Kickstart 2020 with this any time, anywhere workout plan
Use this year to really turn your fitness regime around, writes Siobhan Byrne, who has devised an exercise programme to fit into any busy lifestyle
And in the blink of an eye, another year has gone and maybe you made another lot of non-achievable new year resolutions - but I assure you that 2020 can actually be different and you can finally find a balance.
That means enjoying your training, fitting it into your busy lifestyle and finally getting the body shape and fitness level you have wanted for so long.
So what have you been doing wrong up until now?
Well, that list is endless but if the phrases below sound like something you say then you need to completely change how you look at training and start making changes that will work.
- I don't have time...
- I'm not seeing results...
- I'm too tired...
- I hate cardio...
As a working mum with a six-year-old and a two-year-old, running a busy household, these exact things have crossed my mind too from time to time, sometimes even restricting my training for weeks on end until I remember one thing: I am stronger and more able when I train.
I almost forget this from time to time until I remind myself that there are so many benefits to training that the only thing I end up regretting is stopping. In our busy lives, we can get so caught up in how tidy the house is, how much ironing or laundry there is to do, or how much of a work load there is to do that we put ourselves last.
Who cares if you haven't emptied your dishwasher - you are about to make a change for life and plan three 20-minute time slots for yourself every week which will turn your life around.
What you do have to do is decide on when that is going to be and stick to it.
Just like a doctor's appointment, you must stick with this so it becomes second nature and a habit and after four weeks, it becomes something you just do like waking up or walking.
So. let's start with some of the best exercises that you can do.
Well, I like to focus on large muscle groups that give the best bang for your buck by training multiple muscles like squats but also adding in some effective isolation exercises to really hit those problem areas like dips and definitely adding in core.
My ultimate go-to exercise for legs and butt and a great calorie burner. The trick is to get the form right and keep the knees from going beyond the shoe laces.
Try to sit back and down without leaning over too much or use a seat or stairs to sit on in order to correct the form. It's a great exercise for lifting the butt if you manage to get your legs below parallel but it's also so versatile, you can make the squat more challenging by adding in plyometric jumps, adding in weights, etc.
Start with your feet in shoulder-width distance. Squat back and down with your hands by your side then simply return to start position. Ensure your knees do not come beyond your shoe laces.
The plank is an oldie but a goody - why? Because it works your core hard without putting too much pressure on the joints.
How does it benefit your everyday life? Think of a house being built on bad foundations (your core), same thing, if the foundations are weak, everything else will suffer and not work as effectively.
Try to hold for a minimum of 40 seconds and build up time as you progress.
Dips with step or ball
This is an ideal isolation exercise to really target back of the arms and hitting the fatty bingo wing area. The reason I like this exercise is that no matter what level, you can do this, from beginner to advanced, taking the feet in closer for beginner level or raising the feet to a step for a more advanced option.
Place your palms on a bench or step behind you and your heels on the floor with your knees bent and arms straight.
Bending at the elbows, lower your body towards the floor. Push up through your palms to return to the start position.
The lying superman
This is a great exercise to hit the core and help strengthen the lower back.
You would be amazed how much your lower back gets abused in day-to-day life from carrying children, bad posture at desks, etc.
This exercise really engages the lower back and core to really effectively build up strength. Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight and your arms stretched out overhead then raise upper body and legs together about 15in off the floor, hold briefly then return to start position by lowering yourself back to the floor.
The mountain climber
Another great core exercise that can be worked to increase the heart rate in the middle of a set.
I recommend putting this in the middle of a workout.
Start in plank position on your toes and hands with your back flat and tummy tucked in. Then simply raise one knee up to the chest, returning and alternating the other leg.
The ultimate bodyweight upper-body exercise ideal for building strength and helping define the upper body including chest, shoulders and triceps.
Start on your knees (beginner) or toes (advanced, ref pic) with your hands on the ground and your back flat.
Bending at the elbows, lower the body down to the ground and then return to start position.
So now you have the exercises, all you need is the programme. If you are a beginner, start with 12 reps of each exercise, completing all the exercises that will be one set. For the plank, hold for as long as possible. Take a short rest and repeat a further five to eight sets. Pencil in three training days and as you improve on mobility and strength, you can start making the programme more advanced.
There are many ways to make this set more advanced by adding reps, adding sets but also by adding in plyometric jumps to the squats, adding in fast-paced walks and sprints immediately after. The world is your oyster. However, my best advice to you is: start small and build up slowly. Allow your body to adjust and let training become second nature and part of your routine.
The biggest mistake that people make is trying to do too much too fast, more than likely you will fail at this, so building up gradually will give real results that you can be proud of.