Whether the kids run you ragged, making ends meet each month doesn’t quite allow you to stretch to a gym membership or you just fancy becoming a little healthier as part of your ‘new year new me’ efforts… Our 31 exercises in 31 days will be sure to help!
Try these out (remember to clear a large space and only take part in exercises comfortably within your ability)
1. SQUAT THRUSTS
From standing crouch down, hands on the floor push feet back to extend into a high plank. Pull knees in to touch chest. Repeat 30-60 secs.
2. MOUNTAIN CLIMBER
Start in high plank position. Jump right knee forward to chest. Push knee back to return to high plank. Repeat on the other side 30-60 secs.
3. TOE DIPS
Lie on your back; take a deep breath and focus on contracting near your belly button to engage abs. Alternate driving your knees up toward your chest making sure your feet don’t touch the floor in between reps. Hip flexors control knees, core stabilising pelvis. Don’t arch your back. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
4. CROSS MOUNTAIN CLIMBER
Start in high plank position. Pull right knee into chest and across your body, aiming for the left shoulder. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side 30-60 secs.
From standing place hands on the floor, jump both legs out to high plank. Jump legs back in, jump up to standing. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
6. PLANK JACK
Start in a forearm plank position. Push feet apart to at least hip-width distance, then pull them back together. Repeat as quickly as possible. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
Start in high plank. Brace core push hips toward the ceiling, pulling feet in toward hands, leaving hands and shoulders in the same place. Jump feet back to return to starting position and repeat for 30-60 secs.
8. PRESS UP
Start on your hands and knees with your hands underneath your shoulders but slightly wider than your shoulders. Come onto the balls of your feet and the heels of your hands, walk the feet back until you’re in the plank position. Keep your hips lifted to avoid the lower back bowing so the belly sags towards the ground.
Bend your elbows, lowering your body down towards the floor. Your elbows should bend out to the side, not behind you. Keep your abdominal and leg muscles engaged throughout the entire movement. Your head should stay in line with your spine; not droop.
Lower yourself down until your chest is about an inch or two from the ground and then slowly push through the heels of your hands back up to the starting position. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
To modify, start with your knees on the floor.
9. SIT UP
Lie down on the floor, your legs should be bent at the knees. Place your hands behind your head. Breathing out lift your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs.
Once you feel the contraction for a second, lower your upper body back down to the starting position while inhaling. Repeat 10-20 reps.
Lie on your back with knees bent, and lift hips off floor into a bridge position, engaging glutes and hamstrings, lower. Repeat 10-20 reps.
Start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and arms at your sides. Bring one leg behind at a slight angle into a reverse lunge. The front knee will be at a 90 degree angle. Swing your arms in front of that bent knee and leap the back leg forward to switch sides in a skating motion. Arms alternate as you switch sides like a speed skater. Repeat for 30-60 secs
To make easier step from side to side.
12. REVERSE LUNGE
From standing bend right leg back into a low lunge, keeping left foot stationary. Straighten leg and pull right foot in to return to starting position. Repeat on the other side for 30-60 secs.
Start in standing position, feet shoulder width apart, engage your glutes, hamstrings, and core. Push your hips back and bend knees pushing through your heels (you should be able to lift your toes off the floor), dropping into a squat. Using your inner thigh muscles (hip adductors) and glutes, pull your legs back together to stand. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
14. LATERAL (SIDE) LUNGE
Start in standing position, feet shoulder-width apart, engage your glutes and core. Push your hips back as you push your right foot to the right side, bending the left leg slightly, without allowing left knee to go past left toes. Extend the right leg as far as you can, balancing most of your weight on the left (bent) leg. Pull right foot back toward you as you straighten your left leg to return to standing position. Repeat on the other side. Repeat for 30-60 secs
15. WALL SIT
With your back against a wall, walk your legs out a couple of small steps. Lower the upper body down as if you were doing a squat. Hold the position 30-60 secs.
