In 2015, our contributing writer Andre Frois embarked with the personal trainers over at Ultimate Performance Singapore on a fitness journey that took him from flab to fab in just under six weeks. His stunning transformation gave us all the motivation to abandon our Netflix-and-chill plans for some heart-pumping action. Now that we're almost a month into the New Year, we think there's no better time to revisit our fitness goals and have Chris Richards, general manager at Ultimate Performance Singapore, share some exercises you can execute right from the comfort of your home. Let's do this!
THE GAME PLAN Commit to performing the following five exercises in a circuit at least three times a week for 12 weeks. It only takes 20 minutes. Get your workout in first thing in the morning and you'll be revved up for the day.
HOW DO YOU PERFORM THE EXERCISES? Follow Chris Richards below as he demonstrates how to execute each of the above exercises. Be sure to watch your technique and push yourself!
A1. SPLIT SQUAT
Areas targeted: Lower body, glutes, quads, hamstrings
Things to note: You want to have your hands by your side, lift your chest up, and your pull shoulders back. This will stop your body from collapsing or slouching when you go into the bottom of the movement. As you come up, take your time, and avoid resting on your back leg.
Reps: 10-12 per leg. Sets: 3 Rest: 15 seconds
A2. GLUTE BRIDGE
Areas targeted: Glutes, hamstrings
Things to note: Ensure your weight is evenly spread across your legs. At the top of the movement, squeeze your glutes together so you get the most out of the exercise.
Reps: 10-12 Sets: 3 Rest: 15 seconds
B1. REVERSE LUNGE
Areas targeted: Glutes, quads, hamstrings
Things to note: Similar to the split squat, upper body posture is important. Lift your chest and pull your shoulders back. Take your time to observe the tempo and stabilise yourself.
Reps: 10-12 per leg Sets: 3 Rest: 15 seconds
Areas targeted: Chest, arms, shoulder, triceps, back, and neck
Things to note: Depending on what your capabilities are, it's fantastic if you can do a full press-up. Otherwise, opt for a partial press-up so you can focus on the chest and upper body exercise. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Focus on tightening your core and abs, and squeeze your glutes throughout the movement. Lean into the exercise and don't just duck your head down.
Reps: 10-12 Sets: 3 Rest: 15 seconds
C1. MOUNTAIN CLIMBER
Areas targeted: Entire body
Things to note: You need to stabilise your upper body before moving your lower body where the predominant movement is happening. The drive is coming from the legs. This is a metabolic exercise which will help to get your heart rate up. While something like a burpee is common, there's a lot more impact on your joints when you jump up and down. So the mountain climber is a good low-impact alternative.
Reps: 12-15 per leg Sets: 3 Rest: 45 seconds
PRO TIPS: THINGS TO KNOW
1. You can increase the number of sets tackled for a more challenging exercise. Alternatively, if you are able to incorporate weights, such as dumbbells or water bottles, it is not necessary to increase the number of sets undertaken.
2. These exercises are accessible to most and you can do them effectively with your own body weight. They also work the big muscle groups in your body. However, the benefit of heading to the gym is the availability of equipment which allows you to build on these basic exercises.
3. The tempo, or speed, in which you execute each movement is important. When you're controlling the movement, there's going to be much more energy involved and therefore more effective than just rushing through the motion. You should be able to feel the right muscles working.
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