Top festive exercises to end 2014 on a high note
With the festive season in full swing, we face the possibility of gaining extra weight
With the festive season in full swing, we face the possibility of gaining extra weight after indulging in one too many a mince pie or chocolate log.
As working the body intensively is far more beneficial to your metabolism than going for a slow walk or jog, here is a list of three key exercises to increase your heart rate and burn calories.
Exercise 1: Medicine ball slams
This exercise is fantastic for toning up your arms and your lower body, as well as being extremely fun and challenging.
You will require a Dynamax Medicine ball for this move - these can now be found in most gyms.
Step 1: Begin with your feet a hip’s width apart and keep your knees and feet straight.
Make sure to distribute your weight through your hips, keeping the knees behind the toes and feet firmly placed on the ground.
Step 2: Pick up the medicine ball, pressing your palms up and keeping your elbows close into your body.
Step 3: Elongate your muscles as you lift up and lift the medicine ball straight up above you.
Step 4: From there, push your hips back slam the ball down in front of you.
Try to use momentum to bring the ball down and as you slam the ball down, keep your center of gravity low.
If done correctly, the ball will bounce back slightly into your hands without you having to bend down to pick it up from the floor.
Perform three sets of 15 -20 repetitions.
Exercise 2: The Bosu Ball side-step
This explosive dynamic exercise will increase your heart rate and also works all the muscles in your lower body and your core. To perform this exercise you will need a Bosu ball, which can be found in most gyms
Step 1: Begin with your feet a hip’s width apart, about 2 steps away from the Bosu ball.
Step 2: Bend at your hips slightly, as if you are about to perform a mini squat but not as low.
Step 3: Now, with the foot closest to the Bosu ball take one step laterally (to the side) onto the Bosu ball and then step onto the other side while your other leg follows through.
It is a typical side-stepping exercise that would usually be done on an aerobic stepping block.
Step 4: Once you land on the other side, allow the momentum to take you back across.
Keep your upper back extended throughout the movement and your navel drawn in.
Step 5: Once you have mastered the move, try not to place both your feet on the ground and allow the lead leg on each side to do the work.
You can also speed up the pace to make it more challenging.
You should feel a burn in your legs in the back and the derriere muscles if you are doing the exercise correctly.
Note that it is important that you push off the lead leg to send the body off in a sideways direction.
Complete 30 seconds repetitions for a total of two minutes and then rest and repeat again for another two rounds depending on your fitness level.
Exercise 3: Bosu ball squat jumps
Squats jumps are another explosive exercise and a great way to keep your lower body toned. Doing them on the Bosu ball is far more challenging as it requires you to work your core muscles harder.
Step 1: To start with, stand on the Bosu ball with your feet pointed straight forward and slightly less than a hip’s width apart.
Step 2: Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and pull back your shoulder blades.
Step 3: Slowly bend down and then jump straight up to the ceiling, extending your arms straight upwards.
Land back down in the squat position.
It is ok to allow the knees to come forward slightly past your ankles but the key point is that you feel the burn in your butt and the back of your legs rather than just in the front of your thighs.
Keep your chest lifted, your shoulder blades retracted and your back extended as land back down.
Don’t forget to keep your navel pulled to help activate your core muscles.
Perform 10-20 repetitions of 2-3 sets.
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