5 Exercises for your New Year Fitness Routine
We know most of you plan to get fitter, get stronger or lose weight this January. Who doesn’t have that sort of New Year’s resolution? Well, here’s five exercises we’ll be doing this January to try and get us on the right track. If you’re unsure how to perform any of these exercises, we recommend speaking to a fitness professional.
Great for lower-body strength and building endurance, the lunge works your hips, quads, glutes, hamstrings and core.
- Stand up straight and engage your core.
- Take a large step forward with your left leg. Move your weight forward, so the heel of the left foot touches the floor first.
- Lower your body down so the left thigh is parallel with the floor and the shin is vertical.
- Your right knee should be close to or tap the floor.
- Press into your left foot and back up to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
Dumbbell or Kettlebell Row
The row is a brilliant exercise for working out your back muscles, ones that are often neglected. It’s excellent if you sit at a desk for long periods.
- Grab a bench or a sturdy platform that is about thigh-high.
- Place a dumbbell or kettlebell to the right of the bench.
- Put your left shin on the bottom of the bench and grab the top with your left hand.
- Bend over with your body parallel to the ground and your spine in a neutral position.
- Grab the dumbbell with your right hand, palm facing toward you, and hold it with your arm extended and back straight.
- Bring the dumbbell up to your body; your arm should be at 90 degrees (try not to go past that). Concentrate on pulling it to you with your back and shoulders.
- Squeeze your back and shoulder muscles at the top of the movement and then slowly lower back down.
- Do all your reps on one side before doing the same on the other.
Excellent for strengthening your shoulders, the lateral raise looks simple but can be more challenging than it seems. Therefore, we advise you to pick light weights to start with.
- Stand with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in.
- Brace your core, keep your back straight and lean forward just a couple of degrees.
- Slowly lift the weights out to the side until your arms are parallel with the floor. We recommend having your little finger slightly closer to the floor than your thumb.
- Slowly lower the weights and repeat the process until all your reps are done.
- Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Keep it nice and controlled. Also, keep your shoulder blades down and use your delts for the movement; you shouldn’t be shrugging the weights up.
One to help keep your core nice and strong. Plank taps are very similar to a plank but with a slight arm movement to challenge the core more.
- Get into a plank position—hands on the floor, arms straight with shoulder above your hands. Ensure your head, shoulders, hips, and knees align, with your core engaged nice and tight.
- Slowly and while maintaining your position, bring one hand up and tap the opposite shoulder.
- Repeat with the other hand, and then continue until you have completed all the reps.
- Start slowly with this. If you struggle, just start with a standard plank and work your way up to it. When it feels easy, you can add leg raises for an extra challenge.
Ok, so you may think it’s an odd one and something you haven’t done since you were a child but trust us, there’s a reason boxers love a skipping rope. Skipping is an excellent form of cardio and doesn’t involve needing a bike or treadmill. Just a cheap skipping rope will do, plus it takes up a tiny amount of space, and you can do a short workout in no time at all. Start with 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off for a few rounds and work your way up from there.