My Fitness Routine
Fitness is a huge part of my life. It’s something I do (almost) every day and have over the years, made it a habit so when I don’t exercise, I feel rotten and out of sorts.
It would be disingenuous of me to say that an element of maintaining an exercise routine isn’t about how I look, of course it is, I like to look toned and that’s my prerogative, but that’s only a tiny part of why I work out. The main motivation for pulling on the Lycra is ‘me time’, clearing my head and the endorphin rush.
Ever noticed how much calmer and positive you feel after a workout. Yep, that’s your endorphins working their magic.
As a businesswoman and mum of two little people, time is not a commodity I tend to have a lot of, which is why Tabata is my go-to. It takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes and will leave you dripping with sweat.
The system is easy to remember: 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeat. The short rest intervals force the body to keep moving before it actually recovers from the previous set—and that’s part of the reason why Tabata leads to significant aerobic and anaerobic gains. But there’s a catch: You have to push yourself, like, really push yourself all out. You won’t reap the strength and cardio benefits from casually going through the movements. But when performed correctly, there’s another benefit: the afterburn effect. That means you can keep burning calories for hours after your quick workout has ended.
Here’s what a typical routine looks like for me and disclaimer, I’m not a qualified professional, just someone who likes to workout. So if you’re unsure about starting out or what to do, please book an appointment with a Private Trainer – if you’re London based, I can highly recommend Rory Knight who can be found at the gorgeous KXU studio.
Alternating backward lunge with resistance band
Step your right foot back, coming into a full lunge before returning to standing, then repeat on the other side. This exercise stretches out the front of your hips (hip flexors and quads) while working your glutes. There’s also the option to include a resistance band to work your upper body at the same time. As you step back into your lunge, increase tension across the band by moving your arms away from each other – this can be performed either in front of, or behind your trunk to tone and stretch different muscle groups.
Make it easier: lose the resistance band.
Shadow boxing is a great way to get your heart rate up and let out some tension, without actually having to put on a pair of gloves. Simply pull out your best boxing moves by keeping your form tight, engaging your core, moving from your hips and staying light on your toes.
Make it easier: lose the bounce and concentrate on your upper body and core.
This one does what it says on the tin. Run on the spot, as fast as you can, brining your knees up high towards your chest but without losing the tension in your core. Your knees should come up to meet your chest, not the other way around.
Make it easier: Sorry… there’s no getting around this one
Alternating Side Plank
Side elbow plank right: Roll your body to right to do a side elbow plank, with feet stacked. Raise your arm in a straight line from your ear upwards to challenge your core
Elbow plank: Return to elbow plank in centre.
Side elbow plank left: Roll to the left to perform an elbow plank on left side. Raise your opposite arm in a straight line from your ear upwards to challenge your core
Elbow plank: Return to elbow plank one last time.
Make it easier: Instead of raising your arm, you can always keep your hand on your hips. Also, if stacking your feet is too difficult, there’s always the option to keep your bottom knee resting on the ground for more stability.
Start in a traditional plank with your shoulders over your hands and weight on just your toes.
With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest, with the toes just off the ground. Return to your basic plank. Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
Make it easier: slow it down.
Opposite Straight Arm-Leg Dead Bug
Lie face up on the floor with your arms straight above you and your lower back pressed into the floor. Your legs should be pointing straight up upwards the sky/ceiling, with a micro-bend in your knee to protect the joint. This is the starting position.
Simultaneously lower your right arm to the floor above your head while straightening your left leg to the floor. Pause, and then return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
Make it easier: Sorry… this is another one that you’ve just got to push through.
Star Jumps With a Deep Squat
Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes parallel to one another. Engage your glutes and core, and send your hips back as you sink into a squat. From the bottom of your squat, use all of your strength to explode up, getting both feet off the ground. Land lightly on your toes, and immediately sink into your next squat. Repeat.
Make it easier: Skip the jump, and perform bodyweight squats with perfect form as quickly as possible.