If you ask anyone about their 2018 New Year resolutions, there’s a high chance that upping their exercise game is on the list, and before your eyes roll back into your head, hear us out…

Joining a gym isn’t always necessarily the answer as exercise can quickly feel like an expensive chore, therefore we have put together a few at-home exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere. We’re hoping these will help us all to stay energised and keep up the fitness resolution throughout and beyond January.

It is always important to start with at least a 5-minute warm up to work on your muscles while increasing your heart rate. If you own a skipping rope, this is a fantastic way to warm-up. If you don’t, don’t worry, but should you want to buy one you can do so cheaply. A few examples here.

 

Skipping warm-up

– 2 minutes – Low-intensity skip
– 20 seconds – High-intensity (high knees, faster pace) / 10 seconds low-intensity skipping
– 20 seconds- High-intensity (high knees, faster pace) / 10 seconds low-intensity skipping
– 20 seconds- High-intensity (high knees, faster pace) / 10 seconds low-intensity skipping
– 30 seconds – Rest
– 1 minute – Low-intensity skipping

Standard warm-up

60 seconds – March on the spot (stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your left leg up to your chest then back to the floor, followed by your right leg. Repeat for 60 seconds)

60 seconds – Walk outs (stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the hips and plant your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, a couple of inches in front of your feet. Walk your hands forward until your body is in a push up position. Now reverse the movement and return to standing)

60 seconds – Jumping jacks (Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump up just enough to spread your feet out wide. Quickly reverse the movement and repeat.)

60 seconds – Alternate lunges with rotation (Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one foot and slowly lower your body into a lunge. Your front knee should be bent at 90 degrees and your rear knee should be a few inches off the floor. As you lunge, rotate your upper body toward your lead leg. Rotate from your upper back—not your lower back. Pause, and return to the starting position. Now repeat with the other leg leading and repeat).

30 seconds – Double arm rotation forwards (Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms by your side. Swing both arms simultaneously forwards as if drawing a circle with each arm).

30 seconds – Double arm rotation backwards (Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms by your side. Swing both arms simultaneously backwards as if drawing a circle with each arm).

Now that you’re all warmed up, you’re ready to tackle the at-home HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) burner. HIIT combines quick bursts of exercise with recovery periods, and the reason for its popularity? The results proven from short explosive exercise are great! This also means the added bonus of shorter exercise sessions (see, it’s not all bad…)

HIIT raises the heartrate very quickly, providing you are putting 100% effort into the burst of exercise. It is essential that you work as hard as you possibly can during the intervals and take the rest in-between to reap the rewards. The key to success is to make sure that you do every set properly and that every rep is precise; go for technique on your first few rounds and then build up to speed.

Home workout

There are a total of six exercises and you have four rounds to complete them, with 30-40 seconds in-between each round (so the recovery after exercise six is always longer).

Round 1 – 20 second interval and 20 second recovery
Round 2 – 30 second interval and 20 second recovery
Round 3 – 40 second interval and 20 second recovery
Round 4 – 20 second interval with 20 second recovery

1-Squat with knee lift II

Exercise 1: Squat with knee lift

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and drop into a squat. Keep you back straight and make sure your legs are bent at 90 degrees. Power back up and bring your right knee up to meet your left elbow, then back into a squat and back up with a left knee up. That’s one rep.

1-Squat with knee lift IV

Exercise 2: Burpee

Stand with your feet about twice shoulder-width and your arms hanging naturally by your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a sumo squat until you can place both hands on the floor between your feet. Jump or walk your legs back so you’re in a push up position. Quickly pull your legs back into a sumo squat and then stand up. That’s one rep.

3-Bicycle Crunch copy

Exercise 3: Bicycle crunch

Lie on your back and bring your hands up to your temples. Crunching your abs, bring your left knee in towards your waist while simultaneously bringing your right elbow in to meet it, then swap sides. It should be a fluid motion, as if you were riding a bike. To challenge yourself you can speed the movement up and slow it down.

4-Glute Bridge III

Exercise 4: Glute bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms out to the sides. Lift your hips off the mat so your back, hips and thighs are in a line. Remember to keep your glutes and core engaged. Then lower your hips to the floor. Repeat the motion.

Exercise 5: Butt kicks into high knees

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Kick your feet up behind you one at a time until the heel touches the glutes and pump your arms at the same time. Repeat 10 butt kicks and then swap to 10 high knees, raising your knees in front of your chest and pumping your arms.

6-Plank I

Exercise 6: Plank

A plank is simple but effective if you are in the right position! Assume a push up position, but bend your elbows and rest your forearms on the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. Now tighten your core and remember to breathe.

Some food for thought before we finish; it will make it much easier to stick to a healthier way of life if you remember to get plenty of rest and drink at least two litres of water each day. It is also good to remember that getting fit and staying healthy is as much what you put into your body as the exercise you take, so remember to make better choices this January to really reap the rewards of your New Year’s resolution!

Working out is sweaty business, so why not add Soft & Gentle’s new Aluminium Roll On Anti-Perspirant or Dandi Patch to your box this month?

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