6 low-impact exercises to try this new year
- Credit: Lauren De Boise
If you’re trying to ease yourself into a healthy new lifestyle, or are looking for a work out that’s easy on your joints, try this circuit from DJ Stanway, a personal trainer from Revolution Fitness Academy, Bury St Edmunds. Increase or decrease the intensity to suit your body, and complete them anywhere – from out in the open, to the comfort of your own home.
Push ups are a great upper body movement which incorporates many different muscle groups. To start, place both hands shoulder width apart on the floor and place both feet together making a straight line along your back from shoulders to heels. Keeping your core tight, lower your body to the ground and press back to the original position. Adaption: Beginners can place both knees on the floor, while keeping a straight back and repeating the original movement. If you find the original position easy or want to target a different muscle group, form a narrow grip by making a diamond with your hands by placing your index fingers and thumbs together. Alternatively, try a wide-hand placement or a one-handed press for more advanced member.
This movement focuses on the core and shoulders. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and keep both legs straight as you hinge and reach for the ground. Place hands flat on the floor and walk your hands out until your whole body is flat. Walk your hands back in reverse to complete the rep, finishing in a standing position. Adaption: To make it slightly easier, squat down at the start of the movement instead of keeping straight legs.
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Squats Starting with your feet shoulder width apart. keeping your head and chest up imagine you are sitting back onto a chair keeping your core tight when you knees are at 90 degrees squeeze your bum and drive your heels into the ground to come back to a standing position. Adaption: To make it easier use a chair and sit to at the bottom of the rep. To increase the difficulty, explode out of your squat into a jump when completing the rep.
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Laying flat on the floor, place your palms flat just past your hips and bringing your feet toward your bum. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees at 45 degrees. Embrace your core, drive your feet into the floor and squeeze your bum to drive your hips towards the sky. Relax your bum to bring your hips back to the starting position. Adaption: To make this exercise harder, raise one leg straight up in the air, driving your hips up with one leg and keeping your hips level. Repeat the exercise for both legs.
Lay on the floor with your feet flat and your knees at 45 degree angle. Bring your shoulders off the ground by bringing your chin to your chest. Place your palms on your thighs and contract your abs to bring your palms to your knees. When relaxing, lower your shoulders, but remember to keep them off the ground. Adaption: To increase the difficulty, start in the same position and raise both legs and point the bottom of your feet to the sky. Contract your abs to reach your toes and lower your shoulders down, not letting them touch the floor.
In a seated position with your legs out in front and a slight bend in your knees, lean back until your feel your core contract. From this position, rotate your hands through your abs from hip to hip. Adaption: To increase the difficulty, bring your legs off the floor and hold 6 inches from the ground.
Always check with a doctor before trying a new exercise routine if you are new to fitness.