6. Open Close squat (OCS)

The 6th  place in my body Weight list goes to the Open close squat. Some may see it as a variation of the jump squat and they would not be wrong, so why do I rank it 6th.

That exercise took me by surprise as I included it only lately in my routines, it simply provides the advantages of the jump squat without the inconvenience, as well as some adds up.

It is a breath "catching" whole body exercise. The fast lateral opening of the legs, followed by the downward and finally upward motion (jump squat) make the respiratory system work hard.

People wonder why some exercises got you more out of breath than others. The blood in our body circulates from the heart to the muscles, when you work your upper body, it is a closed and close (short distance) circuit. In short you don't get so out of breath but build lots of lactic acid in the upper body muscles. On the other hand when you work your lower body, it feels harder and you have that "lack" of breath feeling and little or less burn in lower body muscles.

The OSC is an "explosive" whole body exercise. If performed at high speed, its execution will force your respiratory system to work really hard to supply blood to all your body muscle.

How to do it?

1. Starting position: Stand upright with your chest up, lower back straight (neutral spine), legs straight and together.

2. Explosively open your legs and lower yourself into a sumo squat.

3. Finishing position: As soon as you reach the bottom of your Sumo squat, jump back up in the starting position.

The benefits of the OCS:

It improves your cardio:

This exercise fits really well in a HIIT (high intensity interval training) as it couples an intense cardiovascular exercise and a demanding leg work.

The whole lower body muscles are worked:

Your calves and thighs feel the "heat" after those repetitive jumps. You will gain explosiveness and strength endurance. In the case of the jumps squat, as soon as the lactic acid has built up, you cannot squat anymore. With the Open Closed Squat, you can carry on and add these extra reps.

The explosiveness is required in order to quickly open your legs and jump back to the original position.

The strength endurance, will be worked as you lower yourself into a deep sumo squat and lift yourself before jumping into the original position.

Your back side as well as your groin get a very tough workout, as coming down into a "Sumo" squat position and jumping back up is demanding.

Finally, it improves hips, knees and ankles flexibility as well, as you areconstantly forced into "stretched" positions in a dynamic manner.

Just give it a try and it will be part of most of your bodyweight routine!

Burpees, push ups and jump squat in action... 

Burpees, push ups and jump squat in action...