InnerFight Podcast: Fitness under 3 minutes

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Five ways to work up a sweat in the comfort of your own home

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Make things easy: Exercise at home.

With each of the following five workout exercises, the bonus is you don’t have to even leave your own home!

These are the perfect physical movements to boost your heart rate, bust calories quickly and work key muscle groups throughout the body.

To make things more comfortable, get your workout mat at the ready so you’re not putting any unnecessary pressure on your knees back and lower leg joints. This is the only equipment you’ll need.

Take 30 minutes out of your day and kick off your weekend with a health kick.

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RESISTANCE TRAINING

Typically, you think of lifting weights and pumping iron when you hear this training term – but there’s another way in which you can create resistance – simply use your own body weight.

A mixture of push-ups, tricep dips (find a window ledge or the edge of your bed), burpees, squats and lunges will see you use your own body as resistance and build strength.

Complete up to 10 repetitions and three sets with each exercise, factoring short breaks in-between.

RUNNING ON THE SPOT

Start in a standing position and begin to jog on the spot, whilst staying light on your toes.

Keep the top half of your body straight and tall and work your arms in a fast and fluid motion, mimicking something like what you’d see a sprinter do during a race.

The great thing about this exercise is that there are several adaptations which will equally help spike your heart rate.

High knees and butt kicks work the big muscle groups like your quads and hamstrings. Complete various intervals with rest sandwiched in between.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

These are tough.

Adopt a high plank position with your hips high and your hands and feet rooted to the floor.

Engage your core, keep your shoulders arms width apart and form a straight line from the top half of your body to your ankles.

One leg at a time, lift each leg off the floor and raise your knees to as close to your chest as possible, then land on the floor and switch legs.

You can actually make this exercise harder by twisting your knees and hips inward.

LEG LIFTS

These are especially as efficient if you want to tone up and work your abdominal muscles.

Lie on the floor on your back and press your lower back against the mat, keep your hands beside your hips and lift your legs together straight up to a 90-degree angle.

Hold for a couple of seconds and lower them back down so you’re just about hovering above the floor, and repeat the exercise.

VERTICAL JUMPS

And finally, a fun exercise to finish.

The goal – to jump as high as possible. Slightly bend your knees and keep your feet hip width apart, arch your upper body and swing your arms behind you to build momentum.

Swing your arms forward, jump forward and aim to land around a metre in front of you. Try to land
lightly and then repeat.

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Five things you need to know about stretching

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Stretch and go.

Stretching has many benefits that can really help your body to stay fresh, active and feeling good.

From warming up properly to warming down, to a few stretches as you get out of the bed in the morning and go to sleep at night – stretching can pay dividends in a variety of different ways.

Whether you’re targeting your leg muscles, such as the quads, hamstrings, abductors and glutes – or upper body muscles like deltoids, biceps and pectorals – it’s the best way to work every aspect of your body.

Here are Sport360’s five stretching pointers

STRETCHING HELPS TO AVOID INJURY

Indeed, focusing on areas of your body that feel tight and need work can help reduce the risk of injury and generate greater blood flow, reducing the build up of lactate acid.

Regular stretching will also rapidly improve your flexibility and get rid of aches and niggling pains.

HOLD THE STRETCH

If you’re playing football or running a marathon, stopping for a quick stretch can really help you. Ideally you want to try and hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds – and often – a bit more.

This allows your body to ease into the movement and gives sufficient time to strengthen and lengthen a tight muscle.

Try not to bounce, wobble and avoid sudden movements of the body or you could end up tweaking or pulling a muscle.

TRY DYNAMIC STRETCHES

Essentially, this means stretching with movement – the opposite to static stretching.

Lunges, squats, step-ups, twists, kicks and jumps are all great ways to activate key core muscle groups and add a freeflowing feel to your workout.

Stretching can also help improve your balance and co-ordination.

A short burst of dynamic movements before exercise, such as a 10km run, will help to get your body moving quickly and with greater efficiency.

TAKE YOUR STRETCHING TO THE NEXT LEVEL…JOIN A YOGA/PILATES CLASS

With an improvement in your flexibility and a renewed sense of what your body can do, why not start a flexibility class such as yoga and pilates. It’s the best way to learn new exercises and routines, and at the same time, meet new people.

STRETCHING CAN ALLEVIATE A POOR POSTURE

We can all get stuck in a rut of sitting in the office, often slouching, for hours on end.

Sitting down for extended periods can cause extreme tightness in our hip flexors (known as the tightest muscle group in the body) and glutes.

In turn, lots of computer work can contribute to tired shoulders and compressed chest muscles.

Luckily, stretching is a great way to improve your range of motion and get your body moving.

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