A Short Metabolism-Boosting Workout

Following on from my last post, here are some simple exercises to get you started with resistance training.

This is a whole body workout so will incorporate all the major muscle groups.  Be very aware of your technique and make sure you have your core muscles engaged and back straight.  Ideally, do these exercises in front of a mirror so you can keep checking your form. 

If you can, perform 1 set of each exercise to failure.  Simply put, keep doing it until you can physically do no more, no matter how hard you try!  Aim for 8-12 repetitions, so if you find you can do more than 12 before failing, increase the weight and likewise, decrease the weight if you’re not able to do 8.  Keep movements slow and controlled, think 4-1-4, lifting for 4 seconds, holding for 1 second and lowering for 4 seconds. 

If you’ve not done weights for a while or are new to it altogether, don’t go to failure at first, just do what you can and gradually build up until you feel comfortable pushing it a bit further.  (If you would like further information on 1-set training please feel free to email us).

Finally, if you have an injury, are pregnant or have medical issues please consult a fitness professional before doing these exercises.

Legs – Squats
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width and toes pointing forwards.  Now, imagine you have a chair behind you and squat down, pushing your bottom back and making sure your knees don’t come in front of your toes.   If you do this at the gym, place a barbell on your shoulders or hold dumbbells in each hand for added resistance.  If you’re doing it at home, hold for 5 seconds at the bottom each time. 

Back – Single-Arm Row
Bend and rest one knee on a bench or chair, holding on with your hand on the same side.  Bend your supporting knee and grab a weight in your free hand.  Letting this arm hang down, keep your back straight and bend this arm at the elbow, bringing the weight up to chest height.  Take care not to twist your upper body as you do this.  Gently lower and repeat.  Make sure you swap sides at the end!

Chest – Press-Ups
So we all know how to do a press-up, right? Here are a few pointers on technique. The hardest option is the ‘traditional’ press-up where you’re up on your toes with your knees off the floor. Make sure your back is straight and your hands are back at chest level, just a bit wider than your chest. As you lower, engage your core and keep your back straight. An easier option is to keep your knees on the floor, just make sure you still keep your back straight.

Shoulders – Overhead Press
If you have dumbbells at home or a weighted ball, great. If not, find something of a suitable size and weight that you can hold in both hands and lift above your head. Keeping your feet hip width apart, core engaged and knees slightly bent, start with your weight in front of your chest and lift above your head, keeping your elbows slightly bent at the top. Gently lower to chest height and repeat.

Arms – Bicep Curls
If you have dumbbells, grab one in each hand, if not, find something suitable you can easily hold with one hand (one in each hand). Standing tall, start with a weight in each hand and hands by your side, palms facing up, keep your elbows tucked into your body and flex at the elbow, curling the arms up to your shoulder. Lower and repeat, making sure you don’t ‘swing’ you body and keep your core engaged.

Tricep Dips
Sit on a chair with your bum on the edge and hold the edge of the bench next to your hips. Scoot your bum forwards off of the chair and support your weight with your arms. Slowly lower yourself to the floor as low as you can comfortably then push back up to chair height and repeat. Keep your elbows tucked in and pointing back.

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