We’ve previously touched on two different complex-based workouts using the traditional barbell and the TRX. Today, we’re going to stay on the floor. Floor-based complexes require you to maintain some contact with the floor throughout the circuit, usually in a variation of the pushup position. You can use them to develop full body stability, strength, and conditioning. Here’s how…
Complex 1 (General)
From a standing position, squat down to the floor and kick your legs out into a pushup position. For those familiar with burpees, you’ll recognize this as the beginning portion of the movement.
Now that you’re in a pushup position, it’s time to crank out a few pushups. To increase the amount of time you’re stuck holding this position, I’ve chosen the pause pushup, but feel free to use your favorite variation. Focus on maintaining a good plank position and don’t let your body come to a full rest on the floor – maintain tension.
If you’ve used sliders, you’ll recognize this movement as the slider crunch. While continuing to hold the pushup position, hop in with both feet and then hop back out. Start with small hops, allowing only a few inches of movement, and slowly increase the distance.
Similar to a sprint in a normal (standing/upright) circuit, the bear crawl allows for quick movement that should spike your heart rate. Keeping your butt as low to the ground as possible, propel your body forward at a comfortably hard pace. If you’re comfortable enough, try moving backward, too.
The hard work is done – now you just have to finish the burpee. Hop forward, bringing you feet to your hands, straighten up, and explode upward. Remember to jump off your toes, reach towards the ceiling, and land softly.
Complex 2 (Plank Focus)
This time we’ll start with an inchworm instead of a burpee. From a standing position, drop your hands to the floor as close to your body as possible. Slowly walk your hands forward, taking small “hand steps” until you’re in the pushup position.
From the pushup position, drop to your elbows – now you’re in the plank position. Take a quick second to make sure your hips are aligned and your body is nice and straight. And hold!
Plank to Pushup:
From the plank position, come up onto one hand and then the other hand until you’re back in a pushup position. Perform a pushup. Now, reverse the process and drop back into the plank position. During this movement, be aware of your hip movement – don’t let them dip or tilt.
Finish your final plank to pushup in the plank position and get ready for another hold. Once again, take a second to make sure you’re in a good position. Draw in your belly button, brace your core, and hold.
Perform one more plank to pushup to bring yourself from the plank position back to the pushup position. Now, finish the inchworm by reversing the initial movement. Slowly walk your hands back towards your legs and return to a standing position.
Complex 3 (Anti-Rotation/Lateral Flexion Focus)
You should already know what to do here. From a standing position, perform a squat and then kick your feet out. You’ll end up in the pushup position, or the true starting position for this complex.
Before you start the circuit, position a pair of dumbbells where you’ll end up after dropping into the pushup position. Once you’re on the ground, place both hands on the dumbbells. Now, slightly shift your hips to the left – without tilting or dipping towards the floor – and row upward with your right hand. Repeat this process for the opposite side by slightly shifting to the right and rowing upward with your left hand.
Pull your hands off the dumbbells and slide them, one by one, out of the way. Slowly rotate your body to the side until one arm is fully extended toward the ceiling. You other arm should also be fully extended, supporting the weight of your body. After a quick check to make sure your hips aren’t dipping to the floor, hold this position. Repeat on both sides.
Single Leg Mountain Climber:
Twist back into the pushup position and raise one leg into the air. It doesn’t have to be high, just make sure it’s off the floor. Perform modified mountain climbers with the leg that’s still touching the ground. They may feel awkward at first, but you’ll get used to it. During the movement, be sure to avoid excessive rotation to either side and try to maintain a straight body. Repeat on both sides.
Don’t let your other leg drop to the floor just yet. Finish your burpee by hopping forward with your working leg, straightening up, and exploding upward into a single leg jump.
What You Need To Know:
Each of these complexes functions as a circuit – don’t stop for rest until you finish all of the exercises. Also, try not to release tension (drop to your knees) at any point during the circuit. Rather than deal with the usual numbered repetitions, it’s probably easier to set a timer to ding every 20 to 30 seconds. With each ding, move on to the next exercise. If you’re looking for a very long and difficult circuit, you can combine all three to make that happen.