The Heisman exercise is a full-body dynamic movement that acts as a great conditioning exercise that develops agility, balance, and flexibility.
It speeds up the heart rate, increasing your metabolism and burning of fat. It activates and works both upper and lower body muscles aiding you in increasing your stamina endurance and general fitness level.
Here are the steps on how to do it:
Required equipment (none for the standard version)
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, chest up and pointing forward, and arms at your sides.
- Jump off of your right foot to your left, landing softly on your left foot to minimize impact and raising your right knee to your left elbow as if in a running form.
- Immediately spring back onto your right foot, reversing the motion of your arms and legs
- Continues alternating sides, never letting both feet be on the ground at the same time until the set you are doing is complete.
- Remember to continuously breathe throughout this exercise not holding your breath at any point for the workout is cardiovascular intensive and holding your breath will supply insufficient oxygen to your muscles causing you to tire easily.
Make sure to keep your chest and back upright and not bend it inwards during the movement to allow full engagement of your muscles and avoid injury.
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
It is better to do the exercise at a moderate pace and your form right than to try and speed it up and get injured as a cause of the wrong form.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE HEISMAN EXERCISE WORK?
The Heisman exercise works on most of the major muscle groups on your lower body.
It strengthens your gluteus maximus and minimus, hip flexors quads, calves, and hamstrings.
It stretches your shoulders during the simulation of running hand movement and your core as well.
BENEFITS OF THE HEISMAN EXERCISE
STRENGTHENS YOUR LOWER BODY
The activation of your legs, core, hips, and glutes while doing the Heisman exercise greatly strengthens them over time not only honing your agility but also toning your body physique.
HELPS IN WEIGHT LOSS
This exercise elevates your metabolism by increasing your heart rate being a dynamic exercise.
This causes your body to rapidly burn fat and stored calories to keep the muscles functioning.
IMPROVES YOUR BALANCE AND COORDINATION
The Heisman exercise will challenge your coordination while alternating your legs during the hop and which elbow to raise your knee to.
Your balance is also challenged as you hold your position on one foot trying to resist the momentum from springing to one side and not hopping as a result. Thus, building balance.
IMPROVES YOUR ABILITY TO GENERATE POWER
The nature of the exercise which includes jumping from one side to the other simulates how you would jump off your feet per se onto a higher platform or during sports activities.
This trains both you and your muscles on how to store power and release it in an upward or forward motion.
Which increases your vertical while jumping and acceleration while sprinting.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE HEISMAN EXERCISE
This workout is slightly less complicated and requires much less space, only enough to lie flat on the ground. A mat is optional if you feel you require one. This workout gets your heart rate up, helps you burn fat, works your glutes, hip flexors, core, and hamstrings.
- Sit on the floor (or mat) with your hands grounded beside your body and with your feet outstretched Infront of you hip-width apart.
- Your palms should be pressed against the floor with your fingers pointing towards your feet.
- Flex your abs to lift your hips off the ground, remember to keep your shoulders pushed down throughout the exercise.
- Move your left leg up and stretch it. Kick it up to about ninety degrees with your hips as far as it can stretch.
- Return your leg to the starting position you were in and repeat the motion with your right leg.
- Start by doing as many repetitions of this movement as you feel comfortable doing for the first set, then repeat the same number for two more sets.
For more cardiovascular engagement you could try to do the kicks faster though it will take time before you can ramp the speed up keeping the correct form.
A very dynamic exercise combining both strength and cardio by engaging most of the major muscle groups of your body in rapid succession.
It involves push-ups, squats, and jumps.
- Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Crouch down and put your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders
- Place your weight on your hands and shoulders and jump your feet out behind you to straighten your legs. At the same time, bend your elbows and lower your upper body towards the floor, as if you were doing a push-up chest between your hands.
- Press your upper body back up away from the floor, by pushing down with your hands.
- Jump your legs in underneath you, landing with your feet at shoulder width, transferring your body weight back onto your legs, and immediately stand up as if you are doing a squat.
- Jump up from that position and clap your hands above your head.
- Go back straight down into your next burpee by crouching down and putting your hands back on the floor.
- Repeat the sequential steps as many times as you are comfortable with and do two more sets of the same number.
HEISMAN EXERCISE MISTAKES TO AVOID
BENDING YOUR BACK
Your back should stay upright throughout the exercise and should not bend at any point. This is to prevent unnecessary strain on back muscles that will bring about injury.
RELAXING YOUR CORE
Your core should be fully engaged while doing the exercise to gain maximum results.
SLOWING DOWN YOUR LEG MOVEMENT
During this exercise, you need to move your legs at a constant speed jumping from side to side for full cardiovascular involvement. This will help prevent you from having both feet on the ground simultaneously and cause you to burn fat and build muscle faster.
The Heisman exercise is one of few full-body plyometric exercises that require no equipment and is both cardio and muscle building.
It is quite an easy exercise to incorporate into your workout routine because it requires minimal space and all you use is body weight.