Whether you like hot weather or not, it’s on its way this summer. Moving your body and enjoying the great outdoors is invigorating, recharges your batteries and just makes you feel good.
I’ve put together four moves which you can do anywhere, with just your body weight. These moves will lengthen and strengthen your muscles, using your whole body. No equipment required – are you ready to feel energised?
Challenge: Perform five days a week over summer, for a 15 minute exercise burst you can complete anywhere, anytime. Do a circuit of each move without a rest (four minutes), rest 60 seconds, then repeat for three sets. Your summer moves are now complete.
Move #1 – Full plank to star
Begin in a full plank position with your hands on the floor. Keep your shoulder blades down and back, engage your core and begin rotating your body, moving to tap your left hand to your left shoulder. Then extend it toward the ceiling, opening the chest. As you extend, roll to your inner right foot and outer left foot (a staggered side plank position). Return to starting position by using the obliques and squaring the hips up with the floor, and place the left hand on the floor. Repeat 12 – 15 times each side for three sets.
Move #2 – Double arm dead bug
Lie on your back with your knees and hips positioned at 90° angles, with the knees and feet hip width apart. Hold the arms above your shoulders. Pull the shoulders back and down into the floor. Next gently press your lower back onto the floor by engaging your abdominals. Slowly extend shoulders above your head and straighten one leg out at the same time. Only lower as far as you can maintain contact of your lower back with the floor. Then slowly come back to the start position and repeat with the other leg. This exercise can be made harder by holding onto some light dumbells. Repeat 8 – 12 times, each leg, for three sets.
Move #3 – Glute bridge with straight leg raise
Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Perform a glute bridge by squeezing your butt and driving your heels into the floor. Straighten your left knee so both thighs are still level. Lower the left leg to about four inches above the floor, pause, then lift leg up back to the start position. Perform 8 – 12 reps for three sets.
Move #4 – Jump squat
Bend your knees and move down into a deep squat. Move your hips back and keep the knees behind your toes. Drive up, exploding off the floor as high as you can go pushing the arms overhead. As you land bend the knees as you absorb the force of landing on the floor. Try to jump upward and land in the same spot as you started, avoiding jumping forward.