If you’re planning on hitting the shores in Majorca or Ibiza this summer, the first step is to make sure you’re in shape. That’s where we come in! This week we’ve picked out three simple but high-intensity workouts to get you on top of your game, ready to hit the beach. (And while you’re there, it’s worth checking out the fresh threads we’ve just dropped in our Holiday Edit!)
So… ready to get started?
Let’s buckle down and start with the basics. You know this one: the plank technique is the go-to exercise for those looking to push themselves to the max. It’s deceptively simple, but it’s hard to master.
Start by getting yourself in the classic push-up position. As with all forms of exercise, form is vital. Your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders, your toes should be firm down on the ground. If you’ve got that nailed down, then your overall shape is going to straight enough to closely resemble – well, a plank. Not hard to see where this one got its name!
We know we’ve mentioned it already, but we can’t stress enough the importance of form. If you want to get your core rock-solid in time for sunny climes in Majorca or Ibiza, you’ve got to keep the basics in mind. Try and resist the temptation to take the edge off by letting your hips or core sag to the ground – you need to keep it all straight. Then it’s just a matter of commitment!
2. Side Plank
If sculpted abs is truly your goal ahead of this summer’s holiday, to ignore the side plank would be like hitting the beach without your shorts on. Sure you can do it, but it just isn’t right, you know? The great thing about this one is that it again targets your core muscles, working both sides of your body to the limits. Trust us – it’s the best kind of burn.
Lie yourself out on the ground and get your body side-on (so that your chest is facing the wall). Place a forearm down on the ground, under your shoulder – this will be the one taking your weight. Contract your core and gradually raise your hips, until your body is in a straight line from head to feet. Experts recommend keeping that up for at least a minute before you lower your hips. Don’t let them sag in the meantime, or the effectiveness is lost!
If you want to take things up a notch, you can challenge yourself during a set. Mix up your reps by raising your top leg and free arm high for the exercise. This will test your abs, quads, hamstrings, upper body and lower back to the very limit, but stick with it as long as you can. It can bring awesome results!
Feeling confident? Great – this is where things get a little tough now. There’s no rush to get to this stage though. Remember, gym champions like Henry Cavill and The Rock favour scaling up gradually. If you go too hard, too fast, or both you risk injuring yourself. Nobody’s a winner there.
You’ll probably be glad to hear that perfecting the form, at least, is pretty simple. Once again, you’ll be starting out on the ground (seeing a pattern?) Stretch your arms behind your head and hold them there. Then slowly raise your arms and legs off the ground, and try not to drop them until the set is finished. Then it’s just a matter of tensing your abs as you bring your legs and arms into your midriff. Repeat that exercise as many times as you can. Don’t worry if you find you can’t maintain it for too long to start off with. We told you it was tough! It’s the exercise of champions, and it takes focus and determination. But if you’re dedicated, the payoff will be well worth it!
The great thing about these exercises is that you can do them anywhere, without the need for special equipment. As long as you’ve got the space, you’re good to go! Of course, if you do fancy hitting the gym, we’ve got you covered there, too. Check out our Dead Legacy tracksuits to see the freshest threads for hitting the gym in style!