4 Effective Bodyweight Exercise Alternatives To Sprinting

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
May 13, 2014

This is a special guest post from my dear friend Mikey Whitfield.

There are dozens of famous combos that when one of the two are missing, you know it’s not the same. For example, there’s…

Peanut butter and jelly …

Batman and Robin…

Ben and Jerry …

Tom and Jerry …

Mornings and coffee…

Plus so much more…

But there’s a NEW combo that perhaps you haven’t tried yet and it’s an amazing 1-2 punch to losing fat, becoming faster and even more athletic…

… all without needing any equipment.

Knee Health Score 2

The first of the combo are sprints.

Now you may be thinking, “Oh, I’m too old to be doing any sprinting. That’s not for me.” Or you’re thinking something like… “Sprinting is not for me. I’m no athlete.”

Did you know there are bodyweight alternatives to sprinting?

I’ll show you those in the video below and how to “match” the intensity if you want another alternative to sprints or you want to work out inside.

This makes sprinting for everyone. In fact…

Without a doubt, sprints are the #1 exercise to rapidly burn fat faster than any other move.

For one thing, this powerful exercise releases growth hormone, which plays a big role in fat burning while at rest.

Plus, this demanding exercise burns a ton of calories during, immediately after as well as hours after completing them. In fact, it only takes a few sprints to boost your metabolism.

A study from Colorado State University revealed you actually burn more calories than you could even imagine with this powerful exercise.

We’re talking 200 calories for 2-1/2 minutes of work…

The group was given their maintenance diet (in other words, NO restriction of calories) for three days.

After those three days, the participants stayed in a research facility for two days so that they could be analyzed for calories burned using oxygen analyzers and more.

On one of those days, each participant performed sprint intervals totaling 2-1/2 minutes of work with prescribed rest periods.

The results showed that they burned an average of an extra 200 calories on the sprint day.

200 calories for 2-1/2 minutes of work? That’s the power of sprints.

So you can say that the sprints are the peanut butter. But you can take it a step further and involve other muscle groups, causing a BIGGER spike in your metabolism.

The jelly?…. it’s compound bodyweight exercises that use other muscles.

When you combine sprints with bodyweight exercises, it’s the fastest way to see immediate results. By doing these “hybrids” 3-4 days a week, you should see a difference in the mirror within 7 days.

The key is that your workouts shouldn’t be any longer than 20 minutes. Anything longer means your intensity wasn’t where it should be with the sprints.

Look, sprints take a lot out of you. They demand so much from your nervous system and muscles. This is why you burn so many calories.

The secret to the perfect hybrid is making sure you take enough rest between sprints so you can give it your best, while at the same time, using “active recovery”.

First, let’s talk about the sprints. They shouldn’t be ANY longer than 30 seconds. Any longer than that; it means that you could have given more intensity. You could have gone faster 😉

Knee Health Score 1

Speaking of that sprint intensity – If you want bodyweight exercise alternatives, I have you covered.

Sprint Alternative # 1 – Running in Place

Remember, you MUST match the intensity of a sprint. To do this with running in place, you can bring those knees up higher towards your chest (this makes running in place harder).

Needless to say, go at your fastest pace possible, too.

Sprint Alternative # 2 – Split Shuffle

The Split Shuffle is a great alternative for those that want to “sprint”, but don’t want the impact.

It’s much easier to see it on video, but here is a photo description:

It’s like running in place, but keeping your knees from coming up. Imagine being a boxer.

Sprint Alternative # 3 – Jumping Jacks

Most people know how to do a normal Jumping Jack.

However, remember that this type of Jumping Jack is different. You have to do it at a “sprinting pace” in order to get the full effect of this exercise.

Sprint Alternative # 4 – Total Body Extensions

This is perhaps the BEST non-impact conditioning exercise of all time. This is a great alternative to sprints, plus you’ll improve your upper back mobility. If you sit behind a desk a lot, you’ll want to use this move with your programs.

However, using this exercise for sprints is going up a whole new level.

Basically, the idea is to go as fast as humanly possible, but without jacking up your form. This will take you a little practice.

Here is how to do it:

Now that you have your sprinting alternatives, let’s rock a Sprint Conditioning workout using the power of this 1-2 punch!

Sprint Conditioning Workout: “The Sprint Sandwich”

Remember, you can replace any of the sprints with the alternatives.

Sprint (15 secs), rest 45 secs – Do this 4 times, then…

Do the following circuit as many times as possible in 8 minutes, resting only when needed. Once the 8 minutes are up, rest 1 minute and then move into the last 4 sprints.

T Pushups (5 reps per side)

Alternating Prisoner Reverse Lunge (5 reps per side)

Mountain Climber (5 reps per side)

Bodyweight Sumo Squat (5 reps)

Knee Health Score 1

Sprint (15 secs), rest 45 secs – Do this 4 times

The sprints will do their magic, but by adding in this short bodyweight circuit in the middle, you’ll activate more muscle groups and force your body to burn even more calories.

Density circuits are a great way to go from one exercise to another pretty quickly while getting in a lot of rounds in a short amount of time.  About 4 minutes into that circuit, what you thought would be easy will start to get really difficult.

You’re welcome? Not really.

So if you need to lose fat fast, or get in the best shape of your life as fast as possible, then use Sprint and Bodyweight “Hybrids” to do it.

Brace yourself – they are not easy… but they work!

Have fun and train hard,



Thanks so much Mikey! I very much appreciate you sharing your bodyweight sprint conditioning knowledge with the SOA family.


Show/Hide Comments (6 comments)
  1. jake baker

    can you do these 3 xs a week?

  2. Olivia

    Great video/routine! It’s very icy where I live and it’s not always possible to find an indoor track and this is a great alternative (:

  3. Ross

    Had two great months over the summer but achilles and calf injured so was looking for alternative to sprint running until I’m happy I’m 100%. This looks perfect

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Awesome Ross! Glad you like it.

  4. fausto

    Hi Mike, I really appreciate the information posted above…. I think this is an excellent alternative indoor workout and/or for somebody who can’t be able to sprint do to injure or something like that…

  5. John King

    That was a great video, with some awesome ideas for indoor workouts

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