January is nearly over and we hope that you have used the first month of the year to wipe the slate clean and pursue a healthier lifestyle. Making the decision to implement positive changes in your life is only the beginning, but once you begin to accomplish what you set out to do, be encouraged that you are on the right track. However, keeping enthusiasm levels high can be the most difficult challenge of all, so if you feel like your motivation is starting to wane, read on to gather some inspiration from our Global F.I.T. Ambassadors.
We asked each Ambassador to reveal what their favourite exercises are and why…
Sarah Matyjasik – The super squat
“My favourite exercise at the moment is the squat – it’s an excellent all-round core and lower body exercise. It's so versatile and can be done in so many different ways using alternative stances, e.g. narrow (using the muscles on the outside of your quad), wide (strengthening your inner thighs) and squatting deep (or pulsing) with a good range of motion. I have found that using an Olympic bar with 5/10/15kg plates, going below parallel, and using a sumo (wide) stance whilst pulsing with good range, has been super effective in making changes to my quads, inner thighs and glute strength.”
How to perform a standard squat*…
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward.
2. Bend your knees and lower your hips as though sitting down.
4. Lower your hips until they are even with your knees. Keep them slightly forward.
5. Push straight back up, lifting your hips up and forward. Don't curve your spine.
Marcus Leach – Get a killer core
“Having a strong core is essential for any physical activity and one of my favourite core exercises is the Russian twist. If you have limited time to focus on your core, this is a great exercise as it engages all of the abdominal muscles, the obliques and the lower back muscles. This exercise also helps with your posture and balance. Having a strong core is vital with the amount of time I spend on the bike; whilst it’s my legs doing the pushing, without a strong core I wouldn’t be able to remain stable on the saddle for up to six hours at a time. By having a strong core I have a solid platform for my hips, thighs and knees to work from ensuring the most efficient transfer of energy into my pedal stroke.”
How to perform the Russian twist*…
Sit on the floor with your knees bent as though you’re in a "sit-up" position. The feet should be kept together and slightly above the ground or put under a stable surface.
The torso should be kept straight with the back kept off the ground at a 45 degree angle. Arms should be held together away from the body in a straight fashion and hands kept locked together.
- Next, the arms should be swung from one side to another in a twisting motion, with each swing to a side counting as one repetition. When moving your arms during the exercise, it is crucial to not stop between repetitions or else you will lose the effect of working the abdomen.
Mike Butterworth – Amazing arms
“Everyone wanting great looking arms will love the bicep curl with shoulder press. I love it as it works the front and back of the arm as well as the shoulder muscles. Whether you are male wanting to look good in your t-shirt on a Friday night, a ‘bride-to-be’ pondering her off the shoulder wedding dress, or simply someone getting back in shape and wanting to tone up your arms, this exercise is a great all-rounder. All you need is a pair of light dumbbells and you’ll be able to work your biceps, triceps and shoulders.”
How to perform a bicep curl with shoulder press…
Stand with your feet directly under your hips and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing out. Bend your elbows, bringing the weights to your shoulders and perform a bicep curl.
Stabilise your torso and keep your arms moving upward, straightening the arms above you and performing an overhead press with your palms facing out.
Bend your elbows, coming back to the end of your bicep curl, and then straighten your arms back to the starting position to complete one rep.
Perform two-to-three sets of ten-to-twelve reps.
Try incorporating these workouts into your exercise routine throughout February and you should start to notice more muscle definition, plus you’ll be creating a strong foundation for your body. Mixing things up and trying different things will help to keep your workout interesting and it’ll give you the motivation needed to power through and reach your goals.