Eating and drinking too much is pretty much bound to happen during the festive season. And now the holidays are over, your body keeps reminding you of the past few weeks of overindulgence, whether it’s tiredness, digestive problems, lackluster skin or those extra kilos. If you’re one of the many who have vowed to make getting fit and losing the love handles you added to your waistline after the New Year a priority, Abhinav Malhotra, Master Trainer from Fitness First Middle East, has shared a tailored workout. Perfect for helping people of all fitness levels get back into shape, it’s a mixture of cardio and strength training that targets all muscle groups and boosts metabolism. Along with these exercises, you should also make dietary adjustments to ensure your calorie consumption is less than the number of calories you burn. By doing so, you will lose all the extra weight and keep it off.
Make time for that all-important warm-up
It is important you take at least five minutes to warm-up as a good warm-up session helps to prepare your body for activity by getting the heart rate up and releasing tension in muscles. So avoid diving headfirst into the workout and try one of these instead. Begin with eight reps of both inward and outward hip and arm circles followed by some form of cardio, such as two minutes with a skipping rope. For a more powerful warm-up, consider a session on a slightly inclined treadmill, swapping between walking and sprinting every 30 seconds. If you are feeling up to it, you can end this part of the workout with eight reps of walkouts.
Have fun with burpees
Now that you are all warmed up and ready to go, you should move on to exercises that challenge you the most. Burpees are a great fat burning exercise for conditioning and full body training. You should aim to complete at least three sets of 25 reps or do as many as you can until you begin to ‘feel the burn’. You can mix it up with some other variations of the exercise like burpee pull-ups, burpee knee-ups or even burpee box jumps.
Add squats to your exercise routine
As a compound exercise, which includes more than one muscle at a time, squats help to burn a lot of calories during and after the workout session. While doing squats, you mainly use the quads, glutes and hamstrings. Aim for a high volume for conditioning the muscles and fat-burning effect and perform three sets of 10-15 reps using a barbell or kettlebell to introduce more resistance into the workout. A pro tip for choosing weights is to pick one that is heavy enough to challenge you without compromising your form.
Start perfecting your walking lunges
Walking lunges are another brilliant calorie burner as they also target all the major muscles in your lower body, whilst simultaneously improving your balance and core strength. Again for conditioning and calorie burn, three sets of 20 -30 reps each should do the trick. Unlike stationary lunges, walking lunges present better results as they combine resistance work, plus when you use weights, you will also rev your metabolism.
Get inspired by mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are a great way to improve hip joint mobility, core stability and rev up the heart rate burning calories. Ideally, you should try to complete at least three sets of 15-20 reps on each side. You can also try to swap between walking lunges and mountain climbers for three sets, a set of mountain climbers and then a set of lunges.
Pump it up with some push-ups
Push-ups are a great upper body workout focusing on the horizontal pushing movement. They primarily target the pectoral muscle, front shoulder and triceps muscles, while also engaging core. In fact, push-ups are a full body movement and not just for the chest. Around 10-15 push-ups per set is a good starting point. If you cannot do a floor push-up, you can perform push-ups on a bench or a high box as a regression.
Don't Forget To:
- Respect your fitness level: You can perform two to three sets of each exercise with rest intervals. If you are an intermediate or an advanced trainee, then you can also perform these in a circuit training manner. You can attempt three circuits as quickly as possible of back-to-back exercises with little or no rest.
- Stretch it out: Just like warming up, a post-workout stretching sequence is important. Give your body a treat by going through static stretching exercise, targeting your legs, chest, back, arms, calves and hamstrings. Stretching relieves the tension in the muscles, eases some of the pain and promotes blood flow for muscle recuperation. Remember to practise slow breathing while stretching for relaxation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.