Now we (some) are back at the gym, you can add in this weighted core workout to finish off your usual routine. Just remember that if you haven’t been working out regularly over these last few months, you will need to take it steady. Don’t assume you can do exactly what you did before. Slowly increase your intensity/repetitions/weight until you are back to your pre-COVID sessions and then work on progressing further.
August has arrived! Many of us won’t be going on holiday anywhere too far afield this month so sticking to some sort of routine should be fairly easy. I signed up to one of my favourite trainers to take part in a challenge #takeback2020 – the app is brilliant but has a fee attached to the premium workout (there are some excellent short free workouts too). If you fancy being put through your paces by Jillian Michaels then download it and sign up! That’s my challenge sorted – I am adding in running and swimming (if I can get a place) and I may even add in a spinning class (space permitting). We all just have to be a bit more organised with our fitness plans!
Alternatively, if signing up to an app isn’t your bag, Jillian has also created this 30-minute session you could add into your routine.
Is your gym open? Mine isn’t yet, but will be soon. So if you are super eager to get back to it, please remember that your home workouts may not have been as much as you used to do, so hitting the gym hard isn’t a good idea. Here are a few tips to get you ready.
If you are like me, chest will probably be last on your list to work out. But there are some variations on the usual press up that might inspire you. Many of these exercises also include working other muscles groups – giving you more bang for your buck. Give them a go.
Your core (centre of your body) is used continually, you may not even be aware of it as it isn’t just when you do specific abdominal exercises.
With any luck we will be able to do a challenge that use gyms/weights next month. So for now – here’s this at home plan to keep you going.
This little session just needs a wall – we all have one of those… Get working on those glutes and abs.
Gyms are still not open, and maybe you won’t be rushing back when they finally do. This workout can be done without the gym – just grab a band (or order one – well worth it) and get working out. Band workouts are great for all fitness levels.
So many of us are spending more time in one position, this can lead to all sorts of issues such as tight, stiff limbs, back pain, aching neck and shoulders. Try adding in some gentle movement by trying out these mobility exercises.
Hopefully you are still going strong with your workouts, but, if like me you have days when you can’t think what to do, I put on a YouTube video or open up a workout from Jillian Michaels’ app. I love her workouts, especially when I want someone else to think for me! So here’s her home workout tips. Have a read and maybe give it a try.
Or maybe try out the June Challenge!
Here’s a workout you can do at home to get your heart rate up, no running required! This can be done with limited space so ideal for this time where the gym and our normal routines are out of the window!
Why not also add in some strength work with this months challenge.
Maybe, like me, you have been a runner on and off (mostly off in my case), then you may appreciate these tips to make it more enjoyable.
Sometimes I love it, luckily I live near a lovely park with different options for my runs so I don’t get bored, but sometimes it just doesn’t work for me. My legs aren’t happy and my brain keeps telling me not to do it. I rarely come back from a run, however short, wishing I hadn’t done it though. I guess that could be why I keep doing it.
At the moment running is one form of exercise that seems easy to do, it’s free, it gets you outside, it can really boost your mood. Just don’t forget to warm up and start slowly and stretch post run!
So many more people are taking up running at this time, it’s great to get outdoors and run/walk/cycle. Just being outside boosts your mood, vitamin D (at this time of year) and is a perfect way to get some time out, especially if you are living in a busy household.
How do you start running? Just grab shoes and go? Well to look after your body I would suggest having a read of this feature and consider some of the points. If nothing else make sure you start with some gentle movement to get the body warmed up for running and don’t forget to stretch afterwards!
Other things to consider are – your shoes! Posture – do you get any pain? Work on strengthening glutes, back and core as these are usually areas that cause problems. And enjoy it!
A plank can be done any time and anywhere, no equipment needed and with so many variations, you can always find an option to suit. Make sure whichever option you choose (on your knees or in full plank) that your hips don’t dip too low (you will feel it in your back) or too high (you will feel it in your shoulders). Keep the core engaged and squeeze the glutes. Try these out!
