So, you’ve decided you want to keep fit and it’s time to engage in regular exercise sessions. The problem? The thought of stepping inside a gym fills you with dread, or, you simply don’t have enough time in the day to get to the gym. Sorry, but that’s no excuse for missing out on vital physical activity.
Recently we invited a group of bloggers to attend a session with personal trainer and fitness consultant Julia Buckley at our Decathlon Surrey Quays store. Julia demonstrated a series of easy exercises which can be done at home, without any special gym equipment. The sequence is fairly quick and simple to do, meaning you can sneak in a workout no matter how hectic your schedule – and you won’t even have to step outside your front door!
Julia suggests performing each move for 40 seconds, followed by a 20-second break before starting the next one; complete the whole sequence twice for maximum benefit. Ready to get started? Throw on your best workout gear, turn up the volume on your most upbeat playlist, and allow us to take you through some straightforward, enjoyable and effective do-at-home exercises…
Standing mountain climber
Standing upright with your elbows bent at 90 degrees in front of you, reach up with your right arm, while at the same time lifting your left knee toward your chest. Quickly switch sides so that your left arm and right leg are lifted, as if climbing up a wall. Continue “climbing” for 40 seconds, then rest.
Start in a high plank position – hands flat on floor beneath your shoulders, arms extended and torso and legs stretched out in a straight line down to your toes. Hop both feet up toward your right shoulder, then return to original position, keeping your feet together throughout. Repeat, hopping up to left. Continue to switch sides for 40 seconds, then rest.
Standing upright with feet hip-width apart, step forward with your right leg in a lunge position – thigh parallel to the floor, knee bent but not extending beyond your toe. Then push off from your left foot, squeezing the glutes, and kick the left leg forward at waist height while straightening the right leg, before swinging back into the lunge position. Repeat for 40 seconds, rest, and then repeat on the other leg.
Lie on your stomach with hands flat on the floor beneath your shoulders and toes curled under. Squeezing your pecs, lift your body off the floor by extending your arms – try to keep your torso and legs in a straight line throughout. Lower yourself back down and repeat for 40 seconds.
Start by lying on your side with your upper body raised off the floor, supported on one elbow with the forearm flat on the floor. Lift your hips so that your body is in a straight line from shoulders through toes, supported on the bottom elbow – this is side plank position. Raise your top arm above your head and then bend your top knee and elbow so that they touch. Repeat for 40 seconds, then switch to the other side.
Lie face down on the floor with palms planted flat beneath your shoulders. Continue to look down and keep your neck extended as you gently curve your back upward to raise your shoulders and upper torso off the ground. Slowly lower down and repeat for 40 seconds. As you get stronger you can do this move with arms extended downward and off the mat, and can even add light hand weights.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then squat down (bend your knees, don’t just bend over at the waist) and place your hands on the floor just in front of your feet. With your weight on your arms, jump your feet backward so that your legs are extended in a push-up position (see above); then jump them back forward into the squat position before standing upright once more.
Lie on your back with knees bent and pulled in toward your chest. Engaging your abs, roll your upper body off the mat, being careful not to strain your neck, and grasp your knees with your hands. Keeping your abs engaged, extend your legs while simultaneously reaching your arms above your head; then pull your knees back in and grasp them once more.
Assume the basic push-up position described above, then bring your feet forward while keeping your limbs straight so that your body makes a triangle shape with the ground. Then bend your elbows and slide your torso down and forward to bring your hips close to the ground. Gently curve your spine upward until your arms are straight, then lower down and repeat.
Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lean your upper body slightly back so that your abs are engaged. Clasp your hands in front of you and twist your torso from side to side so as to lower your hands toward the floor on either side. Continue for 40 seconds, then rest.