Inspired by the athletic figures you’ve been watching on TV over the last few weeks? Then it’s time to incorporate some of the Olympic moves into your weekly workout! Here’s an Olympic-inspired mini workout to kick start your week:
GYM: 5 minutes rowing machine, aim to row 1000m (if you can do it easy, up the level next time!).
HOME: No rowing machine? Grab a workout towel, slip it around a pole or tree so you can hold onto both ends and row yourself in toward the pole. Keep your feet hip width apart, brace your abs, make sure all the movement comes from your back and arms and go for the full 5 minutes. Can also get a person to hold the middle of your towel instead and be the ‘pole’ but make sure you can trust them to hold your bodyweight!
Shadowboxing, that is – no other people involved! Stand with your feet around hip distance apart and one foot slightly forward, one foot slightly back. Bend your knees a little and relax them, but tense your abs. Punch the air straight forward at chest height front of you with your left hand, then the right hand (jab/cross), then punch upwards with your left and your right like you’re aiming for just under the chin of someone standing in front of you (uppercuts). Keep your abs tight and do a short sharp exhale every time you punch – you should feel a bit of a twist in your belly when you punch the air.
Okay, so not quite the high jump, but definitely working on your jumping height! Grab a piece of chalk and find a tall wall. Stand with your feet under your hips, bend your knees in a squat, brace your abs, jump as high as you can and use your hand closest to the wall to quickly draw a line at the top of your jump. Do this 12 times and aim to get higher than your previous line with each jump. Alternatively, find a stable step and do 20 x two-foot jumps from the ground onto the step and back down. No step and no wall? Change it to long jump instead and mark how far you jump each time/try to better it.
Now for some balance. Stand on one foot, hold both hands high above your head, lift your free leg straight out in front and point your toe (gymnasts always point their toes!). Keeping your arms above your head and your eyes focused on a non-moving spot on the ground just in front of you, take your free leg out behind you and aim to make a parallel line between the ground and your body. Take your time, keep it controlled and do the movement sequence five times on one side. Repeat on the other side.
Leave your drink bottle on the ground, take ten long strides and drop your workout towel. Sprint from one point to the other and jog back, repeating five times. Do three sets. Working out in your lounge? Do 5 seconds on/5 seconds off high knee running on the spot vs. jogging on the spot.
Lie flat on the floor with your hands cradling the back of your head and knees up to 90 degrees. Lift/crunch the upper half of your body up slightly by squeezing your abs, then ‘pedal’ your feet for 30 controlled quick circles. Do three sets. If you have a back injury or don’t feel comfortable doing crunches, get on a stationary bike, pop the level up until you feel a decent amount of resistance and pedal for 5 minutes: alternating 30 seconds fast as you can go with 30 seconds slower active recovery.
Don’t forget to do your cool down and stretching at the end (an Olympic athlete would never forget!).
Photo / Flickr – William Warby