We are all stuck at home at the moment, and using gyms is out of the question (unless you have your own at home), so here is a challenge to keep you fit over the next 28 days.
Work to your level and don’t forget to warm up at the start. cool down and stretch at the end. Give it a go!
As I said before a band is a neat bit of kit. and one I would suggest anyone could buy and get a good workout with, suitable for all fitness levels. Here is a great core workout with or without a band. The band just ads some extra resistance. Give it a try.
A very common issue seen in gyms is knee pain! Sometimes this is caused by postural imbalance from poor posture created by an injury or habit. Quite often there is something else not in the right alignment – hips, ankle, poor core or glute activation. So strengthening the muscles around the knee area can help stabilise and reduce pain. Here are a few exercises and some more details and resource that can help you deal with this pain.
If you have ongoing pain then it is advisable to get referred for a scan or physio to find out what the problem is exactly.
If there is one bit of kit I recommend anyone buys, it’s a resistance band – they can go anywhere (holiday or working away), require very little storage space and can be used for all sort of exercises. A versatile piece of kit!
There are a few variations on a plank – a great exercise for strengthening the whole of your core, there is more to the core than just your abdominal muscles, such as your back. but a strong core affects the whole of the body, your posture, perhaps the pain or discomfort you feel in hips or glutes. Get working on your plank to improve your strength, balance and mobility.
Since we aren’t going to the gym for our workouts (maybe you never did), this challenge can be done at home or in your garden, using just your own bodyweight. Keeping active is really important.
And if you are taking part on online classes please check the person you are following is qualified.
Some ab work to keep your core strong, without having to get on the floor. At this time when you may be stuck inside or have small spaces this upright workout might be a good one for you.
If you don’t have any weights use cans/bottles or just reduce the speed of the exercise, by keeping the muscles under tension it encourages them to work harder.
It’s not all about the perfect looking bum. Having good strong glutes is actually important for even the simplest of things – walking. If you have weak glute muscles then you may find you have lower back or knee pain amongst other things.
So it’s important to put some work in to strengthen them, not only will it reduce your risk of injury, you could also improve performance in sport or simply just walk further or for longer. Try these exercises as part of your gym session – or try some of them at home.
Don’t forget to stretch after you have worked them – tight muscles will more likely cause injury!
Spring is coming – soon – I hope – so it won’t be long before we all start thinking about summer holidays and the summery clothing. And that may mean we need to start putting in a bit more effort to feel better about how we look in the swimwear.
But it’s not all about looking good. HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – is a great way to workout, especially if you are short on time. It will get the heart rate up in short bursts which improves cardiovascular function (meaning your heart works more efficiently). If you are new to HIIT take it steady at first and build up. It will also improve strength and is an ideal way to cross train – in other words doing a mix of training to improve performance for whatever goal you are working towards.
HIIT is great, I love interval training, it doesn’t always have to be high intensity or impact, you can build up as you get stronger and fitter, but the short burst make it an easy to fit in workout. This one is all about the core. Give it a go!
The core, a it sounds, is the central point of the body, by having strength in the core – which are the muscles around the back/stomach – will enable you to keep good posture, we spend lots of time sitting or leaning forward and this can weaken the muscles, eventually creating poor posture. Poor posture also increases risk of injury and falls.
Time to get that core engaged!
Today is a bit wet and wild, so heading out to do anything is probably not on the cards…. However you can still get a work out done at home. Get those abs working while you watch a movie. Give it a go.
Pelvic floor work is really important, not just for those who have given birth, but for everyone. Not only will they help with flatter abdominals but can reduce back pain and more embarrassing issues like leakage from coughing/sneezing. Don’t wait for their to be an issue, these exercises can easily be added into any workout.
