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Top 5 Exercises for Conditioning

Do you ever find yourself sucking wind after walking up three flights of stairs to get to your apartment? Maybe after a heavy set of squats, or deadlifts? If so, you might try to incorporate some conditioning into your workouts to help improve this.  It’s not fun when it takes 4-5 minutes or longer to recover from a set of something when you could be going every 2 to 3 minutes, plus it’s a real time drain. I’m going to provide a list of the top 5 exercises for conditioning that I think give you your biggest bang for your buck!

  1. Prowler sprints: If you’ve never done these, then I’m sure you’ve never experienced prowler flu before. Trust me when I say it’s not something that you want to, but the benefits that you will reap from it will be immense. You can push these things on turf, asphalt, and probably even grass. Try to start off sprinting a distance of about 25 yards, then turn around and push it back, that’s 1 lap. When I say sprint, I mean sprint. Don’t load it up with so much weight that you can barely jog with it. These should be fast! Start off doing 5 laps, and do a lap every 45 seconds. Try to add a lap each week until you reach 10 laps, then see if you are still sucking wind between heavy sets of squats.
  2. Battle Ropes: I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with these. These are great for really hitting your upper body in your arms and shoulders. For these I like to do intervals of 30 seconds on, and 30 seconds off. Start with 5 rounds of this, and add another round each week until you get to 10. The cool thing about the ropes is that you can try many different patterns with the rope, it doesn’t have to be the same one every interval. Get creative with them and make some of your own patterns.
  3. The assault/airdyne bike: This is absolutely brutal, especially if you give it all you’ve got on each interval of work. Plus, they are great for even adding some size to your wheels, particularly your quads. I would advise doing intervals of 15-20 seconds of work with 45 seconds of light peddling to rest. You will know what I mean when you try these for yourself. Start with the interval I stated above for 5 rounds, add a round each week until you get to 10. Do these and you will know what it’s like to be a conditioned machine!
  4. Deadmill Sprints: These will test your mental fortitude for sure! Get on the treadmill, but don’t actually turn it on. Start pushing the belt with your feet while it’s off and build it to a sprint. I would probably suggest the same interval timing for these as the assault bike. Start with 5 rounds, and build it up each week until you reach 10 rounds. Just make sure you adequately warm up prior to this. Good luck with these!
  5. Kettlebell Swings: These are one of my favorites! I think these are a great tool for your toolbox because they are great for conditioning work, but they also help to build up your hips extremely well!  You can either do these for time intervals, or do them for a set amount of sets and reps. If you do them for time, try 30 seconds on and 30 seconds of for 5 or more rounds, then try to add another round each week. If you choose the sets/reps route try doing 4 sets of 25 reps with a 30-45 second break in between sets.

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