The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Full-Body Rio Workout


If you were the Cleveland Cavaliers and found yourself in sunny Rio De Janeiro, why wouldn’t you take your workout outdoors? Last week, LeBron James and the Cavs were spotted exercising on the Brazilian city’s famous Copacabana Beach as throngs of onlookers watched. The beauty of their workout was that it didn’t require a lot of specialized equipment, and yet it still hit all the major muscle groups they use out on the court. You too can get fit using this similar full-body workout comprised of resistance band and bodyweight exercises, whether you’re on a beach, at the gym, or in your living room.

Photo:LeBron James/Instagram

Standing single-arm rows
After a light jog and some stretching, teammates LeBron James, Tristan Thompson and others used a resistance cable—the kind with handles you can grab onto—to perform single-arm rows to work out their middle backs, as well as the biceps and lats. Either by anchoring one end or having a partner hold it, stand with your feet at shoulder width and knees slightly bent. Without allowing your body to twist, pull straight back on the cable until the handle lines up with your chest. Release slowly to complete a repetition. Perform three sets of 12 reps.

Standing ab twist
This exercise engages your outside abs, otherwise known as obliques. Either by using a standing cable or tapping a partner to hold one end, position your body sideways so your shoulders are in line with the resistance band. Grasping the other end with both hands locked in front of you, twist away using your stomach muscles, then return to the starting position. You may straighten your arms for additional challenge. Perform three sets of 12 reps.

The traditional push-up works some of the body’s largest muscle groups, including your chest, arms and shoulders. From a plank position, lower your chest until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Raise your body up slowly to complete a repetition. Perform three sets of 12 reps.

Multi-direction lunges
By taking traditional lunges in several directions, you can ensure you’re strengthening every one of the various muscles that form your quadriceps and glutes. From a standing position with your feet at shoulder width, perform a lunge directly ahead of you without allowing your active knee to bend lower than 90 degrees to avoid injury. Using the same leg, perform two more lunges, one at 45 degrees to the side and the second sideways. Switch legs and perform three more lunges. You may do these unweighted, or while holding a kettlebell or medicine ball to your chest. Perform five full circuits using both legs.

Lateral resistance band walking
In order to prevent injuries to a players’ knees and hips, NBA players use lateral resistance band walking to strengthen their hip abductors and glute medius, muscles responsible for running, jumping and pivoting. Place a circular resistance band around both ankles and spread your feet shoulder width apart so that the elastic is taught and doesn’t fall down. Bending your knees to a shallow squat, take five steps to one side, then alternate directions for another five. Traverse back and forth three times.


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