Looking for simple fitness exercises you can easily do at home? Nick Kennedy, former English Rugby Union player, is the Head of Recruitment at Saracens – and a Karma Sports Ambassador! He shares these simple exercises to help you maintain and strengthen muscle tone, core balance and cardio health. Regular physical exercise not only burns calories, but also prevents aging of the body by improving bone health, and protecting our immune system! #stayhealthy
Bodyweight Squat – Very simple but very effective. Feet shoulder-width apart, keep your back straight and squeeze your glutes (bum) as you rise up. Try and go to 90 degrees using a seat/chair as a reference point. If you find it hard you can use a cupboard or shelf to help yourself up. If it’s too easy put some books in a backpack or fill up water bottles in bags or you can add a jump in as you extend up. Great for your leg muscles and burning calories. I do 4 sets of 15 reps with a heavy backpack.
Lunges – If you have space in your corridor, walking lunges are an excellent exercise for your legs. Try and touch your one working knee on the floor and then slowly power up with your standing leg. You can do them on the spot too if you are struggling for space. I do 4 sets of 10 reps with a heavy backpack.
Bridges – Lie flat on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees up in the air. Push through your heels to pop your bottom in the air, with your feet and shoulders still on the ground. I do 4 sets of 8 reps. This is a burn in your hamstrings and glutes. Try and cut down the rest time between exercises as you get better at them, keeping the heart rate up for the entire session.
Shoulder Burner – Lateral raise into front raise: I use water bottles but any appropriate weight will do that you can hold in your hand and have two of equal weight. Keeping both arms straight, raise the weight to shoulder level, out to the side. Then again keeping arms straight, raise them out in front to neck level. I do alternate side and front for 50 reps, 5 times.
Press ups – You can’t beat a press up as an upper body exercise. It’s great for your chest, triceps and core. Make sure you keep your core (stomach & trunk) engaged and flat. If you’re struggling – go on your knees and not your feet. If you’re finding it easy add weight or a clap as you extend up. I’ve been asking my 3yr old to sit on my back and been doing 4 sets of 20 reps.
Plank – Good for your core and shoulder stability. I used to do sit ups but have found planks more effective for developing stomach muscles. You can go on your forearms or hands, keeping the rest of your body very straight, neck in a neutral position. It’s like a stationary press up position and you hold it. I do 3 sets of 1 minute.