How did last week go with the new healthy eating plan? Now it’s time to add in a little movement and exercise to start really seeing those results.
Consistency is key when it comes to exercise. You don’t need to exercise for hours at a time, as long as you are doing it regularly. Fit exercise into your daily lifestyle at a time that is good for you, whether that’s morning or evening or split between the two. Do what works for you. Setting unachievable goals only sets us up to fail. Read our blog on why 10 minutes exercise a day is enough.
We’ve listed exercises in blocks of 10 minutes so, if you only have 10 minutes, pick one block to do, but if you have longer (this can vary between days), then add a second block to give you a longer workout. Try to aim for between 10 – 20 minutes a day and alternate between upper and lower body exercises and mix with core or cardio. If you can get to the gym (www.wfitness.co.uk) to do the circuit, that’s great, but on the days that you can’t, try a combination of the following 10-minute exercise routines. Do each exercise for 45 seconds followed by a 15 second active rest (jog) or complete rest and repeat twice through. We have included 2 sets of each so that you can mix and match what works for you.
- Butt kicks
- Star Jumps
- Lateral punches
- Rockets (touch the floor then reach up to the ceiling and propel into a jump)
- Jump lunges
- Side-step and toe touch (take 3 fast steps to the side and touch your toe with the alternate hand and then repeat in the opposite direction)
- Squat and floor touch (squat and touch the floor with your hands, then, as you come up, jump your feet together and then jump back into a squat and repeat)
- High knees (jog, bringing knees up to chest level)
- Fast mountain climbers (start in plank position and bring one knee towards the chest. Alternate legs in a running motion)
*Keep abs contracted*
- Ab crunch
- Flutter kicks (lie on the floor and raise your legs a few inches from the floor. Make small vertical scissor movements)
- Plank hips dips (start in plank position on your hands and dip each hip down towards the floor in turn, with a pause at the top of the movement)
- Toe taps (lie on the floor with legs bent and in the air. Tap each toe down to the floor alternately)
- Russian twists (sit on the floor with legs bent and lean back until you feel your abs engage. Hold your hands together in front of you and twist to one side, taking your hands towards the floor then twist to the other side and alternate)
- Ab crunch with hold (hold for 3 seconds on every third crunch)
- Sit ups (control your ab muscles, especially on the way down)
- In & Outs (sit on the floor with your body in a ‘V’, leaning back but not touching the floor, and with your legs straight. Then lift your upper body up and bring your knees in towards your chest. Repeat the in and out movement)
- Bicycle crunches (lie on the floor and twist your torso as you move your elbow towards the opposite knee. Continue in a cycling motion)
- Plank (rest on your forearms and toes, making sure that your body is in a straight line and your hips are not dipping down or lifted. Squeeze your abs and hold the position for the time – or build up to the full time)
Check out how to do core exercises correctly here: Core Exercises and How Do I Know If I’m Doing Them Correctly?
- Push ups on knees (start with your arms straight and under your shoulders. Move your knees back so that your body is in a straight line. Engage core and glute muscles, keep your elbows in, they should point towards your knees, and bend the elbows to lower towards the floor. Get as close to the floor as you can before pushing back up through the hands, keeping the muscles engaged. Your head and shoulders must move in front of your hands as you lower down). Perfect the technique and concentrate on quality rather than quantity.
