Move Into Summer

A long winter can take its toll on your body. Pip Black and and Joan Murphy, the founders of FRAME fitness studios, share five key moves to get you toned up and energised 

PRESS-UPS
The press-up is a great total body exercise that you can do anywhere without equipment. With this move, technique is key as most people don’t do it properly. If you struggle with the full variation, do it on your knees.

  1. Get into your press-up position and plant your hands on the ground slightly wider than your shoulders. Your hands should be angled in a way that feels comfortable. If you find it hard on your wrists, you can do it on your knuckles. If you have your knees on the ground or you are on your toes, the closer your legs are together the harder it will be. The further apart, the easier.
  2. The same set-up as the plank, think of your body in one straight line with no sagging. Squeeze your bottom and abs. You should have your gaze slightly ahead of you on the ground and maintain this throughout.
  3. At the top of your press-up, your arms should be straight. With your arms straight, lower down slowly until your elbows are at 90 degrees or similar. Keep your elbows close to your body. Pause at the bottom and explode back up to the starting position. Repeat.
  4. As you gain in strength and confidence, you can bring your chest down to touch the floor and back up to starting position. Start with three sets of eight reps.

PLANK
The plank is a brilliant total body workout but especially builds a strong core – hello, summer abs! You can do it anywhere, so there are no excuses. We like to challenge ourselves by holding a plank in the ad breaks while watching our favourite TV shows.

  1. Get into the push-up position but rest on your forearms, making sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your toes are on the ground.
  2. Squeeze your bottom and engage your abs, making sure that your hips are neither sagging down nor coming up too high. You want to be as straight as a plank (the clue’s in the name!)
  3. Keep a neutral neck and spine, and don’t forget to breathe.
  4. Keep the position for 30 seconds to start and then build up.

SQUATS
The humble squat is a simple but super-effective move when done correctly, working the entire body and especially your behind!

  1. Stand with your legs slightly wider than your hips. Your toes should be facing slightly outward. Pick a spot on the wall ahead and keep your gaze on this the whole time.
  2. Squat down, bending at the knees and pushing your bottom back as if you were going to sit on a chair. Make sure your knees stay in line with your ankles, your chest proud and back flat. Make sure that the weight is in your heels so you’re working right into the glutes.
  3. Driving through your heels, push back up to an upright position, squeeze your bottom at the top and tuck your pelvis under slightly.
  4. Start with three sets of 10 reps, then up the reps or add hand weights.

BRIDGE
The bridge works the bottom, core, hamstrings and stability all at once, as well as being a great back bend.

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent, and you should be able to touch your heels with your hands. You’ll need to use the power in your glutes and feet to push up.
  2. With your arms lying by your side and palms facing up, draw your shoulder blades back down into the floor.
  3. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling and as you do this, tilt your pelvis and pull your belly bottomon into your spine. Squeeze your bottom as you lift.
  4. Keep your thighs and pelvis parallel; resist the urge to let your knees fall out. Hold at the top for five full breaths and return to the starting position.
  5. Start with three sets of 10 reps and build up to more.

BURPEES
A FRAME favourite, this exercise is great cardio conditioning as well as toning. This is the ultimate in total body workouts.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your weight in your heels and your arms hanging by your side.
  2. Push your bottom back, bend your knees and come into a squat position.
  3. Put your hands flat on the ground in front of you and shift your weight into them.
  4. Jump your feet back and land in a plank position. Again, as before, your body should be ‘stiff as a plank’ with no sagging, squeezing your bottom and engaging the abs.
  5. Jump your feet back in and land in a frog position with your feet on the outside of your hands.
  6. Explode into the air with your hands in the air. Land back to starting position. See how many you can do in a minute. As you get fitter, you should aim to get more reps in per minute.

moveyourframe.com

Images: ©Vicki Couchman  

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