Fitness

Kristoph Thompson’s Energy Workout

No time? No problem! This effective workout requires minimum input, but expect maximum output, so you’ll have more energy to tackle the busy festive season

This time of year can be demanding; constantly feeling like you’re burning the candle at both ends to get everything done. Finding time for your workout can be difficult, which makes this time-efficient, calorie-busting session perfect. These five moves are designed to target the major muscles of the upper body, lower body and core, as well as getting your heart beating. The overall effect will actually give you an energy-boost, helping beat fatigue and enabling you to push on through the Christmas rush.

Perform the exercises in a circuit, moving quickly from one move to the next and keeping rest periods to a minimum. Perform 20 seconds of each exercise, repeating the circuit three to five times in total. For an additional challenge, perform 20 seconds of mountain climbers or shadow boxing between each of the other exercises.

Squat, press and rotate

1. Begin standing with your feet hipdistance apart (or slightly wider if more comfortable), with your arms bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand just in front of your chest.

2. Bend your hips and knees to come into a squat, imagining you’re sitting down onto a chair, keeping your back straight and your knees in line with your toes (rather than moving inwards or outwards).

3. Straighten your legs to return to standing then press your arms straight up overhead (without arching your back) and rotating on the ball of one foot, turning your upper body to the opposite side.

4. Reverse the movement to return to the start and repeat, rotating to the opposite side with the next rep.

Mountain climbers

1. Start at the top of a push-up position, with your body in a straight line from head-to-toe. Your hands should be shoulder-distance apart, with your wrists directly beneath, or slightly in front of your shoulders. Step one foot forwards towards your hands – this is your starting position.Set featured image

2. Push through the balls of both feet, jumping your back foot forwards and your front boot backwards to alternate your foot position.

3. Quickly reverse the movement, aiming to keep your feet in contact with the floor for as short a time as possible.

4. Make sure the back foot doesn’t creep forwards throughout the set, with your hips rising into the air as a result.

Bicycle crunch

1. Begin lying on your back with your fingertips resting against the back of your head and your legs straight out in front of you, just off the floor.

2. Bend one knee in towards you, simultaneously raising the opposite shoulder and bringing it towards the knee. Reverse the movement to return to the start and repeat with the other knee, this time bringing the other shoulder up and across to meet it.

3. Try to keep your lower back pressed into the floor throughout. If you feel it arching, try raising your legs further off the floor. Alternatively, bend your hips and knees and place your feet on the floor, just performing the movement with your upper body.

Shadow boxing

1. Begin in a boxer’s stance with your left foot forward and your right heel raised to come onto the ball of your right foot. Bring your hands together in fists either side of your chin (holding hand weights for an increased challenge).

2. Extend your left arm straight out in front of you, turning your hand as you do so, so your palm faces towards the floor. Rotate your hips to the right slightly at the same time. Bend the elbow and rotate your hips to return to the start.

3. Straighten your right arm in front of you, pivoting on the ball of your right foot as you do so and bringing your right hips forwards at the same time. Bend the elbow and rotate your hips to return to the start.

Row

1. Standing with your feet hip-distance apart and, holding a dumbbell in each hand, hinge from your hips so your upper body is at around a 45-degree angle with the floor (or further still, if you’re flexible enough).

2. In this position your lower back shouldn’t be arched any more than when standing upright (bend your knees a little if needed).

3. Bend your elbows to bring your hands towards your ribs, keeping your upper arms close to your sides. Squeeze between your shoulder blades as you do so. Reverse the movement to return to the start and repeat.

4. If you can feel your lower back arching, try not hinging as far forward and select slightly lighter dumbbells.

Kristoph Thompson

Professional PT Kristoph Thompson guides us through a quick and easy home workout each month. If you enjoyed this one, why not share your fitness results over on Facebook @healthandwellbeingmag

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