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The best way to keep fit, without going to the gym

It’s something that every man thinks about – fitness and physique. While there is no necessity to be as toned as a UFC fighter (a trait, by the way, that our research showed to not be overly popular among the opposite sex), the health benefits that go hand-in-hand with exercise cannot go unnoticed. The best way to keep fit is often contested though.

With the demands of our 9-5 becoming ever greater, it’s all too easy to fall into a work, eat, sleep, repeat routine – finding time to go on a run or work out in the gym doesn’t even come into the equation. Dedicating ourselves to a fixation of free-weights and treadmills can also wreak havoc with our social lives, whether that be spending precious time with family or meeting mates in the local for a cold one. However, staring at a computer screen for 10 hours a day before walking to the Tube to then get into bed isn’t doing our bodies any favours.

But there is a middle ground that can be found, where we can work up a sweat without having to endure the grunting, groaning, mirror-staring and lycra that is intrinsic to the gym scene. The answer is to exercise at home, before or after work, so we’ve enlisted the help of Matt Roberts, who has designed a simple routine that requires no weights, just floor space…

“First thing in the morning is often the best time to work out. It can leave you feeling energised, alert, and kick-start your metabolism for the whole day. Working out at home is convenient, private and it’s at your own pace. It won’t be as effective for some goals as working out at a gym but if convenience is a big factor you can achieve a huge amount.

“This 15-20 minute routine can be done in your room with no equipment, and is suitable for both beginners and slightly more experienced individuals.”

, Image courtesy of Muscle and Fitness

home workout - TGJ.02

1. Stair Press Ups – 12 reps, Place palms on the edge of the third step of a staircase and lean in, pushing yourself away. Be aware of your elbows, tuck them into your sides.

2. Step Ups – 25 per leg, Using the third step again, with one leg at a time, step up quickly, pause whilst pushing the hips forward at the top of the movement, and then lower yourself down slowly. Progress from holding the banister to using a little finger for balance, to no holding at all – no swinging, or high knees!

3. Free Standing Jump Squat – 20 reps, Stand in front of a chair, and holding a large bag to your chest, sit down in slow motion… lightly touch the chair with your bum – then jump explosively straight up into the air, landing softly, and then sinking down to touch the bench once more.

4. Reverse Lunge, From a standing position, stride backwards with your left leg, land it, then lower your left knee to the floor (don’t touch). Then return to a standing position. 20 reps per side, one leg at a time, slowly and under control.

5. All-Four-Alternates – 30 reps, Get on all fours (with something soft under your knee), and straighten your left arm and your right leg as vigorously as you can… and hold for 5 seconds. You should feel a squeeze in you right glute, left shoulder and across your back. Repeat on the other side.

6. Basic Crunch – 20 slow reps, Feet flat on the floor, fingertips behind your head, roll your spine up so that those abs flex hard. Don’t come up too far. (if you’re doing this right, 20 should be really tough… if you can do 50 then they are NOT crunches!)

7. Plank, Lie on your front, and slowly raise your knees, hips and chest away from the floor, taking your weight through your toes and forearms. Make sure that your elbows are directly under your shoulders, and that you are forming a straight line from your head, through your body, to your heels. Squeeze your glutes, tighten the front of your thighs, and brace your mid-section. Hold this position, maintaining whole-body rigidity, for up to 2 minutes.

8. Diagonal Lunge-Backs – 15 per side alternating, Stand with your feet together, then step diagonally backwards at 45° lunging down at the same time. You should feel it in your inner thighs if you’re doing it correctly.

9. Single leg Hip raises – 20 of these per side, Lie down on your back, feet flat on the floor, knees bent. Raise your hip towards the ceiling, with left leg vertical, and your right foot sole-down on the floor, knee bent. Squeeze your glute, until your body is a straight line from your neck to your knee.

For more information, Matt Roberts, click here

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