One-footers against the wall
More after the break
Works: Tendons and ligaments in your ankle joints as well as muscles in your calves.
Good for: Balance, kicking power, injury prevention.
What to do: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms horizontally out to your sides. “Your hands should be in line with your shoulders,” says Klerck. “Lift your right foot so its heel is in line with the back of your left knee – use the wall for stability at first but aim to do this free-standing.” Close your eyes and count to 30, then switch legs and repeat.
Sets: 5 minutes, switching legs every 30 seconds.
Shove off from the sofa
Works: Chest, triceps, abs.
Good for: Developing the power to unbalance your opponent.
What to do: “Stand facing the back of the couch, first making sure it can’t move forward when you put pressure on it,” says Klerck. “Fall forward, putting your hands in front of you to catch yourself. Bend your elbows to lower yourself until your chest touches the back of the sofa. Explosively push yourself back to the start so you finish up standing.”
Sets: 5 sets of 5 reps; rest 2 minutes between bouts.
One-leg squats with a chair
Works: Glutes, core, hamstrings and quadriceps.
Good for: Increasing speed off the mark.
What to do: “Stand, feet shoulder-width apart, with a chair or couch behind you,” Klerck advises. “Raise your left foot off the ground by bending your knee backwards. Keep your back straight and slowly squat down by bending your right knee until your glutes touch the chair, before straightening back up to the start position. To increase the difficulty, fold your arms across your chest.”
Sets: 4 sets, 6 reps with each leg.
Works: Calves and core.
Good for: Improving your stationary jumps.
What to do: Stand on your right leg with your left leg tucked behind your right knee. Keep your arms at your sides. Raise your body weight onto the ball of your foot by standing on your toes. Hold that position for three seconds, then take two seconds to lower your heel again. Klerck recommends: “To make this harder, hold a dead weight like a bag of wet washing in your right hand.”
Sets: 4 sets of 5 reps on each leg, no rest between.
Figure-four double crunch
Works: Abs and obliques.
Good for: Improving balance and building strength.
What to do: Lie flat on your back, hands behind your ears. Rest your right ankle on your left knee and raise your left foot a couple of inches off the floor. This is the starting position. Slowly curl your head and torso forward while bringing your left knee towards you. Pause, lower yourself (keeping your left foot off the floor) and repeat. Switch so your left ankle lies across your right knee and repeat for another set.
Sets: 3 sets of 20.
Duck walk across the living room
Works: Glutes, calves, front and back thighs.
Good for: Building lower body power so you stay strong on your feet.
What to do: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and crouch down so your glutes are below your knees. “Take a step forward with your right leg, letting its knee drop down to the ground,” advises Klerk. “Stay in the crouched position and slide the other leg forward.” Drop your left leg’s knee and repeat. Look forward and once you get in motion stay in motion. Execute the move quickly and forcefully.
Sets: 3 sets, 10 steps on each leg, resting for 90 seconds between sets.
Pop-ups from the floor
Works: Legs, core, arms, chest.
Good for: Sharpness; improved jumping momentum.
What to do: Get on your hands and knees, keeping your toes on the ground. Push up with your hands and balls of your feet. This will get you airborne. Bring your knees forward and hoist your upper body forwards and upwards. “You should land in a crouching position,” says Klerck. “You can also do this lying down, palms on the ground either side of your chest, forearms perpendicular to the floor.”
Sets: 5 sets of 7 reps – rest for 45 seconds.
Prone skydiver on the floor
Works: Lower back and core.
Good for: A stronger and more flexible back to help you twist and turn.
What to do: Lie face down on your stomach with your arms behind your head and your fingers interlaced. Then, says Klerck, “slowly raise your chest off the floor as high as you comfortably can. Your feet should stay on the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then lower your chest and head back down.”
Sets: 3 sets of 10 seconds each