Below are five simple steps to a January fitness regime.
I carry out these exercises daily. They may seem relatively simple, but if done regularly with a good intensity, your core will become strong and muscles toned.
Only one piece of equipment and some seasonal motivation are needed to complete this rewarding session…
Equipment – Football (or something similar)
1. Warm up – Use the ball as a massage tool to release any tight muscles. With the ball in your hands, bend at the hips and roll it forwards and backwards keeping your arms and legs straight, stretching the hamstrings.
2. Multiple controlled squats – Holding the ball out in line with the chest, maintain a squat position (legs roughly at a right angle) for 10 seconds. Then from the same position, dip the hips into a deeper squat than 90 degrees (ten short pulses). Finally, 10 full squats moving the ball from chest position to above your head as your legs go into extension.
3. Lunge with twist – With the ball held against your chest/upper abdomen, drive one leg forward into a lunge position. Once the knee reaches approx. 90 degrees, press the ball out in line with the chest and twist upper body maintaining the same ball and leg position. Push weight through front heel and stabilise as balance is tested then drive back up into standing. Complete eight on each leg (if you have a partner, the twist can be a throw and catch while in lunge position).
4. Abdominals – With the ball between your knees, squeezing 50 percent, crunch up through your abs making sure your back remains flat to the floor (this prevents any stress through your spine). Set of 10, rest, and then repeat. Adopt the same position, but this time reach over to one side leaving one elbow in contact with the floor. This will focus on the oblique muscles, set of five each side, rest then repeat.
5. Press up – Roll the ball across your body from your left hand to right in between each repetition, forcing the body the hold strong as core is tested, while pushing through the arms and chest – 10 in total.
Using a football to perform the exercises may seem insignificant, however it’s imperative to the regime, as it helps maintain form and concentration throughout.