16. PLANK KICK-OUT
Start in full plank, knees together and hands on the ground. Bend knees, jump both feet to the right and fully extend legs. Jump legs back to centre, then jump them to the left side, fully extending legs. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
17. LEG LIFT
To start, lie face up with your legs extended and your arms on the floor by your sides. If your lower back needs some extra support, you can place your hands right underneath your bottom on each side. Slowly lift your legs up and toward your face, keeping them together and stopping when they are about vertical. Slowly lower them back down to the ground. Keep your back flat on the floor. If you’re having trouble with that or feel tension in your lower back, don’t lower your legs as far down. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
18. RUSSIAN TWIST
To start, lie down on the floor with legs bent at the knees. Lift your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you with your hands together. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out, hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing in, repeat on the opposite side. 30-60 secs.
19. CURTSY LUNGE
Start with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Using all of the muscles in your right leg, push right foot behind left and come into a low curtsy lunge. Return to start by pulling the right foot back so it is parallel to the left, keeping knees soft throughout. Repeat on alternate side for 30-60 secs.
20. JUMPING JACKS
Start from standing, jump legs out, raise arms overhead into a clap. Using the inner thighs and core, pull legs back together as quickly as possible as you bring hands down to your sides. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
21. BICYCLE CRUNCH
To start, lie face up with your legs in tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and over your hips). Place your hands behind your head, elbows bent and pointing out to the sides. Use your abs to curl your shoulders off the floor. Twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee, while simultaneously straightening your right leg. Then, twist to bring your left elbow to your right knee, simultaneously straightening your left leg. Repeat for 30-60 secs.
22. HIGH KNEES
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your chest lifted and your abs tight as you quickly drive your knees toward your chest, one at a time. Swing your arms, focusing on taking your hands from hip height to chin height in rhythm with your knees. Move as quickly as you can for 30-60 secs.
23. SIDE PLANK
Start in a right side plank with your right forearm on the ground, obliques engaged, left hand on left waist, and left foot on the ground behind right foot. Hold position for 30-60 secs, repeat on other side.
24. SCISSOR KICKS
Lie face up with your arms on the floor by your sides. If your lower back needs extra support, place your hands right underneath your bottom on each side. Engage your abs and lift both legs about 6 inches off the floor. Keep your lower back flat on the floor. If you can’t, bring your legs a little higher. Keep your legs straight, cross your right foot over your left, uncross your feet, and then bring your left foot over your right. Continue crossing your feet over one another for 30-60 secs.
25. V UP
Lie down on a flat surface or mat. Start with your legs straight, lift legs and arms up to a V, Touch your toes, then lower your torso and legs back down. Repeat 30-60 secs.
26. CALF RAISE
Stand up straight, then push through the balls of your feet and raise your heel until you are standing on your toes. Then lower slowly back to the start. Repeat 30-60 secs.
27. BACK EXTENSION
Lie on your stomach, facedown, arms straight out in front of you, palms down, and legs straight out behind you. Pull your abs in, as if you’re trying to create a small space between your stomach and the floor.
Lift your left arm and right leg about one inch off the floor, and stretch out as much as you can, hold this position for five slow counts and then lower your arm and leg back down.
Repeat the same move with your right arm and left leg. 5-10 reps on each side.
28. JUMP SQUAT
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out. Squat down with your weight in your heels, chest up, knees tracking over toes, and a neutral spine. At the bottom of your squat, squeeze your bottom tight and drive hard through your legs and heels as you launch straight up, pelvis forward, pushing off your toes at the last moment of contact with the floor. Land softly, whilst the momentum is there go into your next squat. Repeat for 30 secs.
29. RUN ON THE SPOT
Start in a standing position with your arms to your sides. Staying light on your toes, try run on the same spot. Keep going for at least a minute.
30. PLANK TO PRESS
Starting in plank position on your forearms with your feet shoulder width apart and your lower back flat. Press your body up to a press-up position, then lower yourself back down into the plank. Repeat, doing all the reps on alternate sides for 30-60 secs.
31. WALK OUTS
From standing go into Pike, walk hands out until in a high plank position. Walk hands back in, up to standing. Repeat for 30-60 secs.