boys and girls."
Wide plie, or frog, squats. Stand with your feet wide apart and at about a 45-degree angle from your body. Keep your chest and head up, eyes looking forward, as you squat as deeply as you can, aiming to touch the floor (but not worrying if you can't). Aim for 20 to 30 repetitions. Advanced fitness levels can add a hop before sinking back into the squat.
Put it all together in a circuit by doing three to five rounds, three to four times a week. "I'm telling you, you're going to work it all, top to bottom," Horton promises.