Health

Work out at home

Work out at home

Struggling to keep it all together and finding time to exercise and keep in shape? Here are four exercises you can do at home. And the best part – you only need 17 minutes!

Between the kids, house chores, the office and the hubby you might be scrambling around just to find a few minutes for yourself, never mind working out. Then there’s this idea that working out needs to be done in a specific environment and with specific equipment.

But working out doesn’t need to be expensive or incredibly technical. You can stick to the basics and still see great results by completing a quick workout with proper form.

We asked Lindsay Harris, owner of the hot and happening FitFirst Training to share a few of her favourite go-to exercises for a full body workout.

You can use your watch or timer on your phone. Simply set the clock to 50 seconds, with a 10 seconds rest between intervals. Rest for one minute between sets. If you are very unfit, try and repeat at least three sets. You can increase the number of sets and intensity as you get fitter and stronger.

SQUATS
“Squatting builds toned legs, thighs and bums and there are plenty of variations to enjoy such as jump squats, wide leg squats, narrow squats and squat pulses. It works big muscle groups (including your quads, hamstrings and glutes), which in turn increases your metabolism,” says Lindsay.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with feet pointed slightly outward. Keep your chin up, look forward, shoulders back, abs tight, knees steady and heels down. Slowly descend, making sure you sit “back into your squat”. Control the movement, do not bounce at the bottom and keep your knees behind your toes at all times.
Always focus on your breathing – try to inhale on the negative movement (descending) and exhale on the positive movement (ascending).

LUNGES
Squatting’s cousin – just as basic, just as effective!
From a standing position, feet together, keeping your chin up, shoulders back, abs tight and your hands hanging loosely at your side. Step forward with your right leg and descend, while bringing your left arm up. And step back to your starting position. Alternate sides. Always focus on keeping your knees steady.
If you’re just starting out, break your lunge into three movements:
– Step forward, gain your balance
– Once steady, sit back into your squat
– Return to starting position
Avoid applying forward pressure towards your knee, always sit back into your lunge. As you get stronger, try lengthening your lunges.

PLANKING
This is the foundation of your core strength, engaging your abs and back.
Assume a modified push-up position with your elbows bent 90 degrees and both forearms resting on the floor. Always keep your shoulders, hips and feet in a straight line.
Engage your core by sucking your belly button toward your spine. Your shoulders should be directly above your hands. Avoid arching or rounding your back, you should maintain a straight line. Look forward or keep your neck in neutral position, do not drop your head and look backwards, this places unnecessary stress on your neck.

PUSH-UPS
Push-ups are fantastic for your shoulders, chest, triceps and core.
Always keep your shoulders, hips and feet in a straight line and engage your core, just as you did with your planking.
Place your hands shoulder-width apart, with your shoulders directly above your hands. Do not arch or round your back, remember to keep a straight line. Lower your body as one unit to just above the ground, and push back up, making sure you ascend as one unit and avoid pushing your chest up first, followed by your hips and legs. Look forward or keep your neck in neutral position, avoid dropping your head as you descend. “As with the squats, always focus on your breathing. I try to inhale on the negative movement (descending) and exhale on the positive movement (ascending),” Lindsay advises.

More about FitFirst Training
FitFirst is a training solution that is convenient, effective and enjoyable. They take the smart studio approach where the demonstration and structure of workouts are placed on screens, allowing a trainer to focus on motivating and encouraging clients, checking that clients’ form is correct and offering alternative exercises to clients. Essentially, it’s personal training in a group environment.

Want to join?
You can choose between a three-, six, nine- or twelve-month membership option. All membership options include unlimited sessions in the three studio rooms (FitFirst Strong, Original and Boxing).

Sessions
FitFirst Training offers over 40 daily sessions. Sessions are half an hour each, and clients can book and manage their workouts according to their own schedule. Simply visit www.fftraining.co.za and register today.

FitFirst Training is situated at 68 Pinaster Avenue, Maroelana. For more information, visit their website.

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