I’m firmly of the opinion that you don’t need to go to the gym to get a good workout – you can literally use stuff that you might have lying about, and I’m going to show you how!
In this short circuit, I’m using a spare tyre and the garden as my gym (clients know I love working out outside – there’s loads of information about the benefits if you want to look, but here’s a short blog from the NY Times: The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors)
To start off with, I’m picking up the tyre and running, (notice I’m keeping my back straight when lifting the tyre, and letting my legs do all the work). This is to get my heart rate up straight away, and, by keeping the weight of the tyre quite high while running, I’m using back, chest, arm, abs AND legs muscles.
Down goes the tyre and it’s time for a few quick press-ups on it, (see my earlier press-up post for more information about these), and then a few side-to-side plank jumps. This is a really great exercise for the core muscles, and will help to keep your heart pumping during this circuit.
Next, a bit of shadow boxing – keep your body and arms relaxed, the point of this section is not to do proper punch training, it’s to keep moving and give the arms a bit of action. I love giving clients 2-minute sets of various shadow-boxing circuits – it really keeps the heart going, and you’ll feel it in the back, shoulders and arms the next day. You don’t only have to do weights to get a good arms workout!
Finally, I’m using a weight held out straight in front of me – knees are not locked, back is in a neutral position and the core muscles are actively engaged as I move the weight 45 degrees to one side and then the other. In between these I’m doing “football throws” where I’m keeping my elbows pinned near my ears, taking the weight behind my head, and then back again. Dynamic standing weights sets like this are great for engaging the core muscles, as well as for targeting whatever muscles you’re using to actually lift the weights in your arms, shoulders, back, etc.
Ten reps of this circuit will give you a great all-round workout and get your heart rate up, so next time you can’t get to the gym, or think you don’t have time for a workout, remember, you don’t need fancy equipment or MTV on big screens to work out!