A do-anywhere strength-training exercise plan for all fitness levels – you can even do it with the kids
Whether you are looking to improve your fitness habits, or if you are starting from the beginning after a tough year where you did not look after yourself, there is no better time than to start fresh than right now. The first thing you need to do is sit down with your diary and find a window for30 minutes three times a week. Stick to this — with no exceptions.
Whether you are a working mum or dad, a busy professional or just someone who is struggling to juggle fitness and life, you need to take a few moments to plan. Planning is the key to success whether it’s for food or training. Without a plan, it’s easy to fail. Through the pandemic, I have seen many people follow my fitness plans and classes. Those who have stuck to it have been the ones that set aside 30 minutes of training three times a week.
I often get my kids to work out in the garden with me. If your children are still quite young, you may only get 15 minutes before they lose interest, but by adding them in, you will be creating a fitness environment so they get used to fitness being a way of life.
The plan I have created will start your first week on 15 minutes and then doubles the time and exercises to 30 minutes three times a week. These exercises will give you a full body workout and intense core workout. All you will need is a mat and a small amount of space.
This week’s exercises will include resting wide and close press-ups — an exercise I’ve been playing around with during my classes to hit the chest, core and back of the arms all in one go. We also have a squat with the added challenge of a leg raise to really target the legs, bridge walk-ins to target the core, and hip drops to keep the core working while targeting the obliques. Week one – complete 12 -15 reps of each exercise. Repeat all four exercises twice then take a breath and repeat the same again. This should take about 15 minutes. Week two, keep working for 30 minutes.
Fit Summer, your four week programme for mind and body runs every Monday in Health&Living and independent.ie until June 21
1. Resting wide/close press-up
Start in a press-up position on your hands and toes. Drop your body towards the floor slowly all the way until you are resting on the ground. Then take a moment on the ground and move your hands in closer to the chest so that your elbows are shaving the body and breath out as you push up, driving the hips up at the same time as the upper body back to the start position. Move the hands out again to the start position to a wide press-up before you begin the next rep. You can start this exercise on the knees if you find it too challenging to start.
2. Squat leg raise
Start in a squat position with your feet shoulder width apart and hands either side of your head. Squat down and back ensuring your knees are not going forward over your toes. As you are coming up, start putting pressure on one leg more as you raise the opposite leg out to the side until you get back to starting squat position. Repeat the same movement on the opposite leg on the next squat.
3. Bridge walk-ins
Start on your elbows and toes in the bridge position. Walk one foot in bending at the knee leaving it there then bring the second foot in. Return the first foot to the start position followed by the second foot, then drop the hips back down to the neutral bridge position.
4. Front bridge hip drop
Start on your elbows and forearms in the bridge position with your feet fairly close together. Lower one hip down to the floor twisting at the torso. Hold briefly before returning to the start and then completing the same movement on the opposite side.