The summer wardrobe is, optimistically, unpacked and hanging in the wardrobe. The sun is teasing us with its sporadic presence. I’m going on holiday in ten weeks. And my waistline is rather more rotund than I would hope, courtesy of an everlasting winter and inhaling too many cakes! Time to turn to my gorgeous friend Ellen for some home workout advice.
Fitness for busy mums
Ellen emigrated to Australia a few years ago having escaped finance and qualified as a personal trainer. Before she left, she gave me a ‘quick fit guide for the working mum’. Juggling work, family and friends, fitness is important to me but sadly gets lost in the madness of the day to day far too often. I’m not a gym bunny; I’m not hell bent on a bikini body (gave up on that dream a little while back); but I do want to feel good and comfy in my clothes. Ellen came to the rescue with realistic exercises I could fit into my day, boosted by a run and a bike ride for cardio when I can. HUGE thanks to Ellen for sending me images to accompany her fab fitness bites which I’m sharing with you below.
Get fit with a home workout
Fitness Bite 1 – Here are five home workout exercises that cover core, back, chest, arms and legs. They should take no more than 10 minutes and no weights are required. You can add cardio to the beginning or end of the routine if you have time.
GLUTES: GET A PERT BUM WASHING YOUR TEETH!
You can’t beat a good old squat – push the bottom and hips back as you go down and don’t let your knees go over your toes. Use a mirror to help you with your technique. To avoid rounded shoulders and poor posture make sure your face and chest are facing straight ahead and not down towards the ground.
REPEAT: Do three sets of 15 or simply do these whilst brushing your teeth (an electric toothbrush runs for two minutes).
TRICEPS: FAREWELL BINGO WINGS!
Find a solid surface about hip height such as the bathroom counter or the end of the bed and dip away. Make sure your knuckles are facing forwards. Again keep your chest and face facing forwards.
REPEAT: Do three sets of 12
CORE: THINK (DREAM) IRONING-BOARD FLAT STOMACH
Hold the plank. Start by getting into a press up position. Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms, not your hands. Your body needs to form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles so keep your hips down and think of yourself as a straight plank of wood (not a shelf with a bend in the middle)! Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine and hold this position.
REPEAT: Hold for 30 seconds x 3
BACK: STRONG BACK AND PELVIC FLOOR!
For this you do the bridge. Lie on your back with your feet and back flat on the ground and your knees bent. Then gently raise your hips to the ceiling, maintain the position with elevated hips for about six seconds and then lower to the floor and repeat. As you do this squeeze ‘suck up’ your pelvic floor area.
REPEAT: 3 sets x 1 minute each
CHEST: BUILD UP BODY STRENGTH
If you can’t face doing traditional push ups on the floor, try them against the bedroom wall! Keep the palms of your hands straight up and your body straight as you lower your body towards the wall and push back.
REPEAT: Do 3 sets of 12
These home workout exercises can be done in under 10 minutes so they’re perfect for busy peeps. If you want to spice it up with some cardio, run up and down the stairs ten times in between sets.
Fitness Bite 2 – LEGS: focus on bottoms, inner and outer thighs coming soon