Heading to the gym during the cold and dark winter mornings is about as enticing as a dentist appointment. To help keep the winter blues at bay and maintain your shape, try this sweat sesh courtesy of 360 Health personal trainer and physiotherapist Alexandra Kierdorf-Robinson (@swedishalex) – all from the comfort of your own home.
Photography: Athletic Agencies, Miles Muecke.
This workout will not only result in a surge of endorphins with its high-intensity efforts, but will also save you some serious coin, requiring only a chair to complete.
The workout is organised into five supersets (performing two exercises back to back), followed by a short rest. This form of training is quick and efficient – maximising results while minimising the impact on your busy lifestyle. Target muscle groups including your booty, arms and core, while the supersets ensure your heart rate is kept high for maximum fat burn.
Get it done
Perform your warm-up before moving onto superset 1. Once both exercises of the supersets have been completed, rest for 30 seconds. Then move on to superset 2, and so forth until all five supersets are complete.
»Rest for as long as you need at the end of the circuit, before moving onto the next round.
»For beginners, I recommend performing 2 rounds in total, intermediate 3 to 4 rounds, and for advanced 5 rounds.
This warm-up will prepare your body for the workout ahead, making it more efficient and safe.
Jog on the spot for 1 minute and then perform 10 bodyweight squats x 2 sets
Forward dynamic lunges x 20 and then perform 10 push-ups (knees or toes) x 2 sets
Jump squats x 15
Stand with feet hip-width apart and brace your core. Sink your hips back and down into a squat position, swinging your arms back at the same time. Drive your body upwards through the legs, jumping high up in the air while extending your arms overhead. Keep squatting and jumping in a fast, smooth motion.
Push-up to Side Plank x 16
This exercise can be performed on your knees (beginners) or toes (advanced). With your abs braced, perform a push-up, taking your chest to elbow level and pressing up again. Turn your body sideways into a side plank, lifting the hips and reaching up. Come back to centre, and repeat on the other side.
Step-up onto chair / lunge back combination x 15 each leg
Place your right foot in the middle of the chair seat. Thrust your body up, lifting your left knee. Step down and lunge back with your right leg. At the bottom of your lunge you should ideally have a 90 degree angle in both knees, and your front thigh parallel to the floor. Repeat 15 times, and then change legs.
Dips off chair
To set up, place your hands shoulder-width apart behind you with fingers pointing forward. Lift your chest and take your hips off the chair. Bend and extend the elbows, keeping your hips close to the chair throughout. Try squeezing your elbows in towards each other to engage your triceps even more.
Bulgarian lunges with foot on chair x 15
Place the top of your foot on the edge of the chair seat. Jump forward until you are about a metre away from the chair. Brace your abdominals and lift your chest proud. Bend your standing leg deeply, dropping the back knee straight down towards the floor, performing a Bulgarian lunge. Press up again through the heel of your standing leg.
Hover / plank combination x 16
This exercise can be performed on your knees (beginners) or toes (advanced). Start in a hover position, resting on your forearms with your elbows under your shoulders and abs braced. Press up onto your hands into a high plank position. Return to your forearms again. The trick is to keep your hips as still and stable as possible as you move between the two positions.
Hip bridge hold with alternating leg lift x 10
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Lift your hips up as high as possible by squeezing your glutes. Interlace your hands underneath you, pressing your arms into the floor and enabling you to lift higher into your hip bridge. If your mobility prevents you from interlacing your fingers, your arms can rest on the floor by your sides. This is your starting position. Lift one knee up in the air, extend the leg, bend again and then slowly return to the starting position. Keep your hips square and still throughout. Alternate sides.
Fireflies with push-up combination x 10
The foundation of this exercise is a push-up on knees (beginners) or toes (advanced). As you execute your push-up, bring your knee to your elbow at the bottom of your range. Return to the starting position. Keep your abs tight and your whole body straight and strong like a plank.
Supine plank hold (modified table top pose) x 30 sec
Come into a seated position with your legs extended in front of you on the floor. Place your hands by your hips, fingers pointing outwards. Press through your hands and shoulders, lifting your chest proud. Lift your hips and legs up as high as you can. Try pressing the soles of your feet towards the floor.
Double leg extension / crunch combination x 15
Extend your legs out to 45 degrees and stretch your arms behind your head while pressing your lower back down towards the floor. Then, crunch up curling your knees towards your chest and reaching your arms towards your feet. Repeat. If the exercise is too demanding on your lower back, lift your legs higher than 45 degrees on the extension to take the pressure off.