(Photo courtesy of Sebastian Fritzon on Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of Sebastian Fritzon on Flickr)

BY GABRIELLE BOYER, Staff Columnist

In commemoration of upcoming superhero movies, this week I have come up with a superhero themed circuit workout. This circuit focuses mostly on improving strength and agility, something most superheroes rely on when fighting evil. I recommend doing this circuit three times a week for four weeks and then switch to a different workout to prevent muscle memory.

Note: I did not include Batman. Now before the hate storm emerges, I’d like to point out that he is not technically a superhero (he doesn’t have superpowers, just a bunch of awesome rich guy toys).

Spidey Jumps (2 minutes)
The web-head is known for his quick wit and acrobatics. This exercise increases agility by developing the explosive muscles in your legs.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width and knees slightly bent.
  • Bend your knees and powerfully jump straight up, bringing your knees toward your chest while in midair.
  • Grasp your knees quickly with your arms and let go.
  • Upon landing, immediately repeat the next jump.

Rest (1 minute)

Thor Beserkergang (3 Minutes)

  • Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, squat down slightly and then lean over to one side, pushing yourself back up to an upright position.  Do not extend your legs fully to lock the knees-keep them slightly bent.
  • At the end of the movement, you can add a cross punch or ‘hook’ with one of your arms.
  • For visualization: Imaging ducking below and to the side of someone punching at you and you punching them in the side of the head.

Rest (1 minute)

Flashicides (Ten times)

  • Take three large pieces of tape, placing one ten feet away, the next 25 feet away, and the last 50 feet away.
  • Without stopping sprint to the ten foot mark, touch it, turn around, and touch home.
  • Repeat at the 25 foot mark and then 50 foot mark.
  • Repeat and do not stop or slow down.

Rest (1 Minute)

Wonder Woman – Lasso of Truth (Two Minutes)

  • Grab a jump rope.
  • Jump 1 to 2 inches off the floor, giving rope just enough space to slip underfoot — only the balls of feet should touch the floor.
  • Keep elbows close to sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
  • If you tire out before you finish the workout, drop the rope, but keep arms and legs going. Work up to using the rope full-time.

Rest (1 minute)

Hulk-ups (10 reps)

  • Grab a pair of weights (note: do not overdo it here. Go lighter rather than heavier).
  • Get into push up position with weights in hand.
  • Do push up.
  • Pull up weight in left arm and extend entirely upward.
  • Do another push up and repeat with opposite arm.

Superman Flight School (Three Minutes)

  • Get into plank position.
  • Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
  • Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
  • Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
  • Repeat.

Mr. Fantastic

  • Quad Stretch: Stand and hold onto a wall for balance if needed. Grab the top of the right foot and bend your knee, bringing the foot towards the buttocks, knee pointing straight at the floor. You should feel a stretch right down the front of your leg. Squeeze your hips forward for a deeper stretch. Switch sides.
  • Hamstring Stretch: Take your left foot forward and tip from the hips, keeping the back flat. Lower down until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg. Repeat on the other side.
  • Chest and Shoulder Stretch: Sit/stand and clasp your hands together behind your back, arms straight. Lift your hands towards the ceiling, going only as high as is comfortable. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest.
  • Upper Back: Clasp your hands together in front of you and around your back, pressing your arms away from your body to feel a stretch in your upper back.
  • Shoulder Stretch: Take right arm straight across your chest and curl the left hand around your elbow, gently pulling on the right arm to deepen the stretch in the shoulders. Switch sides.
  • Side Stretch: Standing, clasp your hands straight up overhead, palms facing the ceiling. Gently lower to the right side until you feel a stretch down your left side. Switch sides and repeat.
  • Triceps Stretch: Bend the left elbow behind your head and use the right hand to gently pull the left elbow in further until you feel a stretch in your tricep. Switch sides and repeat.