Exercise Types

Exercise Types & Vocab

There are hundreds of exercise listed online, but here are some of the ones you’re most likely to run across. Get in the habit of observing others to pick up the form (or lack of it).

You don’t have to memorize any of these, of course. They’re just here for reference:

Apolo Ohno 

Moving your legs from side to side and swinging your arms so that you look like a speed skater (like Apolo).

Australian Pull-Up 

A pull up from underneath a railing, with feet on the ground.

Balls to the Wall 

Aka BTTW. Standing upside down on your hands with your feet above your head facing any type of structure that will support your body. As close to the wall as you can as the name implies

Bear Crawl 

Walk on ground with both hands and feet, like a bear.


A multi-step, full-body exercise in which you move from standing to push-up to squat to jump. 

Carolina Dry Dock 

Modified push-up. Bend only your elbows, allowing body to drop head toward hands without lowering your six (your butt).

Carrot Puller

Bending over with legs wide apart, touch the ground in front of you, underneath you, and behind you, finishing with a clap.

Crab Walk 

Balancing on your hands and feet with your front facing the ceiling and your hips thrust upwards. Walk like a crab.

Crunchy Frog

Done in cadence, in a V-like sitting position, first wrap your legs with your arms. Quickly open yourself up by moving your arms out to your sides and extending your legs out in front of you. Bring them back in. 


Not the classic parallel-bar dip like in the gym, but a Triceps Dip. 


A partner exercise where one partner runs up and back while the other does an exercise, and then switch off until the team completes a prescribed number or reps. 

Dying Cockroach 

4-count ab exercise done lying down that involves touching hand to opposite leg, back down, then other hand to opposite leg. Form can vary wildly.

Elbow Plank 

A plank on your elbows instead of your hands.


Also written as 11s. A ladder exercise in which you start with 1 rep of one exercise and 10 reps of another exercise, then add one additional rep to the first exercise and subtract one rep from the second. The sum must always add up to 11. Sometimes done with different numbers.

Flutter Kick 

Ab exercise done laying on your back. Legs off the ground, alternate kicking legs as if you’re swimming. Usually done in cadence.

Freddie Mercury 

Aka the bicycle sit-up. Alternate extending legs and arms in a bicycling motion during the sit-up.

Imperial Storm Trooper 

(IST) Standing, hands on head as if you’re doing a sit-up. Lift your knee to the opposite arm’s elbow.


(Jennifer Lopez) From hand plank, move body from side to side.


Starting with x number of reps of an exercise, run up and back, then do x-1 (or x-2) reps, until you get to 0. Sometimes involves two exercises (see “Elevens”) and sometimes counts up instead of down. 

Little Baby Crunch (LBC)

On your back, legs bent in the air, hands behind your head, crunch as you move elbows toward your knees.


A “proper” push-up, American Military Style. Also “Murrican” or “Merican.”  

Monkey Humper 

A half-squat performed while grabbing the inside of one’s ankles. This restricts movement to a half-squat type exercise but increasing the burn.

Mountain Climber 

From plank position, quickly move one knee up toward your chest and back again, alternating legs.

Murph, The 

This is a special workout in honor of a Navy hero. It’s a mile run, lots of pull-ups, Merkins, and squats, then a mile run back home.

Peter Parker (and Parker Peter)

In plank position move left knee toward left elbow with foot flared out.. then flapjack. You should look like Spider-Man climbing a wall. For Parker-Peter, simply pull left knee across your body to the right elbow. For an added twist Peter-Parkers can be combined with Merkins, so that when you go down you bring your leg in, and then straighten the leg as you return to plank.


On your hands and feet, with your body straight as a plank. If you finish an exercise or run before others, it’s customary to get in the plank while waiting. Sometimes “elbow planks” are specified (even less pleasant).

Plant Jack

Jumping Jacks while in the plank position. Feet go out wide and in close while your body remains in plank.


Running backwards up the hill.

Rocky Balboa 

AKA Mohammed Ali, Curb Kick, or Riverdance. Start near a curb or other raised element, and with a rhythmic motion, alternately tap the toe from each foot on the curb. Best in cadence, as in the extensive exercise scene between Rocky and Drago in Rocky IV.


Ab exercise done laying on back, legs raised to 90 degrees.
Keeping legs perpendicular to ground, separate legs outward then return to start.

Side Straddle Hop 

Jumping Jacks

Skull Crusher 

Kettle bell or rock over your head and then bend at the elbows to lower and raise it. 

Toy Soldier 

Arms out in front of you, lift leg up straight and try to touch your arm. Switch to the other leg. 


The A special workout similar to The Murph, but with different exercises in between the running.


Ab exercise with feet apart in the air and your arms go up in a crunch through the middle. 


Begin standing with feet wider than your shoulders and arms straight out form your sides. With your legs kept straight, touch your opposite toe with your hand.