Every New Year it’s nice to be able to relax and re-adjust your priorities. For many of us, the holiday season means enjoying time with loved ones over a nice meal or drink, but routine and exercise is also important. These holidays, take some time to reflect and adjust your priorities.
Getting a routine back after a break can sometimes be quite difficult and disheartening when you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. There’s new year tasks, work, last-minute catch-ups with friends or family who are still on their holidays and trying to fit in a long workout each day. The good news? A workout doesn’t have to be long to be effective: even 10 minutes can dramatically affect your mood for the entire day. Opting for a mini workout that maximises your efforts instead of a long sweat session can help you get your routine back without leaving you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
Social distancing throughout 2020 taught us so many things, one being the amount we can do in any space we are given! This 30-minute workout requires nothing else other than space the size of a yoga mat and a yoga mat or towel to soften the floor.
Each of the exercises we suggest below can be easily modified to suit your abilities. Adapt each movement to an intensity that is comfortable for you.
Complete the following circuit for as little or as many rounds as you like, we recommend the following:
- 4 sets of each exercise
- 30 second sets
- 10 second rest between each set
- Do each set of 4 and then move onto the next exercise
Repeat each set four times and then move onto the next exercise.
Exercise One: High Knees
This first exercise is fantastic to get your blood pumping and your heart rate up. It engages your core, strengthens your legs, and promotes stability, coordination and flexibility. Simply go slower or faster depending on what you are capable of.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then bring one knee up until your thigh is parallel with the ground. Switch to your other leg and quickly alternate between legs.
Variation: Start off slow and build up your speed as you become more comfortable and confident.
Exercise Two: Jumping Lunges
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and step one leg behind you, lowering your back knee into a lunge position. Instead of bringing your leg back to standing, launch into a jump and switch your legs to perform a lunge on the other side. Alternate jumping between legs as quickly as you can.
Variation: If you can’t do jumping lunges for any reason, simply step forward into your lunge, push back until your feet are back together and alternate between both lunges. Try to push back using the heel of our front foot and not your toe.
Exercise Three: Plank Alternating Shoulder Taps
Hold a plank position on your hands, keep your core switched on and hips square while you balance on one hand. Lift the opposite hand up to tap your shoulder, then place it back on the ground before alternating with the other hand. Try to keep your hips stable when lifting your arms to really work your core.
Variation: Beginners can work their way up to a full plank by starting off on their knees. Our tip is to do as many as you can on your toes and then drop down to your knees when you need to.
Exercise Four: Pop Squats
Start in a wide squat stance with your chest up, then lower into a squat. On the way up, push powerfully through your heels and jump your feet together. Then ‘pop’ back out to your wide stance squat and repeat the movement
Variation: Beginners can do a bodyweight squat without the jump in the centre. Once you feel more confident you can add a jump to your squat, and when that feels easier you can add a jump to the centre.
Exercise Five: Hand Release Burpee
Behind by standing straight with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at your knees and place your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders, then jump your legs out to a plank position. Lower your body slowly towards the ground as if doing a push up but instead of driving back up, drop your chest to the floor and lift your hands off the ground. Place your hands back on the ground and press up to a plank position, jump your feet back into your chest and drive yourself up to jump into a standing position. Repeat the exercise as many times as possible.
Variation: If this option is too intense, you can modify the exercise by stepping your legs out into a plank position instead of jumping them. You can then drop to your knees to lower your chest to the ground, or skip the push up altogether and step your legs back into your chest and return to standing.
Exercise Six: Pilates Swim
Lie stomach-down on a yoga mat, lifting your hands and legs up from the ground while keeping your chest and hips firmly planted on the floor. Engage your core as you move your arms and legs up and down in a swimming motion. This exercise is fantastic to activate and strengthen your shoulders, core and glutes.
Variation: To simplify the Pilates swim, you can simply do the arm movement and keep your toes on the floor, ensuring your core is always engaged.
Exercise Seven: Froggy Squats
Squat down in a wide stance squat as low as you can – you’ll feel a good stretch in your hips here! Press your palms together and rest your elbows on the inside of your knees. Straighten your legs while keeping your elbows locked in the same position and then lower back down to your squat position. As your legs lift, your face will lower towards the ground, almost like a seesaw.
Variation: Slow down your pace when you start out to become familiar with the movement and adjust your pace to your abilities.
Finally, finish your workout strong with this optional 5-minute Pilates-based ab burner. Complete 1 minute of each exercise continuously. If you’re a beginner, simply take a rest between each minute as needed.
Criss Cross Scissors
Laying flat on your back, lift your legs towards the ceiling with your toes pointed. Slowly lower both legs towards the ground, then lift them back to the starting position. While lowering and lifting your legs you want to alternate your feet over the top of each other in a “criss-cross” motion.
Plank with Oblique Dips
Start in a plank position on your elbows with your hips tucked under and core engaged. Rotate your hips, trying to get the left hip to tap the floor and then the right.
Bird Dog Crunch
Place your hands and knees on the ground, ensuring your knees are hip-width apart and hands are placed directly beneath your shoulders. Lift your left arm and right leg off the floor, stretched out straight. Bend the outstretched hand and leg in towards your belly, rounding your back and crunching your core before stretching them out straight again. Repeat on the same side for the whole minute.
Bird Dog Crunch (alternate side)
Repeat the previous exercise using your opposite arm and leg.
Laying flat on your back, place your hands under your bum for lower back support and lift your legs about 3 inches of the ground. With your toes pointed and lower abs engaged, flutter your feet in a swimming motion.
Just as we structure a stay at Eden, we believe you should do as much or as little of this workout as you need to feel accomplished, rejuvenated and ready to take on the day. To learn more about the activities and exercise you could take part in at Eden, simply click here.