Personal trainer and fitness blogger Alexis Fletcher is back once again with more quirky insights into the world of health and fitness. This week Alexis uses school ground tactics to assist in your weight loss!
Hula Hoops or Skips? And no, Im not talking about your favourite crisps!
Long since forgotten as mere playground antics, the health and fitness world is now being taken over by classes involving one, or both, of these old skool techniques. The common body weight exercises that still exist on the playground today are in fact great ways to get some fun cardiovascular training in whilst toning up the abs and bum! Heres how hoops and skips can help you:
Most of my female clients come to me wanting to lose weight and tone up around the stomach, core and gluteals; areas that are often seen as simple isolation movements. Such misconceptions are in fact false and sometimes, the best ways to train these areas is to not feel like youre training them at all. Enter; hoops!
Hooping is not only a great cardiovascular workout that is impact free and can assist in fat loss, it is also a great exercise for engaging the core muscle groups, working the gluteals (bum) and motor coordination; all at the same time!
Sure, it may take a little practice and you may feel like a bit of a buffoon at first, but even those with little to no coordination (such as myself) can use hoops as part of your daily workout routine. Whether warming up, cooling down or focusing your entire session around them, hoops will allow you to firm up, lose weight and gain a better sense of flexibility and balance. All while having loads of fun!
The larger and heavier the hoop the easier it is to control and the more it can help to engage the supporting muscles of the core. As they can stick to fabric, its better to wear a crop top or something to reveal your hips (not mandatory however), so pop on some music and find your rhythm!
Perform the exercise in sets of time or repetitions of full rotations in both directions as this engages both sets of obliques. Facing forward, preferably towards a mirror, aim to get a continuous movement with the hoop for as many repetitions as possible. Hoops can be used as a warm up, cool down or as part of a circuit training regime!
Fancy a skip down memory lane? Then grab those skipping ropes and burn over 100 calories in 10 minutes! Skipping is a great full body workout that works the shoulders, arms, chest and legs not to mention the cardiovascular system. To make sure the rope is the correct size, stand on the rope with one foot and line the handles up, they shouldnt go past your armpits. If you need to, wrap the ends over the wrists to fit or simply cut down the rope that you have (most are plastic with knots in the handles for easy sizing).
Jumping 1 2 inches off the floor, give the rope just enough space to slip under the feet, with only the balls of the feet touching the floor. Keep your elbows in and move your wrists and forearms not your shoulders. If you need a rest, set the rope aside but keep jogging on the spot. Aim for 10 minutes non stop! You can mix it up between figure eights, single jumps, forwards and backwards, slalom, double-unders, star jumps and running. Check out any Rocky movie for inspiration!