Autumn workout series: how to keep your exercise going
So the stress of getting that summer body has been and gone but that doesn’t mean you want to wind down your workouts!
Now is the best time to up the ante and get a head start on the winter bulk. This workout will keep you ticking over all month so that you can go into autumn feeling good and ready for whatever the winter throws at you. Do this workout 3 times a week as well as a brisk walk or a run once a week.
Some say this is the most important part of the workout! Dynamic stretches are the best way to warm up a cold body to get ready for your tough workout.
- Leg Swings - swing your leg in front and behind you, 10 times for each leg. Then swing your leg side to side, 10 on each leg.
- Air Squats - Do 5-10 bodyweight squats (with no weight) to warm up your leg muscles
- Arm Swings - swing your arms round clockwise 10 times, then anti-clockwise 10 times
- Spinal Twist - twist your torso to the right and hold for 10 seconds, then to the left and hold for 10 seconds. Enjoy that stretch!
Time To Go!
- Deadlifts - 4 sets of 12
Deadlifts are one of the best exercises for conditioning as they work nearly every muscle in the body and if you do high volume (like we are here) they will also get you out of breath and get that heart pumping! Start with the bar on the floor in front of your shins. Bend down so that your head and chest are proud and your back is straight. Hold the bar and stand up, keeping your shoulders up, don’t let your bum shoot up first. Breathe out as you pick up the bar, and breathe in as you control it back down to the floor. Rest for up to 60 seconds between each set.
- Bent Over Row - 3 sets of 12
This is a lower intensity exercise but is imperative for a healthy lower back and a strong core. Hold the bar in front of you and bend over from the hips. Keep your back dead straight with a slight bend in your knees. Pull the bar up to the top of your rib cage, keeping your elbows close to your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and squeeze your tummy in, like you’re wearing a belt that’s too tight.
- Plank Rows - 3 sets of 4
This is a tough exercise! It’ll really target your core and test your balance. Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them in your hands as you get into a press-up position (with straight arms). Keeping your body and hips as still as possible, draw one hand up to your armpit with the dumbbell in your hand. Slowly lower it back down, and repeat on the other side. 3 sets of 4 means 4 on each arm, repeated 3 times with 60 seconds of rest in between.
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 3 sets of 12
It’s sculpted shoulder time! Shoulder press is a classic compound movement to tone your shoulders, and by doing it sat on a bench you will be isolating your shoulder muscles even more, therefore, increasing the effectiveness of the exercise. Sit upright on a bench with your back supported. Hold a pair of dumbbells and push them up to the ceiling. Slowly lower them back down just to shoulder height. Repeat 12 times with 60 seconds rest between each set. Breathe out as you push the dumbbells up, and in as you control them back down.
- Tricep Dips - 3 sets of 10
These are pretty much always in my workouts because it’s such a good exercise for toning a problem area- the back of the arms! Place your hands on a bench and face away. Stretch your legs out in front of you and hold yourself just off the bench. Lower yourself down until your shoulders are in line with your elbows, then push yourself back up using your triceps. The further outstretched your legs are, the harder it’ll be!
- Walking Lunges - 3 sets of 10
You can do this with or without weights, that’s up to you! Keep your head up as you lunge forward onto one leg, then bring the back leg into join before lunging forwards on the next leg. 3 sets of 10 means 10 lunges on each leg with 60 seconds rest between each set.
- Leg Raises - 45 seconds
It’s important to finish your workout with an isolating ab exercise. To do leg raises, lie on your back with your head and neck relaxed and supported on the floor. Have your legs out straight and use your abs to lift them up to the ceiling. Use your abs to slowly control your legs back down but don’t let them touch the floor! If this is too tough, you can bend your legs.
This is the best bit of the workout surely because it’s over! Well done on completing a great workout, you’ll be one step closer to your goals now! Time to stretch and relax after a job well done.
- Spinal Twist - Lie on your back. Take your left leg and twist it over to the right. Keep your upper body flat to the floor and twist at the waist. Hold for 15 seconds then do the same on the other side. Your spin may click, that’s just air escaping the joints
- Downward Dog - This yoga pose is an amazing post-workout stretch
- Take three big, deep breaths and shake off your limbs