Now more than ever it’s important to prioritise your wellbeing, both physical and mental. These articles are to help you stay active and look after your wellbeing during this unprecedented time.
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1. Alternating high knees
What it’s good for: Strengthens core and legs. Improves cardiovascular fitness, co-ordination and flexibility.
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift up your left knee to chest. Switch to lift your right knee to your chest. Continue the movement, alternating legs.
How to progress: Add a spring to each knee raise with your standing leg and perform at a quicker tempo.
How to regress: Perform the exercise as a march focussing on control and tempo.
2. Mountain climbers
What it’s good for: Strengthens shoulders, triceps, abdominals and hip flexors. Improves cardiovascular fitness.
How to do it: Start in an extended plank position with shoulders over hands and weight on your toes. With your core engaged, jump your right knee forward beneath your chest tapping your right foot gently down. Alternate by jumping your left knee in and tap your left foot down whilst simultaneously returning your right leg to the original position.
How to progress: Increase the intensity of each jump stride forward and back when alternating legs.
How to regress: Remove the foot tap element and replace with a more controlled knee tuck.
3. Wide to narrow squat thrusts
What it’s good for: Strengthens shoulders, triceps, abdominals, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors. Improves cardiovascular fitness.
How to do it: Start in an extended plank position with shoulders over hands and weight on your toes with feet hip-width apart. Jump both feet out into a wide position and jump back in. Following this, jump both feet in together closer to your hands whilst bending your knees and tucking them in towards your chest. Jump back out to the starting position and repeat the sequence.
How to progress: Add larger and more powerful jumping movements to all stages.
How to regress: Replace the jumping elements with low impact stepping.
4. Squat jumps
What it’s good for: Abdominals, quads, glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Improves cardiovascular fitness and explosive power.
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start by performing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively. Whilst airborne, lift your heels up towards your hips. Cushion your landing with soft knees and drop straight into a squat to prepare for your next repetition. Keep your head and shoulders up throughout.
How to progress: Perform a tuck jump by lifting your knees above your hips at the top of each jump.
How to regress: Focus on performing a normal squat by removing the jump element of the exercise.
5. Jumping lunges
What it’s good for: Lower body and core strength. Improves cardiovascular fitness and explosive power.
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart then jump into a lunge position with one leg forward and the other back so that both knees are at 90-degrees. Jump up and switch legs so your left leg is forward and right leg back and land in the lunge position. Maintain an upright upper body position throughout.
How to progress: Increase the tempo of your repetitions.
How to regress: Focus on performing normal alternating lunges by removing the jump element of the exercise.
What it’s good for: Build full body strength and endurance. Improve co-ordination and balance.
How to do it: Squat down and bring both hands to the floor. Transfer your weight to your upper body and jump back with both feet to bring yourself into an extended plank position. Jump your feet back in and then immediately jump up into a tall position whilst raising your arms overhead. Continue to repeat the sequence.
How to progress: Drop your chest to the floor immediately after coming into an extended plank position or add a tuck jump each time your bring yourself up.
How to regress: Replace each jumping element with steps.
Leo Parnell-Notice Health and Fitness Instructor, Warwick Sport
Leo has a background in athletics and personal training and enjoys the sense of achievement from learning something new. He loves all sports, especially trying new ones.
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