7 great exercises to get you in shape for 2017

Monday, December 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Mike Atkinson | Drive producer and public relations officer

Happy 2017 to you! The holiday period is a great time to relax, visit friends and family, eat copious amounts of mince pies and watch all of those good movies on TV, but it is a time where the extra kilos can stack up on your body too.

You won’t be surprised to know that the top 2 New Year’s resolutions are ‘lose weight’ and ‘stay fit and healthy’ so we thought we’d get in early with a few easy body weight exercises to burn off all those second helpings of dessert.

Squats

squat

A classic in any workout routine. It activates your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, adductors, abdominals, and lower back.

Resistance training in general creates a larger muscle stimulus than running and the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns at rest. This means you can eat more without gaining weight.

Planking

planks

Ever wondered how Drive host Jeziel gets his rock hard abs? Before he starts the Drive show he gets down on the floor and does a two-minute plank.

While getting into the proper form is straightforward, holding the position takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core.

The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance.

For variation you can also side plank.

Lunges

lunges

This ones great in building leg muscle and will improve your balance tenfold.

Lunges target the quadriceps, but involve additional muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, calves and core muscles, making them an important exercise for toning the lower body.

They are also back-friendly, because of the need to keep your back straight and your chest lifted, so you have little risk of back strain.

For an extra challenge add a couple of light weights in the hand once you’ve mastered body weight lunges.

Mountain climber

mountain

This ones a nice burst of cardio to add to your routine.

Mountain climbers are full body work out and here are a few of the muscles they work; Deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectoralis major, obliques, rectus abdominals, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors, hip abductors.

The best thing is that, unlike climbing a real mountain, you won’t suffer from altitude sickness or need to carry a tent with you.

Wall sit

wall-sit

Pick a wall, any wall! This exercise will feel easy at first but the muscle fatigue will suddenly hit you.

Primarily, wall sitting builds your isometric strength and endurance in glutes, calves and quadriceps. The muscles present at the front of your thighs are the quadriceps. One of these four quadricep muscles is the rectus femoris, which helps to move your thigh and torso closer.

Calf raise

calf-raises-exercise-illustration

This exercise is one of the easiest. Simply push all your body weight onto the front of your foot and slowly shift your weight back to the middle of your foot. Repeat for 10-20 reps.

The calf muscles support your ankle. When you improve ankle stability, you improve balance. Increase the balance benefits of the calf raise by performing the exercise on one foot at a time. At first, place your hands on a chair to assist your balance, but aim to perform the exercise without holding onto the chair.

The single-leg calf raise improves the strength of both lower legs equally and trains your body to balance on one foot. This is important for daily activities such as stepping down a step, or up onto a curb.

The Superman

superman

Clark Kent eat your heart out! This exercise will make you look like a fish out of water but will work those abs hard.

The Superman is one of the best exercises to strengthen your upper and lower back muscles.

If done regularly, the Superman may help alleviate back pain that is related to weak back muscles. In addition to strengthening back muscles, the Superman works your glutes and your hamstring muscles.

Happy exercising!

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