A last-minute fitness routine to help you get in shape for summer


IDEALLY, YOU HAVE BEEN WALKING daily to get your body in shape for the upcoming challenges of high-adventure outings with your troop or crew.

But we Scouters are a realistic bunch, so we know that often life intervenes to throw a monkey wrench into the best-laid plans. If you have been less-than conscientious about your fitness, use the slideshow gallery below to use this series of exercises to prepare your body for any summertime Scouting adventure.

Step 1: Walk for 30 minutes every day. It’s the easiest and most effective way to prepare for the jamboree or any hike because, well, you’ll do a lot of walking. At least twice a week, strap on a loaded internal-frame pack to add extra resistance to your walk. Walk at a good clip. Build in some interval training such as the one featured in our Summit Shape-up. Use walking poles to work your upper body and burn extra calories.

Step 2: Three to four days per week, do the Prepare for Adventure Circuit workout illustrated in the slideshow gallery below. Start with one circuit of all five exercises, resting minimally, if at all, between exercises. As you build up strength and endurance, try to do two, and eventually three full circuits with no rest between exercises; rest for about one minute between circuits.

Step 3: Twice a day—in the morning and before bedtime—do some light stretching of your hamstrings, quads, low back, and shoulders.

After completing the circuit, do an active rest by walking and swinging your arms across your chest for one minute before starting another circuit. Or use this as a three-minute cool down if not repeating the circuit.

Prepare For Adventure Circuit 

Mountain Climber

Get into a pushup position with your arms straight, hands on an exercise bench, chair, or on the floor. This is the starting position.

Lift your right foot, raising that knee as close to your chest as you can. Straighten that leg to touch your right foot to the ground and immediately raise your left foot, knee to chest, and return to the starting position. It’s like running uphill.

Go as fast as possible without sacrificing form. Do this for 30 seconds.

Split Jump

Stand in a staggered stance with your feet 2 to 3 feet apart, your right foot in front of your left. Keeping your torso upright, bend your legs and lower your body into a lunge. Now jump with enough force to propel both feet off the floor. While you’re in the air, scissor-kick your legs so that you land with your left leg forward.

Repeat, alternating your forward leg for the duration of the set. Every two times you land equals a rep; do 10 reps.

Note: If you are very out of shape, overweight, or have knee problems, avoid this exercise. Do a high-knee march in place instead.


Stand with feet together. Perform a forward lunge by taking a big step forward and bending your front leg until your thigh is parallel with the floor and your back knee is about an inch above the floor. Then, rise up and bring your back foot forward a big step and lower into another lunge.

Alternate the leg you step forward with each time, as if walking. Make a total of four to six steps forward, and then reverse the move, taking four to six backward walking lunges.

Want to intensify the lunges? Hold a pair of lightweight dumbells as you lunge.

Face a stair step in a pushup position with your arms straight and your fingertips just in front of the bottom step. Bring your left hand onto the step, and then your right. Return your left hand to the floor, and then your right. Walk your hands up and down this way for 30 seconds.

Towel Row

Grab the end of a bath or beach towel with each hand and roll it up as if you were ready snap it at someone in the locker room. Stand on the middle of the towel with your right foot, bend at the waist and right knee slightly, and straighten your left leg out behind you supporting yourself on the ball of your foot. With chest up, flatten your back so it forms a straight line from your heel to your head. With a firm grip on each end of the towel, pull as hard as you can toward your body, squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Maintain this isometric hold for 30 to 60 seconds, taking breaks as needed.

Y Squat

Stand up straight, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms above you and slightly to the sides forming a Y shape with your arms and body. Sit your butt back, while bending your knees — as if sitting in a chair — until your thighs are nearly parallel with the floor. Keep your weight on your heels (not toes) during this movement. Pause, and then stand and repeat without dropping your arms. Do 12 repetitions.

Jeff Csatari’s books, including the new The Belly Off! Workouts, are available for 20 percent off at rodalestore.com using the code “Scout” at checkout.

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