Easy exercises that will help you stay in shape with minimal effort
Whether we plan to or not, most of us will end up eating more than normal over the Christmas period, while also exercising less. If you don’t have time for your usual workout (or want to make sure you’re doing enough to combat that third helping of roast potatoes), Mark Di Soto, fitness manager at Dubai’s Fidelity Fitness, shares a few exercises that will work the majority of your muscle groups and help you burn calories. Better yet, the whole workout only takes 10 to 15 minutes. It uses a set of dumbbells, which you could substitute for bottles of water if you don’t have weights to hand. Ready? Let’s go.
Set 1 Exercise 1: squat to press. Reps: 12. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height with your elbows out to the sides.
Push your hips back, as if you were about to sit. Lower into a squat until your thighs are at least horizontal, with a straight back and knees in line with your feet.
As you stand up, raise the weights directly overhead.
Lower the weights back to shoulder height as you drop into the next squat.
Exercise 2: mountain climbers. Time: 30 seconds. Start in a press-up position with one knee in close to your chest.
Now switch legs, jumping one leg backwards while bringing the other forwards – similar to running on the spot.
Repeat quickly and under control.
Set 2 Exercise 3: Lateral raises. Reps: 12. Stand straight and hold the dumbbells at your hips, with your palms facing inwards.
Raise your arms out to the sides, keeping a slight bend in your elbows, until the dumbbells reach shoulder level.
Pause for a second at the highest point, then lower the weights back to your hips.
Exercise 4: Punch-up crunch. Time: 30 seconds. Lie on a mat with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding the weights at chest level.
Lift your shoulders off the floor and curl your chest towards your knees, keeping your lower back in contact with mat.
Squeeze your ab muscles and punch out with one of the weights across your body, then lower back to the mat.
Repeat, the exercise, punching to alternate sides each time.
Set 3 Exercise 5: lunges. Reps: 12 (alternating sides with each rep). Stand holding the weights by your sides, palms facing in, with feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing forwards and your head up, looking forward.
Take a big step forward, keeping both feet pointing forward. Bend your leading leg until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Lower your rear knee until it almost touches the ground.
Keep your body upright and core muscles engaged throughout the exercise.
Don’t let your leading knee travel forward past your toes – if this happens, you haven’t taken a big enough step forward.
Return to the start position by pushing off your front foot, then repeat the exercise with the other leg.
Exercise 6: Russian twists. Reps: 12 (twist to both sides for one rep). Hold one dumbbell straight out in front at chest height, with your feet slightly wider that shoulder width apart.
Rotate your torso to one side while keeping your back upright and core muscles braced. As you rotate rise up onto your back foot.
Alternate sides with fast, powerful controlled movements.
How to do it Perform set 1 (exercise 1, followed by exercise 2). Rest for 30 seconds, and repeat set 1. Rest for 60 seconds, then do set 2 (exercise 3 and 4). Rest for 30 seconds, and repeat set 2. Perform set 3 (exercise 5 followed by 6). Rest for 60 seconds, then repeat the full routine three times. Do this three to four times a week. Fidelity Fitness offers personal training and group fitness. Almas Tower, JLT; Al Fattan House, Dubai Marina (04 451 1133).