I’m not sure I can do this, I thought as my legs burned beneath me and my heart threatened to explode outside my chest. 500 metres! 500 measly metres: that’s all I could manage when I began training for my first 5k fun run (over a year ago now).
I remember feeling depressed after walking-jogging-walking most of the route mapped out around the streets close to our home. In that moment, there was temptation to give up. Oh the PAIN! And yet now, a year later, I’m amazed to say I smash out 7-10 kilometres in my usual run. Keep. On. Keeping. On.
Increasing my fitness has been a priority the past couple of years. I feel strong and well; my headaches have improved 70%; I sleep better; and I stress less. It can be challenging to find the time for exercise amongst parenting but I realised you just have to start somewhere and keep going.
When I was thinking about this post I wanted to be able to give someone — anyone! — something to go away with. So I asked my fabulous Group Personal Trainer Lauren from Phyzique if she would share a 15 minute circuit you can do at home with no special equipment. Lauren (mum of two) is the best kind of trainer with the perfect mix of push, encouragement and knowledge. Very highly recommend for anyone in North Brisbane.
I’ve done all the exercises below myself, and they work!
15 Minute Circuit
Warm up for 5-10 mins
Example warm up exercises: Walking, Jogging, neck rolls, arm circles, squats, wide squats, calf raises
15 Minute Circuit
Complete each exercise in the circuit for 30 seconds. Then rest for 2 minutes and repeat the circuit
another 1-2 times
1. Beginner: Wide squats or Advanced: Frog jumps
Stand a little wider than hip width apart. With toes pointing to the outer corners, bend down, keeping chest up. Then, jump up and land in the same squat position.
2. Walking push ups. Beginner: on knees Advanced: on toes
Start with hands together, all of body in one line. Make sure your hips are not sagging and bottom is not raised. Place 1 hand out, a little more than shoulder width apart, bend elbows and push up. Hands come back together again before the action is completed on the other side.
Similar to walking push ups: place hands a little more than shoulder width apart. Start with feet together, keeping control of your core, and bend 1 leg out to the side, bend elbows and then push up. Place leg back in to starting point and bend the other leg out to do the other side. Keep repeating this action and concentrate on keeping the body in 1 line.
Step out 1 leg, bend the back leg down to 90 degrees, making sure the front knee does not bend over your front foot. The knee should stay in line with the foot. Feet come back together, repeat on the other leg.
5. Tricep dips on chair or bench
Perform these on a bench or step and make sure the elbows point directly behind you as you lower your body down and back up again.
6. Step ups on step or chair
Use a height that you feel comfortable with and step up with alternate legs each time. Concentrate on squeezing the bottom as you rise.
7. Bicycle crunches
Perform this exercise slowly. Using a cycling motion with the legs, extending the legs out straight each time. Alternate the elbows from side to side, so the opposite elbow touches the opposite knee.
8. Bridge: beginners on knees Advanced on toes
This is a core exercise. Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders and your bottom is in line with your back. Once in position, pull your navel to your spine. Hold. Complete this on the knees if you have back problems.
Stretch after every workout.
Printable (2 pages with instructions) to stick on your fridge if you want the challenge!
Note: please consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Huge thanks to Lauren from Phyzique for helping me with this post.