C/O our very own British personal trainer*
Memorial Day Weekend: The official-ish start of the summer—every single person’s favorite season (unless you happen to hate sunshine, rosé, and vacation). But with it also comes a whole slew of engagements (and Facebook photos) where the dress code is limited to nothing more than a few strips of fabric. And while we’re all about taking care of our minds and bodies, no matter the season, we’ll admit that there’s nothing like a looming vacation to kickstart a fitness regime. So when we recently found ourselves in London, we stopped by the South Kensington Club (SKC) gym and had trainer Danny Osborne show us eight straightforward moves to get us in gear. Also major bonus points to SKC, as you can recreate this sequence anywhere… including the ‘living room’ of your studio apartment. Yup, it’s time to dust off the yoga mat.
*So he’s not really our personal trainer but we wish he was and are willing to move across the pond to make it happen. Just saying.
Dipping Single Leg Side Plank
This is great for toning the obliques and glutes. Hold the side plank position with your elbow on the floor, raise your top leg keeping your buttocks and abs clenched to stop your hips from shifting back, and lower and raise your hips. Try to do 10 repetitions at a slow controlled pace and then repeat on the other side.
Alternating Single Leg V Sits
This is awesome for abs, obliques and all the entire core muscles. Start on your back, then bring your torso up and lift one leg off of the floor so that you can touch the ankle with your opposite hand, bring your other hand towards the floor to ensure you’re body is rotating. Repeat on the other side. See how many you can manage in 30 seconds.
Straight Leg Reverse Crunches
Lay on your back with your legs straight, point your feet at the ceiling, push your hands into the floor besides your hips as an anchor, and push your feet towards the ceiling to lift your hips and lower as slow as possible. It’s the lowering part of the exercise that’s the most effective element. Aim for 20 repetitions.
Zero Gravity Mountain Climbers
Place your hands on the floor and bring your knees in to your chest one at a time. To bring the legs off the floor keep shifting your body weight forward over your hands until your feet start to leave the floor and continue kicking!
Horizontal Donkey Kicks
This is the ultimate butt isolating exercise! When you kick the leg back and upwards it works the bottom of your glutes and when you bring your leg around to the side it works into the side of the glute. You can do this with or without a pilates ball but I prefer to squeeze one to get the hamstrings involved (you can make it harder by holding a dumbbell instead). Starting on your hands and knees tuck a pilates ball behind on knee and squeeze tight. From here, use your butt muscles to raise that heel towards the ceiling (standard donkey kick). Without bringing your leg back down, bring your knee towards your shoulder so that your shin bone is parallel to the floor, return back to the donkey kick position and then repeat. Try 10 to 15 reps on each leg.
Lateral Moving Plyo Push-Ups
Perform an explosive push-up (can be done with straight legs or from knees), but on the push, jump to one side and as you land bring yourself into another push-up that pushes straight back to the other side again. If this is too difficult, try walking your hands across and back between the press ups instead of jumping.
Shoulder Touch Squat Thrusts
This is a fast fat burner hitting your core and legs hard. Start in a straight arm plank (push-up position), pushing off hard with your arms land in a deep squat position and bring your hands up to touch your shoulders, spring back out of the squat into the plank position and repeat. Try to keep this up without resting for 30 seconds.
Single Arm Mountain Climbers
Start with your hands on the floor, alternating your knees in to your chest. Transfer your weight to one side so that one hand on the floor is between your shoulders and bring the other hand off. The hand that is off the floor should move in a running motion and your legs should keep cycling towards your chest. Jog your legs in 3-4 times and then switch hands. Don’t let your legs lose their rhythm! Keep this going for at least thirty seconds.