Out-Of-The-Box Exercises To Get In Shape For The New Year
You know the drill – once the festive season has subsided, the reality sets in and the weeks of indulgence come to roost. And chances are, you’re a few pounds heavier than before.
But all’s not lost – having a few exercises that really pack a punch can be a powerful tool in your arsenal when it comes to undoing the effects of overindulgence. And what’s more, if you’re not up for a gym membership that’ll likely sit gathering dust throughout the year, these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home – or the park or garden if you can brave the cold!
Here’s our pick of simple, straightforward exercises that you can do right now to get in great shape for the New Year. If you fancy taking things up a level, complete three sets of the following as part of a circuit. You’ll be unstoppable!
The single-glut bridge
Lie on your back, knees shoulder-width apart and bent. Extend your left leg straight out and press through into your heel, lifting your hips off the mat. Keeping your knees in line, engage the glutes as you lift. Finally, lower the leg slowly, creating resistance. Repeat with the other leg.
The plank and knee tap
Start in high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your shoulders in-line with your hips. Using your core to keep the torso still, draw your right knee towards your chest and lift your left hand to tap the right knee. Next, draw the left knee towards the chest and lift your right hand to tap your left knee. Continue, alternating as quickly as you can.
The hollow body hold
Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and the legs extended straight. Engaging your abs, lift your shoulder blades and straightened legs up of the floor, ensuring your lower back is pressed into the floor as you exercise. The closer your legs are to the ground, the more you’ll feel the burn!
The old faithful
Now’s time for the good old squat – a guaranteed winner! Stand with your feet just wider than hip width apart, hips stacked over knees and knees over ankles. Hinge at the hips then send them hips back, bending the knees to lower body. Ensure your chest stays lifted and lower to at least 90 degrees. Rise and repeat, lifting your arms out in front of you for balance if you need to.
The reverse oblique crunch
Sit with your legs extended in front of you, with your hands behind you. Lean back slightly onto your fingertips for balance and lift your legs around two inches off the floor. Ensuring your core is kept tight, shift your weight onto your right hip at the waist, brining your bent needs towards the chest. Extend back out, taking care not to drop your legs. Twist to the other side and repeat, before continuing in alternating directions.
The duo leg lift
Lying face up with your arms by your sides, extend your legs towards the ceiling so your body reaches a 90 degree angle. Ensuring your lower back is pressed on the floor and the core is engaged, slowly lower your legs as far as possible down to the mat. As you get lower, you’ll feel it more. Ensuring your lower back doesn’t lift up from the floor, slowly lift your legs back and repeat.
The inchworm push-up
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, hinge at the hips and bend over to touch the floor with your hands. Walk with your hands to a plank position. Ensuring you keep your elbows close to your sides, bend the elbows and lower your chest to the floor. Push back up and walk the hands back towards your feet, before repeating.
The lateral lunge and knee drive
Begin by standing with your feet together and arms by your sides. Take a large step sideways with your left foot, sending the hips back, before bending the left knee as your palms are brought together in front of your face. Make sure your abs are engaged as your chest is lifted. Press into your left foot, shifting your weight onto the right leg as you draw your left knee to your chest. Go back to the lunge position and repeat, before repeating on the other side.