Summer holidays looming but haven’t got time to get in shape? There’s no excuse with this nifty 5-a-day 15-minute work out that can be done at home, in the garden or even in your lunch break. Rob Beale, Group Health & Fitness Manager at David Lloyd Leisure, says that a 15 minute burst of exercise once or twice a day can really burn fat, shape and tone. Want to find out more?
Do 15 repetitions of each exercise and make sure you do them in the following order. Keep an even tempo of 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down remembering to breathe out on exertion and breathe in during the lowering phase. If you’re feeling good after the first set then do a second. Aim to build up to three sets of the five exercises. “If you did 3 sets of these exercises three times a week for three weeks you’d definitely begin to feel stronger and more energetic and you’d also start to see some change in tone and shape,” says Beale.
Number 1- Lunges
Target areas – Fronts and backs of thighs, buttocks, raises heart rate and burns calories.
How to do it –
Step 1: Take a fairly long stride.
Step 2: keeping your body upright, bend your front knee and lower your rear knee towards the floor then push back to the start.
Step 3: keep your front knee over your front foot and try not to let it go too far in front.
Want to go for it? – Add weight. Hold something heavy – cans of beans or a bag of rice will do – across your chest while you exercise. Or even twist at the bottom.
Number 2 – Squats
Target areas - Fronts of thighs, buttocks, calves, raises heart rate and burns calories.
How to do it -
Step 1: Stand with feet hip width apart, toes pointing straight forward. Step 2: Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Step 3: keep your back straight and shoulders back.
Step 4: Push through your heels.
Want to go for it? - Hold something heavy – handbag or baby (if you have one!) – in front of you as you squat up and down.
Number 3 – Lying leg raises
Target areas – Inside and outside leg muscles.
How to do it –
Step 1: Lie down with 1 leg on top of the other resting on your elbow.
Step 2: Slowly raise your top leg until you feel the strain.
Step 3: Lower the leg to the start position.
Want to go for it? – Add ankle weights if you have them or alternatively try to raise the leg a little higher and more slowly.
Number 4 – Press ups
Target areas – Shoulders, chest and triceps.
How to do it – Either do full press ups with feet on the floor (hard), half press ups (medium) with knees on the floor, or box press ups (easiest) with both feet and knees on the floor. Slowly lower yourself down until arms are parallel with the floor then push back up.
Want to go for it? – Aim to do full press ups as they are much harder.
Number 5 – Tricep dips
Target areas – Triceps – back of arms (think bingo wings).
How to do it – Place your arms behind you on a chair or sofa and your feet out in front of you on the floor. Start with your elbows locked out then slowly lower until your arms are parallel with the floor. Then push up slowly to the top.
Want to go for it? - The further your feet are away from the chair/sofa the harder it gets…
From the June 2009 My Nametags newsletter