Archive | March, 2013

Functional core workout #2

14 Mar

bodyweight exercise

I am pleased to hear that many of you have been working hard and trying to complete the functional workout I posted a few weeks ago. As I’m sure you have found, it works the whole body and therefore can feel difficult and tiring the first few times you do it but stick with it and it can only get easier.

To mix it up a bit I have given you another workout to try. This by no means replaces the other one, it simply adds to it to get you a wider choice of exercises to put in your routine.  If you like to run, it can be a great addition to do when you get home or in the middle of your run when you want a change of focus.

Again there are 5 exercises and I suggest you try and do between 3 – 5 rounds of the circuit depending on how much time you have and your fitness level. Give yourself a minute to rest in between each round but try to limit the rest periods between each exercise.

1. Walkouts with a twist (5)

2. Leg swings (15)

3. High plank with single leg crunches (10)

4. side plank dips

5. fast twists

 

Exercise descriptions

1. Walkouts with twist – Walk your hands from a standing position out to a high plank. The in turn reach your hand behind the other one as far as you can twisting your torso to help. Once you have reached on both sides, walk you hands right back up to a standing position. This is 1 repetition.

2. Leg swings – In a standing position (holding onto a wall for balance if needed) swing one leg forward reaching with the opposite hand to try and touch your foot. Let your leg swing back as far as it goes before trying again. When you have done your 15 repetitions, turn around and try the other leg.

3.  High plank single leg crunches – Forming a plank position on your hands, not elbows, you will bring one knee in towards your elbow before straightening it as high as you can. Keep going on the same leg until all 10 repetitions have been completed, then do the same with the other leg.

4.  Side plank dips – Balance yourself on your elbow in a side plank (up to you how you have your feet, as long as you’re balanced) and dip your lower hip to the ground and back up again. Repeat this 15 times on one side before turning onto the other side.

5. Fast twists – This exercise is done in a Vsit position. Sit on the floor with your feet out in front of you and lean back to form a V shape! You’re going to lean back and twist from side to side touching the floor as fast as you can for 20 twists. This exercise involves 3 sets of 20 twists per round.

 

If you do not quite understand any of my descriptions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact and I can try to explain them in a different way or answer any of your other questions.

Good luck and happy exercising 🙂

 

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“psychology” of exercise

13 Mar

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Today I wanted to talk a little bit about the psychology of exercise and how it can prevent people getting the results they are working for.

How many times have you found yourself saying the following things…

I’ve been to the gym today so it’s ok if I have another slice of cake

I’ll make up for that curry with a run tomorrow

I had a really great training session today so it won’t matter if I have a few drinks (and crisps, and a kebab…)

The truth is that if you don’t change all your bad habits and not just the ones in the gym, you won’t get anywhere near the results you are hoping and working for! If you are working towards the goal of becoming leaner then you want to be creating a calorie deficit. Burning off calories in the gym is the first step but then if you eat more because you “deserve” it,  you may be bringing it back to equal again. You may not gain any weight, and if your goal is maintenance then fantastic but if you are looking to change your body then you have to address it from all aspects of your life!

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the hour you spend in the gym is a magic hour and will change your body! It is the first step but if you don’t change your diet and lifestyle it is a wasted step!

I’m not saying that you need to forbid yourself any snacks or enjoyable treats but just think carefully about why you put in those hours at the gym when you next go to grab the second slice of cake or order your second beer!! Is it worth it?! 

#1 TOP TIP

4 Mar

top-tips

 

When people find out I am a personal trainer there are always remarks like “oh I bet you are super healthy and go to the gym all the time!”  but there is very often one question that I get asked from the get-go and that is…

“What is your top tip for getting into shape?”

Obviously there are so many answers to this question and every trainer will come up with their own “top tip” but for me it’s easy…

…MIX IT UP! That is my top tip in a nutshell and I will now explain why!

Your body is a very clever thing. It can heal you from disease, keep you cool or warm, fix broken bones and because it is so clever you have to continually challenge it. If you run for half an hour every day, the first few times it will feel difficult, then very quickly you will be finding it easier and easier. As much as you will feel great for this improvement, because the body isn’t working so hard to complete the task it doesn’t use as much energy!!

You need to constantly keep your body guessing. Don’t let it get comfortable and know what’s coming next. If you like the thought of running for half an hour then that is fine but don’t do it everyday and even when you do it, try to push yourself to do it in a quicker time or maybe on an incline!

#1 Challenge
Take one week and make sure that no two exercise sessions are the same.

Here is an example:
1. swimming
2. running
3. resistance/weights
4. class (spinning/aerobics/zumba…)

It can definitely be a challenge to get out of your comfort zone but trust me your body will react really well to it and you never know, you may find something that you really enjoy!! Continue pushing yourself, never settle for average you can always do more!!

Don’t forget to MIX IT UP!