What's the first thought that comes to your mind when you think boot camp? Probably an army full of jacked men doing pushups getting yelled at by their drill sergeant. While that may be true in some boot camp settings, boot camp has become such a popular fitness trend for all people of all shapes and sizes.

The idea behind a boot camp class is to really push you to your limits. These classes focus on all major body parts, incorporating all kinds of exercises. As summer is approaching, I have seen so many flyers for outdoor boot camp classes. There are also indoor boot camp classes that are taught in some gyms or class facilities.

What Can I Expect In A Boot Camp Class?
You can expect to sweat, moan and work your butt off. Boot camp classes don't mess around when it comes to fitness. Now, this not for all classes. There are some instructors who take a lighter approach or don't push as hard. They just give the boot camp kind of feel. But the focus behind the majority of boot camps is to push you hard and see you sweat. You will not regret this workout.

Am I Ready To Take A Boot Camp Class
Unless you are morbidly obese with serious medical conditions, you are ready. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or just get in the best shape of your life, these classes are for you. It's best to familiarize yourself with some of the movements that may be done in the class prior to starting. It's also a good idea to talk to the instructor of the class before. If you are new, let the instructor know that this is your first class. They may or may not take it easy on you. Either way, if you are looking for a great workout that's going to bust your butt, boot camp is for you.

What Kind Of Exercises Are Done In Boot Camp?
The exercises performed are high intensity. The majority of them are military style, but include other kinds of drills. You will focus on your cardiovascular fitness, endurance, strength and flexibility. Most of the exercises performed are known as calisthenics.

Calisthenics are exercises that are have sort of rhythmic patterns that use your own body weight as resistance. Below are a couple of drills that you may find in a boot camp class. If you are new to boot camp, try some of these moves out before attending the class or just as something to supplement your workouts:

Walking Lunges
There's no difference in the form of your body during a stationary lunge or a walking lunge, except that you are traveling. To perform a walking lunge: Stand up straight in a space where you have the freedom to travel. Place one leg out in front of you, keeping your hands on your hips for balance. Lunge with the front leg by bending the knee so that your ankle and knee make a 90 degree angle. It's important to make sure your knee doesn't go over your toes when lunging. Walk your back leg forward and perform the same move with the opposite leg and continue this motion traveling forward. The farther down you go, the better the move.

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If you are performing this move in a boot camp class with a bunch of people, don't focus on beating someone. These lunges are meant to be performed slow and controlled. If someone is doing walking lunges at a very fast pace, chances are they aren’t doing them correctly.

Jumping Jacks
I'm sure this doesn't require much of an explanation, but this is such a popular move in a boot camp class. Jumping jacks are a full body move that get your heart rate up. Something that's a good drill to do is drop and do 10 pushups, come back up and perform 20 jumping jacks. Continue this drill for a couple times.

"Drop and give me 20!" The "20" is referring to pushups. This is a typical phrase that many people associate with boot camp classes. Pushups are one of the most popular exercises for a boot camp class. To perform a push up: Lie on the floor, belly down with your feet close together. Position your palms on the ground just about shoulder width apart. Raise the top half of your body off of the ground, supporting your upper half with your arms. Now raise the lower half of your body off of the ground, supporting your whole body with your arms and the balls of your feet. Make sure your body is in a pretty straight line. You don't want your butt way up in the air or sinking too low to the ground. Perform one push up by lowering your entire body down to the ground, without touching the ground, and push yourself back up using the strength from your arms.

Remember that situp test from sixth-grade gym class? Well, they'll be back to haunt you in boot camp. These are a great ab move that work your entire middle of your core. Many boot camp classes will have these done with a partner so that the other person can support your feet during the movement. To perform this exercise: Lie on the ground face up. Bend your knees at a comfortable angle.

If you have a partner, this is where they should hold your feet down. If not and you're doing these at home, lock your feet under a solid surface so that they don’t come up during the move. Cross your arms across your chest holding on to your shoulders. Perform one sit up by coming all the way to your knees, using your abs to pull yourself up. Keep your hands across your chest the entire time. You may see people with their hands freely at their sides during this movement but this is wrong! If you don't lock your arms to your chest, chances are you are going to use to arms to get yourself up. This isn't going to work the abs effectively.

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