When you think about working your core, undoubtedly you think floor work, well here’s a session to try that will make you think again. When you are standing up you are using your core, adding in some of these exercises means you engage more muscles, the floor keeps you stable, when you are on your feet you have to use more stabilising muscles, not only helping you work the core but balance work too. Add some of these into your weekly workouts.https://www.wellandgood.com/good-sweat/standing-ab-exercises/
I love HIIT – high intensity sessions, they get the job done and quickly. This session is focused on core work so could be done alone or added to your other workouts, maybe a cycle, swim, run or weights session. By mixing up your workouts it not only keeps them interesting but also makes your body work harder because it doesn’t know what to expect. if you get high intensity training right, you will also burn calories long after the workout. Win win!
It can be hard getting back into fitness post holiday season. Here’s a great starting point.
Even if you have kept up your training, you may still be feeling a little Christmas full, so how about starting with some core work, something you can do wherever you are. Try this workout out to get you started.
If you aren’t working between Christmas and the New Year, but don’t have time for a gym visit, this at home workout might be just what you need. A 20-minute workout focused on cardio and some core.
HIIT with a difference. This time it’s about strength work. If you can get into the gym for some time out this workout might be just what you need. It’s less about speed and more about tempo, with good form. Still a short workout, so won’t take much time!
A quick workout to get you through the party season. Not actually HIIT but a speedy session that won’t take more than half an hour. If you have a band and some sort of weight – cans/water bottles, you can do this at home. Give it a go couple of times this week.
As we get closer to Christmas it gets harder to fit everything in, but keeping fit over the festive time is more beneficial for us all. Apart from keeping extra weight off, regular exercise is good for our mental health – for some this time of year is really stressful, setting aside time for a workout – however short – will help refocus the mind.
But, fitting in a workout can be tricky, so that is why HIIT workouts can be helpful. This running HIIT plan can be done in a gym or out in a park, I like Fartlek training – random speed/duration. Give it a go!
And if running doesn’t appeal you could always try this 30-day challenge.
You may or may not like HIIT, but you can adapt this 30-day challenge to make it less intense, 2-3 sessions a week would keep up your fitness over the busy time. Slowly increase your intensity or the length of the sessions as you feel it gets easier.
See how I get on with my December challenge here.
If this isn’t quite for you yet, try variations such as holding a weight in both hands in front of you. Add this into your basic squat or lunge.
We all have a wall somewhere….. So why not use it for more than just a place for hanging pictures and try this workout. Some of the exercises can be done in a simpler form if the wall makes them too tricky. Make sure you have mastered the basics before add these in for a bit of variety!
Add to your basic workout with a band. The best thing about this piece of kit is that it doesn’t take up much room and it doesn’t have to cost much either. The band enables you to strengthen muscles without adding in to much resistance, ideal if you are a beginner, if you need to work on any imbalances or your technique, which will enable you to progress safely to heavier weights. Add a band to your sessions!
My November challenge is to get back into my weight training, why don’t you try this to get you started? Nail some of these basic exercises and you can build on your training as the weeks go by.
It’s January, resolution time of year – and for many, that means getting into a fitness regime. If you have had a couple of weeks off, coming back from injury/illness or a newbie, bodyweight workouts are a good place to start. This one takes about 30 minutes.
Don’t forget to warm up and stretch after! Do what you can, start off slow and build up. And enjoy it! Working out should never be a chore – it’s keeping you healthy and helping you do more for longer.
Lets get June off to a good start with this challenge. All bodyweight exercises so you can do this without worrying about the gym.
Combine strength with high intensity training and you have a workout to get you stronger and fitter in no time. Concentrate on technique before you start blasting through the workout to ensure you avoid injury!
This little ab blast can be done anywhere, with no equipment, when time is not on your side. Ideally you will do this as part of your workout routine, but if you don’t have one just get started with this.
Skipping is great fun, reminds us of our childhood, except skipping seemed easier then! This is a great workout which also includes some strength moves. If in doubt, just skip, there are variations that might be too tricky, so just keep it simple and add in the more complicated moves as you are able to.
This is a great workout if you want to avoid jumping or any impact on the knee. Combining standard circuit moves such as tricep dips, planks and boxing drills, this will keep you working hard but is kind on the joints. Give it a go!
