With spring underway and the days heating up, some of you may still be feeling winter weight that you just can’t shake. Fear not!
Dan Andrews, Head of Fitness at Virgin Active Health Clubs shares his top tips for shaping up and jumping back into your finest Spring Racing outfits.
1. Make a Plan
A lot of us tend to hibernate during winter so it can be hard to get back into exercising when the seasons change. The best thing you can do to help shape up is make a plan (and stick to it!). Make sure your plan is realistic though - don’t expect to be able to train for an hour, five days a week straight away.
Include a lot of things you like doing in your plan - it will help you achieve your goals. If you like weights, look for classes like Body Pump. Alternatively, if you know you need some help getting to the gym try getting a trainer once or twice a week.
Virgin Active Health Clubs offer an ignition program when you join meaning you can team up with a trainer and meet them for half an hour every couple of weeks to develop a new workout program and help keep you on track if you can’t commit to seeing a trainer every week.
2. Lunge Time
They may not be everyone’s favourite exercise, but lunges really are a great way to tone and shape the legs. By adding hand weights to the lunge, you’ll increase the intensity and really make your bum and thighs work!
Start with your legs in a split stance, right leg forward and left leg back, holding the weights by your side. Slowly lower your legs until both front and back knees are at a 90 degree angle. Hold for 30 seconds and rise back up to the starting stance.
Repeat 10 times then switch legs. Do three sets between other exercises.
3. Twist It
This is a great move to flatten and tone the abs. Grab a medicine ball weighing 4-5kgs, holding it with both hands. Sitting down, lower your back to a 45 degree angle and keep your knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
From here, hold the medicine ball in front of your chest and keep your elbows bent with your feet on the floor.
Holding the medicine ball, twist to your right and rest the ball by your right hip. Don’t let it touch the ground (keep it 3-5cm from the floor). Repeat on your left. This is one rep.
Repeat 10-12 times for 3 sets. This one is difficult, but stick with it and you’ll see the winter belly fade away.
4. Side Tri Lifts
Weights are perfect for toning the arms and improving strength.
Start standing up with your legs hip-width apart and holding a weight in each hand (3-4kgs each). Keep your core tight to support the back, breathe out and slowly raise each arm sideways up to shoulder height (keep the arms slightly bent). Once at the top (i.e. shoulder height), hold this position for two seconds before slowly lowering your arms back down by your side, breathing in.
Repeat 10-12 times for 3 sets.
Including these exercises in your workout will have you ready for Spring Racing season and in good shape for summer.