Your life is busy, you have become the taxi service of Mum & Dad, you are unfit, over weight and don’t want to be seen at a Gym……(Yet!)
Do any of those descriptions fit you? Do you think that unless you hit the Gym 4 times a week and pound away for at least an hour that you can’t make any difference to your life? Well I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true. Here is a 20 minute work out that you can do at home, in your garden or even your front room with very little equipment at all.
Do this every day for the next 4 weeks and I PROMISE you that there will be noticeable changes. You will be fitter, should lose weight and will also be stronger. This is not a routine aimed at people who are already pretty fit, it is aimed more at the beginners who want to kick start their new fitness regime but it will also be effective as a maintenance routine for those who just need to do something, anything other than sit on the sofa.
So here goes. Do all of these exercises for the stated number of repetitions (or time) without any rest between the exercises. Then when you have finished the cycle stop and rest for 1 minute or a maximum of 90 seconds. Keep going for the full 20 minutes and see how many cycles of the routine you can do. Keep a record and try to beat it each day.
10 x Goblet Squats. Ideally use a dumbbell with a weight you are comfortable with (5kg, 10kg) or if you don’t have access to a dumbbell find something you can use at home (4kg bag of rice, large bag of potatoes etc). Keep your form nice and steady, squat as low as you can and concentrate on contracting and squeezing your thigh and butt muscles as you move up and down.
10 x Press ups. Keep your arm just wider than shoulder width. Lower yourself until your nose almost touches the floor and then push back up. Concentrate on trying to squeeze your upper arm and chest muscles together as you push back up and extend at the top. If you are either very heavy or are a lady and can’t manage full press ups yet, then lady press ups where you rest on your knees are fine until you become stronger.
Jump back to your feet and do 10 x forward lunges, 5 on each side. Concentrate on stepping forward in a controller fashion, bend your trailing leg until the knee touches or almost touches the floor, then push up firmly with your front leg. Again, squeeze your thigh and butt muscles on the way up and down.
10 x Reverse Tricep Dips. Use a stable chair or low ish table top. Place your hands on the edge of the chair at shoulder width apart behind you and your feet comfortably just in front of you as you lean back very slightly. Bend your arms to roughly 90 degree’s and lower yourself down. Push yourself back up by straightening your arms. Concentrate on squeezing your tricep (back of your arm) as you straighten back up.
20 x Jumping Jacks. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hands by side. Do a slight jump and push your feet out to the side to wider than shoulder width apart. As you do this fling your arms out to the side and bring them up into a clapping motion above your head. Do 20 reps.
Finally get down into a Plank position. Rest your wait on your forearms. Have your feet at shoulder width and your body should be held in as straight a position as possible (no sagging in the middle). Once you are aligned squeeze your stomach, thighs and butt and hold the position for a count of 30.
That’s it. As described, take a rest for a minute or 90 seconds if you must. Then repeat as many time as you can in the 20 minutes.
As you get fitter and stronger simply decrease the rest time between sets.
TOP TIP: click on the red highlighted words to be taken to demonstration videos of these excercises. The videos are not mine but give you an idea of how to perform them correctly.
This routine will work for both guys and girls and if you combine with healthy eating (see future posts) it will help you to shed weight, improve your fitness and strength AND improve heart and lung function.
In a few weeks I’ll post some more 20 to 30 minute exercise routines that you can do at home.