Boot Camp Exercise Routines

Tamsen Butler
Young girl doing push ups with friends

A good boot camp exercise routine is made up of tried-and-true exercises for building the strength needed in challenging conditions. Typically, boot camp workouts are fast-paced, quickly moving from one exercise to the next, utilizing minimal equipment. Doing a boot camp routine every other day allows your body to recover and gives you frequent enough workouts to increase your stamina and strength.

No Equipment Boot Camp Routine

Similarly to circuit training, this boot camp routine alternates between cardio and strength exercises for a comprehensive workout. Warm up before the workout and cool down afterward; this workout should take around 30 minutes.

  1. Start with a warm up.
  2. Do the following exercises for thirty seconds each, taking around 10 seconds after each for transition/recovery. After completing them, go back through and do each exercise for 45 seconds each, and then 30 seconds again.
  3. When finished with all three sets, complete a cool down and stretch.
Couple getting in shape

Advanced Boot Camp Routine

This workout requires some equipment - kettlebells or sand bags are ideal for the weights, but dumbbells will work if that's all you have access to. The workout only qualifies as advanced if you do the exercises at maximum effort, but keep in mind that this advanced workout is not suitable for beginners. The entire workout should take around 45 minutes.

  1. Warm up.
  2. Do high knees at maximum effort for 20 seconds, eight times, with 10 seconds of recovery after each rep.
  3. Do push-ups at maximum effort for 20 seconds, eight times, with 10 seconds of recovery after each rep.
  4. Sprint at maximum effort for 20 seconds, eight times, with 10 seconds of a light jog or walk after each 20 second rep.
  5. Do flutter kicks at maximum effort for 20 seconds, eight times, with 10 seconds of recovery after each rep.
  6. Using a shield or bag, do a ground-and-pound for 20 seconds at maximum effort for 20 seconds, eight times, with 10 seconds of recovery after each rep.
  7. Do alternating side planks at maximum effort for 20 seconds, eight times, with 10 seconds of recovery after each rep.
  8. Cool down and stretch.

Military Style Boot Camp Routine

Boot camp routines have generally strayed from the authentic military style routine as gyms water down workouts for a civilian population. If you want a boot camp routine utilizing exercises traditionally found in actual boot camps, this workout should take around 30 minutes to complete.

  1. Warm up with a steady-state jog for five minutes.
  2. Do 60 seconds of push-ups.
  3. Walk at a brisk pace or lightly jog with heavy weight upon your shoulders (a sand bag is ideal for this) for five minutes.
  4. Do 60 seconds of full sit-ups.
  5. Repeat the weighted, brisk walk or light jog for five minutes.
  6. Do 60 seconds of pull-ups.
  7. Repeat the weighted, brisk walk or light jog for five minutes.
  8. Do 60 seconds of flutter kicks.
  9. Do 60 seconds of jumping jacks.
  10. Walk without the weight for 3-4 minutes to bring your heart rate down.
  11. Cool down and stretch.
Young Woman Doing Pull Ups At Gym

Park Boot Camp Workout

For busy parents who have difficulty finding time to exercise, combining a trip to the park with the kids with working out can make getting fit more accessible. This workout requires playground equipment and should take around 15 minutes - just enough time before the kids get restless. If your kids allow it, go through the workout twice.

  1. Warm up with a brisk walk or light jog around the perimeter of the playground for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Using the monkey bars, do pull-ups or hang from the bar for 60 seconds.
  3. Place one foot in a swing and drop into a one-legged squat for 60 seconds.
  4. Do the other foot for 60 seconds.
  5. Holding the seat of the swing above your head, drop down into squats for 60 seconds.
  6. Place the swing seat across your waist and use it as leverage as you run in place for 60 seconds. Push against the swing as you run.
  7. Take another brisk walk or jog around the playground for 60 seconds.
  8. Return to the swing. Facing away from the swing, place your hands on the seat and drop down into tricep dips for 60 seconds.
  9. Position yourself under the swing and do modified pull ups (your body will be parallel to the ground and knees can be bent with feet on the ground) for 60 seconds.
  10. Place your hands on a bench and do push ups for 60 seconds.
  11. Depending on the weight of your child, either hold them in your arms or have them on your back (piggy-back) and drop into squats for 60 seconds.
  12. Cool down with an easy walk and some stretching.
Woman lifting children with biceps in park

A Challenging Workout

Boot camp workouts will help increase your cardiovascular endurance while also building strength. When done in groups, these workouts can be fun as everyone encourages each other. Of course, these workouts can be done individually as long as you're able to push yourself to your limits and test your capabilities.

Boot Camp Exercise Routines