Get fit — without forking out a dime

All Woman

WITH exercise now being a worldwide trend, many people are finding creative and dynamic ways to stay fit and healthy.

Gisel Harrow, personal trainer at Gymkhana, says that from running to doing strength training, some people are achieving their fitness goals without having to spend a dime.

“With the availability of exercise programmes via apps, YouTube, social media and websites in general, one can set and achieve their goals from the comfort of their home or even public parks, once they have the drive and discipline. There are various workouts that can sculpt and tone your body just by using your body weight and objects inside the home,” she advised.

Harrow said after a brisk walk, jog, or jump-rope session of cardio, 15 to 20 reps and three to four sets of the following can be done at no cost:

1. Push-ups

Starting in a plank position, this is achieved by placing hands firmly on the ground, directly under the shoulders, and grounding your toes into the floor to steady your lower half. Brace your core, engage glutes, hamstrings and flatten your back so your entire body is neutral and straight while doing the exercise.

2. Squats

Stand straight with feet hip-width apart, place your hands on your hips, tighten your stomach muscles, lower your body, then straighten your legs and repeat the movement.

3. Lunges

Lower your hips until both knees are bent at approximately a 90-degree angle. Your front knee should not extend over your ankle, and your back knee should hover above the ground. Keep your weight in your heels as you push back up to starting position. Repeat on both sides.

4. Triceps dips

Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or a stable chair. Slide down to the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep.

For abs, Harrow suggests the following as they target the entire core:

1. Planks

Get in the push-up position, only put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders. Create a straight, strong line from head to toes which resembles a plank.

2. Sit-ups

Lie down on the floor, placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees. Place your hands behind your head and lock them together by clasping your fingers. This is the starting position. Raise your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Breathe out when performing this part of the exercise. Once you feel the contraction for a second, lower your upper body back down to the starting position while inhaling.

3. Bicycle crunches

Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your navel in to also target your deep abs). Put your hands behind your head, then bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, but be sure not to pull on your neck. Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows. Switch sides and do the same.

The following are high-impact cardio exercises:

1. Jumping jacks

Stand with feet together, knees slightly bent, arms at your sides. Jump while raising arms and separating legs to sides. Land on forefoot with legs apart and arms overhead. Jump again while lowering arms and returning legs to mid-line.

2. Jump squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively.

When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible, which requires control.

3. Burpee

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside your feet. Shift your weight onto them. Jump back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.

— Kimberley Hibbert

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