Everyone needs a holiday, so how do you keep your fitness levels up whilst on holiday and not die at Bootcamp or your Personal Training when you come back?
Two of our coaches give their top five must-do, all-time classic exercises and Physiotherapy stretches for whether you are outdoors, in the gym or in your hotel room.
OUTDOOR AND BODY WEIGHT EXERCISES
Marcus Fam, UFIT Bootcamp Coach
Not only does working the legs expend more calories due to recruiting a higher amount of motor units, who doesn't want to have nice legs?
Try incorporating lunges in sprint intervals as part of your active recovery. Always keep your chest and shoulders upright, and your spine in neutral while lunging. As with all resistance exercises, the focus should be on the muscles, not the joints. Perform to a full range of motion and avoid bouncing or jerking. If your legs are burning, congratulations, keep going!
Lots of bootcampers are ace runners, but for those who aren't keen to clock in 10km runs or more, give a go at sprinting. So we're not talking about aerobic running. Full on anaerobic sprints that leave you gasping for air and leave your legs jelly. Try 60m - 200m sprints. 8 sets, with no more than 3 minute rest periods. If you have a hill, spectacular, knock yourself out!
With the added benefit of building muscle along with speed, sprinting helps you build and define your glutes, hamstrings and quads, while at the same time burning off the fat layers that hide under the muscles. Sprint training is the most explosive training you can do.
There's a reason why bootcampers groan when they hear the sheer mention of the word. It's perhaps the most compound of exercises and combines a squat, push up, squat thrust & plyometric jump all in one. It’s great for cardiovascular fitness and strength training. Try doing 100 a day, throughout the day. Nothing like having burpees for breakfast!
4. Push ups
This gets on the list not just because of its simplicity, but also because of the fact that it allows various degrees of intensity.
Always maintain a strong core and neutral lower back. Bring your chest to the ground and use your chest and triceps to push yourself off the ground. If you're strong enough, push the earth away from you. Also if you're upto it be brave and try some variations!
5. Mountain climbers
Another top exercise which hits various body parts, including the core. Try hitting a set of 20 reps immediately after push ups. Always maintain a neutral spine, and tight core throughout the exercise (hips should not be moving up and down).
A variation of this would be to draw the knee to the opposite elbow (left knee to right elbow, vice versa) for greater recruitment of the obliques.
If performed correctly, mountain climbers will not just get your core firing - but triceps, hip flexors and shoulder stabilisers smashed as well.
STRETCHES TO GET YOUR BODY MOVING
Maire, UFIT Clinic Physiotherapist
1. Hip rotations and lower back stretch
Lay on your back, put your arms out in a “T” position and bend both knees bent to 90’. Keeping knees and ankles together, gently rotate knees to one side and turn head to loot to the opposite side. Slowly de-rotate and repeat same stretch to the other side. Move slowly and with an exhale breath. Hold the stretch for 3-5 breaths and do 3 repetitions on each side.
2. Lower back stretch
This is a little more intense that the above stretch. Lay in the same position as above. But instead take one knee into your chest and then slowly rotate that knee across your body and over to the other side. Try to keep the opposite shoulder down. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side. Do 3 times on each side.
3. Thoracic (mid-back) extensions
This stretch can be done over a foam roller if you’re flexible and over a rolled up towel if you’re a little stiffer.
Lay down on your back and palce the foam roller or rolled up towel behind you, around your mid-back (bra line for women and nipple line for men).
Place hands behind your head to support your head and gently tuck your chin.
Inhale to prepare and exhale to extend your mid-back over the foam roller or towel whilst maintaining your chin tuck.
If using the foam roller, then stay in this position for an inhale, then on your exhale gently curl back up using your abdominals into your starting position. And repeat this exercise 3 times at this spinal level.
But if using the rolled up towel, then stay in this extended position for at least 1 minute with arms rested on the floor and take nice big deep breaths. Then place hands behind head again and curl back up into a seated position.
4. Hip flexor stretch
Kneel on one knee on an exercise mat, or cushion if you’ve any knee problems.
Tuck your tailbone under as if tightening your butt.
Stretch up the same sided arm up to the sky and feel a stretch down through the front of the thigh and hip.
Hold for 3-5 deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
5. Glute stretch – seated
Sitting upright on your chair, cross your ankle over your opposite knee and pull close to your hip.
Straighten your back again and then lean forward into the stretch.
Hold for 3-5 breaths keeping back straight. Repeat on the other side.