Get Ahead of Your Resolutions with Our Winter Workout
Losing weight and getting your wellbeing in shape is one of the major New Year’s resolutions people make every year, but why wait until January to get started? After all, are you going to head out to the gym on January 1st with a splitting hangover? Of course not! It’s far better to get a head start on your wellness goals and, thanks to fitness trainer and qualified exercise scientist Damien Kelly, we’ve got an amazing winter workout that will work your core, legs and butt so you’re looking fit and fabulous when the clock strikes 12. Now all you have to worry about is who you’re going to kiss at midnight!
1. Tummy: According to Kelly, the reverse crunch ‘is the best equipment-free abs exercise since the sit-up. Get the technique right and your abs will be lifting and controlling your whole lower body.’ He recommends that you do three sets of as many reps as you can, but how do you do it? Kelly instructs, ‘Lie on your back with your thighs vertical but knees slightly bent. Place your palms on the floor beside you. Squeezing through your abs, raise your tailbone off the ground and move your feet up. Be careful not to use momentum. Lightly touch your butt to the ground with control and repeat.’
As well as the reverse crunch, Swiss ball crossovers provide a three-pronged attack to your troubling tummy area. Kelly explains, ‘You’re sitting up so it targets your six-pack, you’re twisting so it’s targeting your obliques and you’re stabilising while on the ball so your core is working.’ Again, you should do three sets of as many reps as you can on each side. Kelly advises, ‘Position yourself so your lower back is on a Swiss ball and your feet are shoulder-width apart. Curl up, taking your right elbow towards your left knee. You will be twisting and crunching at the same time. Stop just short of upright and slowly lower until your mid-back lightly touches the ball. Do a set on this side and then repeat on the other side.’
2. Legs: With a good technique and pace, doing enough step-ups will give you the ultimate quadriceps burn. ‘Place your right foot on a knee-high bench or chair,’ says Kelly. ‘Push down through your right heel and stand up on the bench. Without stopping, move the left thigh forward until that knee is hip height and at a right angle (in a running style). Balance for a moment, then slowly lower your left foot to the ground, touching lightly with your toes, then push up for your next rep. Focus on maintaining your posture throughout. Keep your gaze fixed on the horizon in front of you and keep your right foot planted the whole time. Do all the reps on one leg, then switch sides.’ Do three sets of as many reps as you can.
3. Butt: Decline lunges don’t only work your bum, they get a great burn in your legs too. To go about decline lunges which, again, you should do for three sets of as many reps possible, Kelly details, ‘With a bench about a metre behind you, stand on your right leg and reach back with your left leg. Place the toes of your left foot on the bench and position your foot so it’s vertical. Jump your right foot forward a bit if you feel cramped. Bend your front knee and lower your back knee directly down towards the ground. Aim to get your front thigh horizontal. Don’t let your front knee pass in front of your toe. Do all reps on one leg, then switch.’
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