Tuesday 23 January 2018

Siobhan Byrne: Sound advice, not fads, is the road to results

Our fitness expert takes a look at the advantages and disadvantages of following fitness on social media

Siobhan Byrne: We can learn so much from people who have real knowledge and experience
Siobhan Byrne: We can learn so much from people who have real knowledge and experience
Hand to leg catch with swiss ball
Hand to leg catch with swiss ball
Mountain climber 1
Mountain climber 2
Mountain climber 3
Side plank

As I look back over the various fitness trends of recent years, people's willingness to follow them has become the norm.

Any so-called expert in fitness or nutrition can have an instant audience thanks to the internet, yet the flow of such advice from exercise and diet gurus seems to be slowing - could it be that people are finally seeing sense about what and who they should be following?

I'll be honest, I'm not a lover of social media - with so much inaccurate and misleading information on it, it's hard to see how it can keep going.

At the end of the day, we all want to look good and portray the best image of ourselves possible, but fitness and social media seem to have taken this to a whole new level.

Images of what people are eating (which may not always be true) and photos of themselves which have been heavily edited abound on the internet, and can set unrealistic goals for our young people especially, to try to follow. Yet even older people can get caught in this trap too, becoming disheartened by their lack of ability to get the same results which, really, are physically impossible to achieve anyway.

We can learn so much from people who have real knowledge and experience in any industry, including the fields of fitness and nutrition. The key is to carefully consider who you follow - what experience do they have, and what are their credentials?

Of course, they should also be someone you can relate to. The young woman who spends all of her time in the gym and eating mostly salads may not be appropriate for you if you are a busy working mum or dad struggling to make time for fitness. Look for someone who offers good tips and advice, keeps it simple, and has a life outside of the fitness industry, for example, family, who you can look to to provide you with sound advice to help you reach achievable goals in a realistic time frame.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week

Focus on core and abs

Side Plank

1/ Support your body by leaning on your side on your elbow and on the side of your foot, with the opposite foot sitting on top. Keep your body straight and hold the position. Try to hold the position for at least 15-20 seconds but keep your form.

Hand to leg catch with swiss ball

1/ Start by lying on your back with your legs straight out, holding the ball overhead with your arms fully extended.

2/ Raise your arms and legs up to the middle and catch the ball between your ankles, then lower the arms and legs with the ball now between the ankles and repeat the opposite way. Repeat.

Mountain climber

1/ Start face-down with feet on the floor, and two hands on the ground and arms straight. Make sure your back is flat with your core engaged.

2/ Slowly bring one knee up to the chest, then return back to start position.

3/ Repeat with opposite leg. This is one rep.


1/ Start by leaning back balancing on your hands in a sitting position with your knees bent and your feet flat slightly off the ground. Then simply lift your upper body towards the knees and raise your knees to your chest at the same time, coming into a V position. Return to start position, then repeat.

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