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Burn with Kearns: Buffed on a Budget – Kevin Kearns

by Kevin Kearns, contributing writer on exercise and fitness

Ok, coach, I really don’t have a lot of cash to spend on equipment. I have an old leather jump rope and a medicine ball. How do I get a complete workout?

We have the workout for you! Most people think you need a lot of time and fancy equipment to get an effective strength and cardio workout. Well, I like the “fitness toys” like everyone else, but sometimes you just need to go old school.

Jump ropes make for a great aerobic workout. It’s also plyometric in nature and is a bi-motor skill. Now that’s just jumping rope. What some people forget is the fact that you can do a lot more with a jump rope than just jumping in place. It’s also good for what’s called “ line drills”. 


30 seconds to 1 minute for 3 sets on all these drills:

Drill 1 – single leg jumps

  1. take your jump rope and lie it on the ground in a straight line.
  2. Next, stand on one leg and jump laterally, back and forth over the rope, as you run the length of the rope.
  3. turn and repeat on the other leg. 30 seconds to 1 minute for 3 sets

Drill 2 double leg jumps

  1. with the rope on the floor still perform the same drill with both feet glued together

Drill 3 ali shuffle

  1. stand in a split stance over the rope
  2. next spring in the air and switch feet and move down the length of the rope.

Drill 4 power jacks

  1. place the rope in a circle on the floor about a 2 foot diameter
  2. next, stand in the middle of the circle with your feet together
  3. jump up as you launch your feet outside the circle

Drill 5 circle of chaos

  1. with rope still in a circle stand with both feet together facing the circle
  2. next, jump in and out of the circle as fast as you can with both feet together as work 3 jumps left and 3 jumps right

Medicine Ball Muscle

Again, sometimes people get stuck thinking a piece of equipment is just for one thing or the other. Med balls are not just for throwing against the wall anymore (although that is a lot of fun).

Let’s start with 3 sets and 20 reps of each drill

Drill 1 – Wood chopper

  1. stand with the med ball over the head with your elbows bent
  2. next, swing the med ball through the legs as you lean forward. muscles worked – legs, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps.

Drill 2 one arm med ball explosion

  1. get down in a push up position with one hand on the ground and one hand on the med ball.
  2. lower the body down to the ground and as you come up the return position come off the med ball a few inches and catch some air. Muscles worked – chest, shoulders, triceps and explosive power

Drill 3 I have issues

  1. kneel or stand up right with the med ball over your head.
  2. next with one fluid motion smash the med ball on the floor as you bring your arms forward (yell “I have issues” if you want!) Muscles worked – lats, triceps, biceps, and abs.

Drill 4 Lunge to catch

  1. stand upright with the med ball in your hands
  2. next, lunge forward as you toss the ball in front of you so you can catch the ball.
  3. repeat on the other leg – muscles worked legs, biceps, and core

Drill 5 kayaks

  1. sit on the floor with your feet elevated and your knees bent
  2. hold the med ball in front of your chest
  3. next, take the med ball and rotate it from side to side. muscles worked – your gut, son!

Drill 6 lateral side bends

  1. hold the med ball over your head with your arms extended
  2. next, as you bend your body laterally to one side keep the med ball over head as you bend the same knee slightly
  3. return to staring position and work the other side. muscles worked – the love handles

Drill 7 orbital circles

  1. stand upright with the med ball in front of your face
  2. now work the ball in a box fashion around your head
  3. repeat in both directions. muscles worked – your shoulder complex, and arms

There you have it – 2 pieces of kit and a full on workout. Coach Kevin Kearns.


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Kearns is hosting a fundraiser to help remove the stigma of mental illness. More information can be found by visiting

Both of Coach Kearns’ books may be purchased on For more information about Coach Kevin Kearns, including scheduling speaking engagements and classes (both online and in person), please contact him at 508-404-8503 or

Coach Kevin Kearns has been coaching in the world of fitness, nutrition, and tactical self defense for over 3 decades. As the former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pro Fighters, and ranked in the Top 5 in the UFC , he is no stranger to the the importance of proper nutrition and proper mindset programming. He has long advocated to all his clients – athletes or the general population – about the importance of programming mind, body and spirit. 

Coach Kevin Kearns BS FMS CPT – Former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pros Ranked in Top 5 by the UFC Personal Fitness Coach, Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant, Youth Wellness Program Provider, Certification Specialist, Personal Self Defense, and Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Specialist

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