See May in with a strong high intensity cardio challenge. Make sure you warm up before and that you stretch after. If you haven’t done any workouts like this before then take it steady and build it up. High intensity training is amazing but it’s not for those new to exercise, always listen to your body. Enjoy!
Five minutes fitness test – give it a try, then repeat it again in a few weeks to see how you have improved!
This is a great, simple, core workout, that can be done anywhere, it just needs you and some time. Slow controlled movements should help you feel calm while working your core.
This workout will get your glutes really working, with some different variations on the usual glute bridge, squats and lunges. Why not give it a go….
It’s officially spring, if only the weather would play ball! So lets get ready to lose a layer or two of clothing, which may mean you need a challenge to help you feel ready for showing a little more flesh than usual. Try this 30-day challenge to get into shape.
I love short workouts, easy to fit in between clients or chores but still give you a complete body workout. GIve this one a go, adjust weights as you need to and start of slowly building as your fitness improves.
One of my favourite classes to teach is Bootcamp, this plan lets you set your own version up at home, if the sun is out why not get into the garden or park with some friends – do some exercises as a team to keep motivated.
If you don’t have equipment you can adapt with what you do have to hand, skip on the spot, use bottles of water, cans or anything you can hold onto with some weight in. Or change up the exercises – squats, moutain climbers, planks with shoulder taps… there are endless options.
I enjoy a core workout, the whole core that is – back and abs are really important as they hold you upright and back pain is so debilitating so make sure you look after yours by strengthening it. This workout can get you started…
Here’s a four week plan to get you into weight training and feeling stronger, week by week you will increase your efforts, and by the end of March you will notice some changes and hopefully will be loving your weights sessions if you’re not already.
This circuit can be done at home or at the gym, depending on what fits into your life! Give it a go as part of your weekly routine.
Strong glutes are important for everyday life and for developing your strength and power in training – whether that is for running a 5k or a marathon, a triathlon, a hike or achieving a personal best in the weights room. Poor activation of these muscles could cause other problems such as over using hamstring or lower back muscles. Try this simple workout to get started or improve technique and strength.
If you want to get your cardio, strength & core done in one workout, this circuit could be for you. Build up as you feel able, increasing weights and duration/repetitions as you start finding it easier. Working out should be fun and leave you feeling worked but not wrung out! Enjoy…
Not for the faint-hearted,,, here’s a 30 day burpee challenge to see you through February. Work at your own pace, that may mean walking through the burpees initially. Work up to all the reps and variations. Enjoy!
Here’s a simple but tough little circuit to get you going. Give it a try….
This core workout can be done four times a week, add it into your cardio sessions and get a stronger core (back and abs). No equipment needed, just your motivation. Give it a go.
Get your heart rate up with this little circuit, no equipment required which makes it handy for home, park, hotel or gym. Add it into your weekly routine or make it your new one for a few weeks.
I am a huge Jillian Michaels fan and I thought this post on how to lose the last 10 pounds, with a simple circuit to follow, would be a good idea for January. Losing the excess holiday weight and getting your fitness back on track can be tough, so have a read of these simple tips and try out the circuit. Add it into your regular cardio (you are doing cardio?), not hours, but a few good workouts a week should help those pounds drop off.
Keep going when you get demotivated. It’s just a bad day, we all have them! Don’t dwell – you can achieve whatever you set your mind to
It’s going to be hard to get back to your fitness routine after Christmas and New Year celebrations, so how about starting with a simple challenge like this, working on those glutes. Add in some cardio, walking, cycling or swimming, take part in a new class or get an updated gym programme. You don’t need to spend hours a day, just aim for 3 sessions a week and tweak it until you find what works for you!
Most importantly, keep active each day – sit less, move more and that will make a lot of difference.
Happy New Year!
