Words: Anita Albrecht
Lots of people ask me, “what are the best exercises for my legs, upper body and abs?” There are so many, but for now I have narrowed it down for you to my four absolute tried, tested and true favourites for all over body toning and fat burning moves. That’s right, just four simple, effective moves will have you trim for spring.
With these four body toning moves, you will do four ’rounds’ of each in a row with as little rest as possible. For the first and third rounds do 20 repetitions of each exercise and for the second and fourth round of each exercise do 14 repetitions of each exercise. 20, 14, 20, 14… easy to remember!
The advantage of this rep range and with little or no rest (only rest if you absolutely have to!) you will get the benefit of increasing your heart rate which means burning calories and keeping you fit, plus you’ll challenge your muscles, toning them beautifully.
It takes next to no time at all to do four rounds this way meaning it fits easily into your day. Ready? Okay, lets get stuck in.
We all know press ups are hard. That is simply because they work! But we have the advantage of progressing as we get fitter and stronger and with progression comes more and more tone for the upper body. Start with your hands on the floor directly underneath your shoulders and straighten out the body to engage the abdominals. Do not let the lower back collapse. Lower your chest towards the floor as low as you possibly can then completely straighten the arms back up again squeezing your triceps (outer arms). Once this becomes easy, try doing a press up from the balls of your feet with your knees off the floor. It’s amazing how quickly you will progress!
Keeping your body upright, eye line ahead, feet shoulder-width apart (or wider with feet turned out slightly if you have weak knees) engage your abdominals, place the weight into your heels and bend your knees. Lower down so that your buttocks are parallel with the floor. Do not let the heels come up. Push back up through the heels again to the starting position. When you get stronger and want to tone up even more, hold a dumbbell in each hand. The perfect exercise for the lower body, core and buttocks.
If you have access to a gym you can do this on a suspension trainer such as the TRX. If not you could use a metal gym bar in a local park or even a strong tree branch. Just make sure it is a strong one! The lower your body is to the ground the harder it is so progress slowly. Start with arms straight, pull up and lift your body, squeeze your shoulder blades together keeping your whole body tight and then lower again to the starting position. Fabulous for a gorgeous back and arms.
One of the world’s most simple and best exercises for abs and for the whole body! With elbows bent and forearms on the floor, keep your feet together, tilt heels forward, pull abdominals in tight, knees off the floor and hold for as long as you can. Do not let the lower back collapse. Even 20-30 seconds is a good start and work up to holding for 1-2 minutes.
There you have it. Four very effective exercises to get your New Year fitness resolutions back on track and four that work around you and your working and family life. Do this routine 2-3 times a week, eat clean and drink 3 litres of water a day and you’ll soon notice that beautiful body from emerging!