With Christmas dinner looming on the horizon, and the threat of endless festive parties ready to eat and drink your carefully-honed summer beach body away, it’s more important than ever to keep on top of your fitness. To ensure that, by the time summer 2018 rolls around, you’re still looking trim, we turned to Toby Huntington-Whiteley, Max Lowery and Matt Roberts – masters in their field of personal fitness – for the best exercises, tips and techniques to keep you ticking over this winter.
Dumbbell Clean to Press – “This exercise is perfect if you are short of time and still want to work your whole body. It works multiple muscles and is great for both your power and strength. In addition, this exercise is an excellent fat burner by increasing heart and metabolic rate.”
1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Bend your knees slightly pushing your hips back whilst keeping a neutral spine and lowering the dumbbells just below your knees.
3. In one smooth movement drive your hips explosively forward, engaging your glutes and legs. By shrugging your shoulders and bending your elbows you can bring the weights to your shoulders.
4. Once you are stood up with the dumbbells on your shoulders, slightly dip your hips back and then drive up to standing. Using this momentum press your arms straight above your head.
5. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders and then to your hips. Then repeat the sequence.
Push-up to Renegade Row – “I love this exercise it hits your shoulder, chest, back and core. I put this at the end of my upperbody workouts as a finisher, alongside a cardio exercise like mountain climbers or burpees. Putting a finisher at the end of your workout is a great way to maximise the calories you burn and increase your metabolic rate.”
1. With two dumbbells come into a push up position with your hands gripping the dumbbells on the floor.
2. With your core engaged lower yourself to the ground and push back up.
3. At the top of the push up, keeping your core tight, pull one dumbbell to your waist and slowly lower it back down and then repeat on the other side. Then repeat the sequence.
The Classic Burpee – “One of the most effective exercises you can do for full body muscle activation and cardiovascular intensity. I like to do 5 rounds of 20 Burpees with a 1:1 work to rest ratio. So, if it takes me 30 seconds to do 20 burpees, I will get a 30 second break!”
1. in a standing position, then jump into the air.
2. As you land on your feet, move your hands towards the floor and hurl your legs back so you are in a press- up/plank position, making sure your back isn’t sagging towards the floor.
3. Jump straight out of that position by bringing your feet back under your hips and then extending your legs and your torso upward, leaping into the air in one movement. Repeat this movement as fast as possible.
The Hollow Hold – “This is my go to exercise to build functional abdominal strength. The hollow body position is fundamental to a gymnasts training, and gymnasts have THE strongest cores of any sport. As with all exercises, quality is key. Once you can do 5 sets of 60s with your legs as low as possible you can start to add weight in your hands and between your feet.”
1.Start at on your back, placing your hands behind your head and bringing your knees in towards your chest.
2. Lift your chest off the floor using your abdominal muscles, and extend your legs straight up towards the ceiling or sky. Lock your knees and point your toes.
3. Keeping your chest lifted off the floor using your abs, lower your straight legs down towards the floor, making sure your lower back does not arch. (The lower your legs go the harder your abdominals have
to work; if your abs aren’t strong enough, your back will want to take the strain.)
4. Find the angle in which you can hold this pose without your lower back arching, all the time lifting your chest off the floor to create the hollow body position.
EXERCISE 1: BARBELL CURL
The first biceps exercise to perform is barbell curls, which will also allow you to overload those biceps with a heavy weight. Most trainees are slightly stronger when lifting a barbell versus a set of dumbbells, so this is a great one for maximum strength development.
When doing the exercise, the primary thing to focus on is that you’re not cutting the movement pattern short at all, and that you’re not allowing momentum to cause you to lean backward as you hoist the weight upwards.
This is one of the most common mistakes with this exercise—momentum performs more of the work than your muscles actually do. If you perform it in a slow and controlled manner, that should reduce the chances of this happening significantly and allow you to place a higher intensity deep within the muscle fibers.
EXERCISE 2: INCLINE DUMBBELL CURL
The second exercise to add is incline dumbbell curls. This exercise is one of the best to help prevent that momentum issue from happening as we just discussed, since it essentially restricts the movement of the back.
When doing this exercise, you will feel maximum tension on the biceps muscle belly, so don’t be surprised if the weight is slightly lower. As long as you’re pushing yourself hard, using the lower weight but maintaining proper form will be the way to go for results.
EXERCISE 3: STANDING BICEPS CABLE CURL
If you’re looking to target the deep-tissue muscle fibres, cable curls are a good bet. Since the pattern of movement is less stable with this movement, due to the constant tension provided by the cable, you will call all the stabilization muscles surrounding the biceps into play as you execute the exercise.
You can use a variety of different attachments to perform the cable curls including a rope, a straight bar, or rotating cable handles that allow you to work a single arm at a time.
EXERCISE 4: REVERSE-GRIP BENT OVER ROW
After you’ve included regular straight rows within the program, you may also want to consider adding reverse grip rows as well. These are going to place a slightly greater stress on the biceps muscles as opposed to straight rows, so they will be a better exercise for strictly targeting the biceps.
Depending on what muscle group you think of contracting as you bring the weights up to the body (the biceps or the back), that too will impact the nature of the muscle stimulus.
EXERCISE 5: CONCENTRATION CURLS
Finally, the last of the exercises to consider to blast your biceps into growth are concentration curls. When done while sitting, these will also limit the degree momentum plays in the execution of the exercise and place all the emphasis right on the biceps muscle.
There will be no helper muscles called into play when doing concentration curls (when done properly), so this is a good one to add in at the very end of your workout when you’re really looking to finish off the biceps and fully exhaust them
Do These 5 Exercises For Big Forearms
1. Barbell Wrist Curls – 4 Sets 30 Reps
2. Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls – 3 Sets 15 Reps
3. Behind the Back Cable Wrist Curls – 3 Sets 12 Reps
To eat or not to eat? That is the eternal question of those who like to run as the sun is coming up.
If none of these sits well with you just before a run, then fuel up the night before with a large dinner. As long as you don’t plan a long or intense run in the morning, a high-carbohydrate evening meal should power you through your pre-breakfast run.
The Lunchtime Crowd
People who run during lunch hours sometimes find that hunger gets the better of them. That’s because if you ate breakfast at 6am, you’ve gone six hours without food. By noon, your fuel from breakfast is long gone and your blood sugar may start to dip. Rather than increasing the size of your breakfast (which may just leave you feeling sluggish), you should bring a light, pre-run snack to work.
After a stressful day at the office, there’s nothing like a run to burn off excess tension. The problem is that you sometimes don’t feel like heading out of the door if you’re hungry or just exhausted. If you do manage to run, sometimes you return home so ravenous that you eat everything in sight as you make your evening meal. Then you might eat dinner as late as 8pm and end up going to bed with a full stomach.