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Fitness

At home workout: Total body tone-up

Five simple exercises you can do at home.

These five exercises, created by personal trainer Heidi Lindahl, will help you whip your body into shape.
The walking side squat and twist: A fantastic exercise for toning legs and bottoms
- Begin with your feet positioned a little further than shoulder-width apart and your arms placed straight out in front. Then, keeping the shoulders back and chest up, squat down until your upper thighs are parallel with the floor.
- Make sure all of your weight is distributed to the heels and then push up through the heels.
- Immediately after the first squat, pivot on your left foot (you end up facing the opposite direction to where you started) and continue directly into the next squat. Continue this sequence for 10 to 15 metres, or complete at least 15 squats.
Tip: To make this exercise more challenging, hold a dumbbell out in front of you.
The push-up/plank combo: Not only will this work out the chest and triceps, it will also give your core a serious challenge.
- Begin in the push-up position with hands slightly wider than the shoulders, keeping arms straight but maintaining soft elbows. Raise up onto the toes with feet apart a little and knees slightly bent.
- Brace the core muscles and keep your body in a straight position without any arching in the back or sagging in the stomach, and lower yourself as low to the ground as possible, leading with the chest.
- Exhale as you begin to push back up to the starting position, being careful not to lock the elbows out. Repeat.
- Once you have achieved two push-ups, establish the plank position by basically keeping the push-up position, but resting on your elbows and forearms as opposed to the wrists.
- Hold this position for 10 toe stomps (lift one foot up off the ground for a second and return, then take the other foot off the ground and repeat until you have completed 10 stomps).
- Now complete the above sequence five times.
Tip: Keep the torso as straight as possible – be careful not to sag your core area.
Side plank and under pose: This exercise requires a lot of balance and coordination and helps strengthen those arms and wrists as well as your obliques.
- Begin in the plank position (see instructions in the push-up/plank combo), then peel the right arm off the floor and place straight up in the air, rotating your torso so you are looking up at your hand in the air. With the right foot stacked on top of the left, hold for two counts.
- Slowly begin to bring the right arm down, bending at the elbow so it can continue under the torso. Aim to touch the left side of the stomach.
- Keeping the right hand off the floor, continue straight up into the next repetition.
- Aim for five repetitions on one side before repeating on the other side.
Tip: When you’re practicing this routine, don’t forget to breathe!
Mountain climber: This exercise gets the heart pumping, strengthens the core, develops leg muscles and improves shoulder stability.
- Begin on the floor in a sprinter’s starting position (hands out in front a little further than shoulder-width apart with one leg back and the other bent under the chest, resting on the balls of the feet).
- Brace your abdominal muscles and switch the position of the legs simultaneously so the tucked leg kicks straight back and the straight leg tucks under.
- Repeat this action as fast as possible while keeping your head up, and the majority of your body weight resting on your hands.
- Aim to do this as quickly as you can for 30 seconds to one minute (depends on your fitness level), rest for 15 seconds before repeating for another 30 seconds to one minute.
Tip: Do the mountain climber exercise as a warm-up before your workout.
Walking lunge with a twist: This exercise engages the entire lower body including the lower back and obliques.
- Begin with both feet shoulder-width apart and then lunge (a bigger than normal step) forward with the right leg landing heel first then rolling onto the toes, keeping arms straight out in front.
- As the foot hits the floor, bend this knee so the upper thigh is parallel with the floor, being careful to keep the body weight in the heel of the front foot (not in the knee) by keeping the shoulders back and chest high.
- Keeping the arms as straight as possible until they need to bend at the elbows, bring them across the body over the front leg (twisting from the lower back). From this position, continue straight into the next lunge with the left leg and bring the arms across the body, over the left leg.
- Continue until you have completed 12 to 15 lunges.
Tip: If you have lower back problems, avoid the twisting part of the exercise.
For more healthy tips, see the March issue of New Zealand Good Health Choices. Don't forget to visit our Facebook, and follow us on Instagram.

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