- Arm circles (stand with arms out to the sides. Make small circles in one direction and change direction halfway through the time)
- Back fly (hold a dumbbell in each hand, or water bottles/tins of beans, and take a step forward with one leg. Hinge from the waist into a semi-lunge. Keep a slight bend at the elbow, with your arms in front of your body and palms facing each other. Raise arms out to the sides, with the palms facing the floor. Lower arms back down slowly)
- Triceps dips (stand facing away from a chair or step and grip the edge with your hands. Lower until your bum is just off the chair and bend your legs so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. The further away from the chair your legs are, the more difficult it will be. Straighten your arms to start, engage your triceps and lower your body towards the floor until they are at a 90° angle, then push back up)
- Bicep curl (stand with feet hip width apart and arms by your sides. Hold a dumbbell or water bottle/tin of beans in each hand and have your palms facing forwards. Keeping your arms from your shoulders to your elbows close to your body, bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Slowly lower back down and repeat. Make sure that you keep your wrists in line with your arms)
- Triceps pulse (stand with arms by your side and palms facing backwards. Raise arms behind you and then pulse backwards)
- Chest press (lie on the floor with your arms out to the side and elbows bent. Holding a dumbbell/can/water bottle in each hand, push up to the ceiling and return without touching the floor – Make sure that your elbows are slightly lower than your shoulders)
- Back pull (stand with arms by your sides and a dumbbell in each hand. Take one step forwards and lean slightly forwards. Pull your elbows back so that you are squeezing your shoulder blades together, and lower back down)
- Shoulder press (stand with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms out to the sides with your elbows bent and your palms facing forwards. Push the weights up until your arms are straight, without locking your elbows, and slowly lower to the start position)
- Plank with shoulder taps (start in plank position on your hands and toes, keeping your body in a straight line. Slowly lift one hand to tap the opposite shoulder and then alternate hands for the time)
- Squats (Stand with feet parallel a little wider than hip distance apart. Everyone’s position will be slightly different so find what is comfortable for you. Slowly bend your legs as though sitting down in a chair. Keep your head and chest up and make sure that your knees don’t come forward over your toes. Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor. Push back up to standing)
- Reverse lunges (stand straight and take a large step back with your left foot – make sure that you are taking a big enough step back – lower your hips, bending your legs until both legs are at a 90° angle. Push back up by pressing your right heel into the floor and bringing your left leg back to the start positions. Repeat with the other leg)
- Donkey kicks (kneel on all fours and, keeping your back straight and your pelvis in a neutral position, lift one leg up, bend at the knee and push the heel up to the ceiling. Bring the leg down and towards your chest and repeat for half the time and then change legs. Make sure your back and hips stay stable and still and do not rock)
- Lateral lunge (stand with legs hip distance apart. Take a large step to the left, bending your left knee until it is at a 90° angle and pushing your hips back. Keep your head and chest up. Push up through the left heel to return to the start and repeat with the right leg)
- Glute bridge (lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Push up through your heels until your body is in a straight line from your head to your knees. Squeeze your glutes tightly and hold for a couple of seconds. Slowly return and push back up without touching the floor)
- Side leg raises (lie on your side with your body in a straight line. Keep your hips stable – don’t rock them backwards or forwards. Contract your glute muscles and slowly raise and lower your top leg. Do half the time on one leg and then change legs)
- Step ups (you can use the bottom step for this. Step one leg up, then the other, and then return each foot to the floor. If you start with your right foot, change halfway through the time to start with your left foot)
- Squat pulse (start in a squat position and push up 1–2 inches through your heels. Bend your legs to lower back down and repeat in this pulse movement. Remember to keep your head and chest up)
- Fire hydrants (kneel on all fours and, keeping your back straight, squeeze the glutes and take one leg out to the side, keeping the leg bent. Lower the leg back down and repeat for half the time and then change legs)
- Monster walk (place a resistance band just above your knees and start in a semi-squat position, keeping head and chest up. Take 3 large steps to the right – as far as the band will allow – and then the same in the other direction)
Check out how to do squats correctly.
Stretch – Hold stretches for 10-15 seconds
- Lie on the floor on your front, with your legs straight and push up onto your hands, looking up to the ceiling.
- Stand and, raising your hands above your head, lean backwards until you feel the stretch in your abs.
- Cat/cow – start on all fours and arch your back whilst tucking your chin into your chest. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your abs and look up to the ceiling. Alternate.
- Shoulders – Stand and take one arm across the chest. Pull your arm towards your chest with the other arm. Repeat with the other arm.
- Chest – Stand and clasp your hands together behind your back. Lift your arms up, keeping them straight.
- Triceps – Take one arm over and behind your head. Push down slowly with the other hand. Repeat with the other arm.
- Neck – Stand with one hand on your head. Gently pull your head down towards your shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
- Biceps – Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place your hands behind you with your fingers pointing away from your body. Keep your hands still and slide your bum away from them until you feel a stretch in your biceps. This is also good for your chest and shoulders.
- Glutes – Lie on the floor and take one ankle across the opposite knee. Put your hands around your thigh and pull towards your chest. Repeat with the other leg.
- Calves/hamstrings – Stand with one leg in front of the other. Bend the back leg and rest the front leg on your heel. Place your hands together on your bent leg. Repeat with the other leg.
- Hamstrings – Stand with one foot crossed in front of the other. Bend from the hips and try to touch the floor. Keep your back knee straight. Repeat with the other side.
- Quads – Stand, with knees together, and pull one foot up towards your bum. Hold onto something if you need. Repeat with the other leg.
- Back – Lie on your front and push back until your bum is on your heels – child’s pose. Relax your head and shoulders into the floor.
Check out some common mistakes made when exercising to make sure you’re getting the best out of your workout!
Let’s create our own sustainable healthy habits that work for us well into the New Year and beyond!
We hope that you have enjoyed both the healthy eating plan and the exercise plan. All you have to do now is look forward to your fit and fabulous Christmas!
Caroline & Hannah xx