As a nation, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to revive the reputation of the floor mat, reinstating it as one of the key pieces of equipment needed to achieve a full body work out.
Here we’ve rounded up what we think are five exercises to include in your new fitness routine which will allow you to become reacquainted with the more mature gym equipment and its ability to give you a full work out.
BEFORE YOU START…
Figure out your goals. Everyone will want different things out of their work out and have preferences towards different exercises. Make sure that you choose ones that suit you and are within your fitness ability.
Keep things interesting by introducing new exercises or variations on an existing exercise. If you enjoy it then you are more likely to achieve your goals.
Go get fit ladies and gents!
The plank is a classic exercise and one that’s loved by all trainers because of its simplicity and its effectiveness. The Plank exercise will help you to build strength in your core, upper and lower and that makes it a full body work out. It also helps improve flexibility by stretching muscles and will improve posture if performed regularly. Plus, there are variations on the Plank such as the Side Plank and Plank with Arm Lift, so once you’ve mastered the basic version you can mix up your workout with new exercises.
HOW TO –
REPETITIONS – Repeat twice.
The Squat is the best exercise for toning up your bum, hips and thighs and that why it’s a favourite right around bikini season. It’s pretty much the main area many of us want to improve on and by incorporating squats into your gym workout routine you will work out most of the muscles in these problem areas. Again, there are several twists on the classic Bodyweight Squat such as the Single Leg Squat or the Squat Jump, so you can add in more variations once you feel comfortable.
HOW TO –
REPETITIONS – Do 15 to 20 repetitions.
This is another super simple but effective exercise. The Hip Raise exercise tones and strengthens the muscles of the lower back as well as the abdominal, glute and hamstring muscles, but it can also help those of us who suffer from lower back pain by stabilising this area of the body. It’s especially useful for people who spend a large amount of time sat at a desk as it builds your glutes which can often become weak from inactivity.
HOW TO –
REPETITIONS – Do two sets of 10 repetitions.
The basic crunch is the perfect abdominal exercise in a strength-training program. Pay special attention to your form when you do crunches, especially if you have lower-back or neck problems.
HOW TO –
REPETITIONS – Do one set of 20. Try to repeat three to four times within your entire workout.
The push up is a great muscle toning exercise for the arms, chest, triceps and the front of the shoulders but you shouldn’t be afraid if you feel you are not strong enough. The exercise can be performed on the knees as well as the toes and both versions are good for building strength and burning calories. Knee push ups are performed in the same way as the standard push up except you are on your knees instead of your toes!
HOW TO –
REPETITIONS – 20 equals one set but try gradually increasing the number of push ups you can do until you can complete all 20. Aim to complete up to four sets within your workout for maximum effect.