It’s been a full two years since I changed my career to become a fitness instructor, people told me I was brave, but I didn’t really think about it like that. It just seemed to be the right time to do it. So what have I learnt……
The first few months are scary, but I decided that I would stack shelves if I needed to make ends meet and, so far, I haven’t had to, but maybe that’s because I said yes to any opportunity that came my way. I applied (and got) a job at a local gym, the gym I had been a member of, so I had a monthly income, it started as cover and has become structured weekly shifts, I am still on a casual zero-hour contract, it works for me.
In less than a year I had regular clients (about 5), and a couple of regular weekly classes, as well as frequently covering classes. I hadn’t really thought about teaching classes, but with them and the mix of 1-2-1 helped me to build confidence. Which, made me set some goals, if I was going to do this, I needed to do more, so I decided on 5 classes a week and 10 regular clients, while keeping up gym shifts but also having some free time. I also completed my kettlebell training, First Aid renewal including AED training.
I also realised that my diploma had opened up opportunities for me that I hadn’t really thought about, exercise referral was one part, it’s ended up being my niche, a very rewarding one, meeting some fantastic people who brighten up my week.
It’s been hard work, but I end my second year, reaching my goals, which I am proud of, and now setting more for next year. But I wanted to look back on what I have learnt so far, to take a minute to be proud of the things I have achieved so far and what I hope to achieve in the next year.
I have learnt:
- that if you have faith in yourself you can achieve what you set your mind to.
- That I can do this job well, earn a living and enjoy it
- That taking opportunities when they appear can take you in a different direction – and sometimes that is for the best
I am proudest of
- Taking on classes when the idea of talking in front of groups used to scare me
- Hitting the goals I set well before deadline – it gave me faith in myself – people do want to train with me
- I passed my level 4 theory and am on my way to another new opportunity
I want to achieve:
- Completing my Level 4 Postural Stability Instructor course
- Teaching a couple more classes a week to keep varying my teaching skills
- Stop saying yes to things I really don’t want to do so I get free time to do the things I do want to do
I hope this post inspires anyone taking a leap into a new direction that even if it seems scary it can work out better than you hope. Sure, there are scary times, but if you never try then you will never know.
I start the New Year with a new class (Jan 2), and a new client lined up, which means I am heading forward to my 2018 goals and while I am excited I also know that this is a fickle business and it could all change – if it does, I will change direction and keep working hard.
Tis the season to be jolly, so instead of a very structured workout, why not try a game with your mates and won’t take hours! Fit this in over the Christmas holiday to keep some of those extra pounds at bay….
12 exercises of Christmas:
Sing on the song, on the first day 1 sit up, on the second day 2 leg raises and 1 sit up – and so on! Make it to day 12 and you’ll have burned off some of those treats.
Day 1 – sit up
Day 2 – 2 sit ups
Day 3 – 3 glute bridges
Day 4 – 4 x jump lunges
Day 5 – 5 x press ups
Day 6 – 6 x squat thrusts
Day 7 – 7 x crunches
Day 8 – 8 x jump squats
Day 9 – 9 x jacks
Day 10 – 10 x mountain climbers
Day 11 – 11 x squats
Day 12 – 12 x burpees
It will burn but it’s less than 15 minutes work even with rest! Look up technique for any you are unsure of. Take out jumping or put in an alternative exercise if you find some of these too challenging.
Merry Christmas x
While you can’t actually get fit in just 14 minutes, at this busy time, you can fit in a 14 minute workout at least once this week – maybe twice? And that will go some way to getting you fit. Give it a go!
This workout requires a bit of equipment, but it will be worth it. Give it a go!
Time is precious, at this time of year even more so, so why not add this at-home workout into your day, it will be easier to get it done if all you need is a spare few minutes – no travel to the gym and you can always break it down into parts.
The lights (and in some cases trees) are up, the party food is everywhere, so now would be a good time to get party ready. Try this simple challenge in the run up to Christmas, a little a day can make a big difference, so try to fit in this and as much activity each day as you can! Don’t forget that even Christmas shopping will burn calories and make your muscles work…
How about a quick tabata circuit to challenge yourself. Build up to the full circuit if you are new or find it hard, progress the time and moves as you can. Enjoy!
