Put on your game face. It's time for March Madness! Whether you champion the top seed teams or rejoice the underdogs, it's hard to pump for the NCAA's best stars, writing history with double overtime and buzzer bats. (And if you follow our March Madness Workout Challenge, a Summer Beater will equal five five-star jumps.)
What makes these athletes unbeatable? Exceptional agility. We talk about fast feet, quick reflexes, immaculate footwork and just explosiveness. Agility is an incredibly important factor for any athlete as it enables the body to move fast (19459003) and while adapting to ever-changing circumstances, says Anja Garcia, former NCAA Division I athlete and DailyBurn 365 Trainer.
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And fortunately, you do not have to be an all-conference material to take advantage of training like an athlete. We asked Garcia to develop a workout that would help everyone jump higher, run faster and move more efficiently. It brings high-intensity combustion interval training (HIIT).
By switching between intense effort and short periods of rest, "the body's oxygen demand increases, creating a deficit and allowing the body to ask for more during recovery," says Garcia. Translation: Your body will continue to burn calories after the sweat session to regain its oxygen storage.
The March Madness Sweet 1
6 HIIT Workout
Ready to play? Just because this training lasts only 16 minutes does not mean it will be easy. Before you start, warm up alternately between skipping rope, jumping jacks and side lunges for five minutes. Then grab a basketball (or light ball) and follow the GIFs below. Perform each exercise for a minute and then pause for 30 seconds after doing all five. Repeat for two more rounds (that's three rounds in total). Ball is in your yard – so go for a train!
Image: Life Through Daily Fire
1st Squat, Shoot and Press
Objectives: Quads, Buttocks, Rotational Motion, and Core
How to: Stand In a neutral position with your feet hip-width apart, holding a basketball in front of your stomach. Lower yourself into a squat position, making sure your core is engaged and your chest is upright. Return your hips and ground ( a ). Explode through your heels, jump straight up and bring your arms and basketball directly over you ( b ). Land on your balls of foot and return the basketball to your chest ( c ). With your right foot to one side, then rotate your upper and lower body so that you make a lunge with your right foot forward. Make sure both legs are at a 90-degree angle and quickly push the basketball in front of you ( c ). Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the other side.
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Image: Living by Daily Combustion
2. Basketball Push-Ups
Objectives: Chest, Shoulders and Core
How to: Start in a basic position with the ball under your left hand. Make sure your wrists are under your shoulders and your body is straight from head to toe ( a ). Bend your elbows so that your upper body falls to the floor. Then push up on the plank position ( b ). After the first push-up, roll the basketball under your body to your right hand ( c ). Perform another push-up on the ball with your right hand ( d ).
Image: Living through Daily Combustion
3. Longe Layup
Objectives: Quads, Buttocks and Core
How to: Start with hip-width standing and keep the basketball in front of your stomach. Go back with your left leg and keep your right tibia perpendicular to the floor. At the same time tap the basketball on the floor next to the inside of your forefoot ( a ). Then spring your right foot as you move your left knee up. Perform as if you were making a layup with the ball ( b ). Repeat as fast as possible for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
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4. Lateral Shuffle Shot
Objectives: Quads, glutes, thighs, calves, shoulders and Core
How to: Balance on the balls of your foot, starting in a semi-squat position. Hold the ball in front of your upper body ( a ). Quickly take four steps to the right, keeping your upper body forward, with the back straight and the core active ( b ). Jump up and raise your arms and basketball over your head ( c ). Mix to the left and take a shot ( d ). Repeat as fast as you can.
Image: Living through Daily Combustion
5. Plyometric Lunges with Figure 8s
Objectives: Quads, Buttocks, Hull and Endurance
How to: Begin Use your right leg in a fall position, with both knees at 90-degree angles. Your shoulders should be pulled forward with the chest up and hips. Hold the ball in front of your chest ( a ). Place the ball under your right thigh with your left hand and place it in your right hand ( b ). Next, explode the balls of your feet and start up. In the air, bring your right leg back and your left leg forward. Transfer the ball to your left hand and keep your upper body relatively stable ( c ). Land in one lunge with your left foot forward. Throw the ball under your left thigh and put it on your left hand ( d ). Repeat as fast as you can.
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This article originally appeared on Life by Daily Burn.