Personal trainer, James Schofield gives his guide to working out when the kids are at home !
Watch out mums, Easter is coming! Prepare for the apocalypse in the house as the children descend for hours of fun and games! This shouldn’t put a spanner in the works of your fitness regime however, change brings opportunity!
Everyone is aware of the benefits of exercise – improving your body composition, warding off osteoporosis, improving your heart health, sharpening your mind and of course, burning fat. However, have you ever considered using exercise to improve your relationships?!
Seriously ladies, a simple interval resistance workout (which sounds a lot harder than it is) can be performed at home, in just under 20 minutes. All you’ll need is a bag of rice and a partner, in this case, an unsuspecting teenager. What better way to entertain the kids! Not only will you improve your fitness levels, tone your muscles, and get that all important Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption effect (whatever that is), but you’ll continue to burn calories long after you’ve finished your workout! That should help with those sneaky Easter calories.
The workout consists of just three exercises, each with a different body part to focus on. It will leave you feeling refreshed (but suitably worn out), and can be easily adjusted as required, so what’s stopping you?
20 Minute Easter Holiday Fat Burner
Before you start exercising, it is essential to warm up. This protects you from injury and gets your body primed for activity. Follow the warm up exercises below for the allocated time before starting the exercises.
Start by jogging slowly on the spot for 30 seconds before increasing the pace a little for the next 30 seconds.
Perform jumping jacks for 60 seconds.
Perform butt kicks for 30 seconds.
Perform high knees for 30 seconds.
Perform another round of jumping jacks for 60 seconds.
Now you can begin your workout.
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds. Then rest for 30 seconds, then perform the next exercise. After completing all three exercises, you have successfully done a circuit! Rest for one minute and 30 seconds and then start again. Repeat for a total of three circuits! It doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, you will see the effects!
Bag of Rice Squat Jump: Facing each other, grab a bag of rice each and hold it like a sandbag – (rest it on your forearms with your palms facing upwards towards the ceiling.) Aim for a 2-3 kg bag of rice, but anything will do. Perform a squat by pushing your glutes (those annoying ones at the back that refuse to do as they’re told) and hips back and then lowering your bottom towards the floor, keeping the weight through your heels, until your thighs are just below parallel. (E.g. Your bent knees make a 90 degree angle or greater). Push through your heels and as you reach a standing position jump as high as you can whilst controlling the bag so it doesn’t fly out of your grasp! Land with soft knees (to absorb the impact of the jump) and repeat. Shout at each other for encouragement, it gets tough fast! If you have young children who are exercising with you don’t give them any resistance to use (no rice)!
Regression: If you’re new to squatting and don’t fancy the full movement straight away, simply place a chair behind you and squat down to it as if you were sitting down – touch the chair with your bum briefly before rising up fast and jumping into the air.
Where you’ll feel it: Your heart will be pumping and your thighs, glutes and abs will be on fire.
No bag of rice? Use a big bag of sugar.
Lying Bent Knee Leg Raises: Person A lies down on the floor, while Person B stands over them facing towards their feet. Person A holds onto Person B’s ankles to support themselves. With a slight bend in their knees, Person A will lift their feet into the air until they’re aiming towards the ceiling. Person B will be able to extend their arms and lightly push Person A’s legs back down towards the floor. They can choose a different direction every time – push to the left, middle, or right to give Person A a complete abdominal workout hitting all angles. Continue to leg raise for 30 seconds before switching places and repeating with Person B lifting their legs up and Person A deciding on the direction their legs will go.
Regression: Ask your partner to push your legs less hard! Or if your unwilling workout partner gets bored during the workout then just reach for the sofa or table to provide support rather than having a partner in crime.
Where you’ll feel it: Your whole abdominal area, especially lower abdominals and obliques, the ‘side’ ab muscles.
Unbalanced Push Up Hold: Get down onto the floor in a push up position. Hold yourself in the top position of the push up with your palms on the floor and your arms extended. Your partner does the same while facing you, about arms length away. Keep your body in as straight a line as possible, being careful not to let your bum and hips sink towards the floor. Extend your right arm and touch your partners left shoulder for a second. At the same time, your partner will extend their right arm and touch your left shoulder. Repeat the process with your other hand and continue until the 30 seconds are up.
Regression: Do the same exercise but from a standard plank position – support yourself on the floor using your forearms rather than outstretched arms.
Regression Two: From the standard plank position, instead of reaching out to your partner, simply move towards them instead – push yourself forward using your toes so that your weight shifts forward a little. Squeeze your abs for a count of one before returning to the starting plank position. The aim is just to move your centre of gravity forward. Be careful not to clash heads with your partner!
Where you’ll feel it: Chest, shoulders, arms and abs.
This full body workout should take you just under 20 minutes to complete and will send your heart rate sky high. This is what we’re looking for – getting your heart rate up, which will make sure you burn those extra calories. Aim to get as many good quality reps in as possible every 30 seconds and write down your numbers. Then next time you do the workout you can try and beat your score! After you’ve finished, make sure you reward your body by grabbing some protein as soon as possible!
(image from the Luxury Family Hotels Collection)
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