Sometimes all you need to get a bit fitter, maybe even lose a few pounds, are a pair of trainers and a path, whether that be in the park, along a river or just around the block. This walking plan can get you fit, try it with some friends – so you get a catch up at the same time, just don’t reward yourself with cake after!
This is perfect if you have limited space – you just need to get on a floor and work those glutes! Add this in to your routine, glute work is ideal for any of you who want a toned behind in that party dress, or if you are training for a marathon (walking or running). We all need strong glutes, if we don’t work them we can end up with other muscle being used and that can cause imbalances in our body – ending in possible injury. So get working those glutes!
It may seem a bit too early, but believe it or not, we are rapidly heading towards party season, so lets get party ready with this little black dress 30 day challenge.
Notice I didn’t actually use the word beginning in C and ending in mas… But if you are looking to see some results before that day, you need to get moving now! A good workout routine will also help you feel great as you head into this crazy time. Enjoy.
A simple interval based workout called Tabata. Nothing except you needed. Why not try this out at home or in the gym.
If you love kettlebells then try this workout. Not for everyone and technique is key! Make sure you ask a qualified instructor to get it right, that way you will have an effective and safe workout.
Try this workout from Men’s Health for a body boost.
Lets get working on those abs – 30 day challenge, add it into your usual workouts, don’t forget to rest too and stretch. Enjoy.
Set a timer for 20 minutes, that’s all you need, and of course your own body (and water). Try this quick circuit to give your workout a boost.
This is a great workout for that area that most of us want to work on, legs and bum – definitely my preferred workout day! Add this in to your week.
How about working on flexibility. It’s so important, but something (myself included) probably don’t do enough of. So here is a 10 minute session to add into your day, give it a go this week.
Yep just 5 minutes! Simple exercises you can do anywhere. Try to build up from 5 minutes to 20 for more benefits.
Push ups are tough, but there are variations – start on your knees and build up from there. It won’t take long! Just keep practicing – try this 30-day challenge!
How about a bit of a strength workout this week? Give this a go 3 x a week.
Everyone loves a squat – but sometimes the same old thing gets boring. Try out some of these variations to keep it interesting and add a challenge.
How about trying out some non-treadmill cardio workouts. Not everyone loves the treadmill….
How about getting those legs out for summer. Try this workout as part of your usual routine!
For this month I thought we would add in some cardio. Go at your own pace and build it up if you’re just starting out, for the more frequent exercisers go for the harder version of each exercise. Enjoy.
Lets get those summer abs! Try adding this to your current workout and check out the nutrition tips too. However hard you work you won’t see those muscles unless you eat right.
I love a wall sit, so thought this challenge would be perfect to work those summer legs and bum and core. to keep yourself busy how about hold some hand weights and try front raises, side raises, bicep curls. Get the benefit of working many muscle groups and seeing some good results in 30 days. Good luck!
Summer is coming, lets get those arms working so you can wear those little tops with confidence. Try this work out as part of your routine.
No gym required, just a mat and you! Sculpting moves in a workout created by Tracy Anderson.
Try out this at-home circuit! You can follow the video or just read through (and see pictures) each exercise. Give it a go as part of your workout this week.
A simple but effective workout – two different plans to keep you from getting bored. Give them a try and see how good you feel at the end of the month!
Everyone has 5 minutes! So why not use it wisely and get that toned bum for summer. Try this out as part of your at home workout plan!
If you can find 20 minutes in your day, then you can get a workout done! This workout requires only you! If you want to add some challenge to it over time then add in some dumb bells. Give it a go!
A workout you can do anywhere, all you need is a resistance band! Try different strength bands to increase the challenge.
High Intensity is not for everyone, build up to it. But if you have been doing it regularly as part of a routine, you could try this challenge out!
If you feel like you’re always doing squats and not much else, try out this lower body workout – no squats! Add a little variety to your sessions.