Double impact!.jpg

Double impact!

THIS WEEK, we concentrate on developing both your legs and bum. The exercises can be done anywhere and at any time, giving you the freedom to control your summer exercise programme. You may find this week’s exercises easier to perform; however the beauty of these exercises is their total flexibility and simplicity. If you do find them easy, then you can enhance their effectiveness by attaching leg weights as small as 2.5kgs. If you do not have weights, using a sports rubber band or an old nylon stocking, tied to both your legs, will help to add resistance. Adding resistance will help you to burn fatty tissue more effectively.

Our first exercise is the sissy squat. It is executed in the same manner as if you were using the squat machine in your local gym. Breathe in as you begin and breathe out as you perform the exercise, this helps you to develop stronger abs. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms folded across your chest, make sure your head is straight, contract your bum muscles (this is an isometric contraction), release, then with your weight shifted onto your heels, bend your legs till approximately 90 degrees, hold for a few seconds then extend your legs back to the start position. Keep your back as straight as possible throughout the exercise, and make sure that your heels remain in contact with the floor at all times. Try to perform up to 20 repetitions.

You can enhance the effectiveness of this exercise by adding a plyometric routine. Plyometric exercises release vast amounts of energy within a split second, and help to develop the stretching and reflex capacity of your muscles. A basic plyometric addition to this exercise would be a rebound jump at the end of the movement.

The second exercise targets the hamstrings, with a short variation that targets the bum muscles as well. Using an exercise mat, kneel down onto one leg, with the other leg placed into a horizontal position off the ground; with your weight leaning forward onto your elbows. Begin by flexing the leg towards your bum; try to touch your bum with your heel. Using an isometric contraction, hold the pose for a few seconds then release the tension and return the leg to the starting position. Vary this exercise by maintaining the leg in the flexed position, and push the leg towards the sky. By utilising these two exercises as one, you will double the impact and create a far more effective routine.

Finally the side lunge. Start with your legs shoulder width apart, hands on your hips. Now step forward and to the side, making sure that, when your legs are flexed, the knee is directly over the ankle. Hold for a few seconds then return to the start position and repeat the process for the other leg. This exercise targets the adductor or inner thigh muscles.

Until next time, stay fit and stay healthy!