Swimmers help strengthen the muscles on your back and arms. Anchor the bands at chest height or higher. Stand with a square stance (as pictured) or split stance and grip onto the handles with straight arms. Brace your body and pull the bands down and back past your torso maintaining your straight arms. Pause for a few seconds before slowly releasing to the start position. The higher the start position the greater the range of motion you work over.
This vertical pressing exercise puts a lot more emphasis on your shoulder muscles. It’s like an extreme decline push up!
Place your feet on an elevated surface
Bend your knees and angle your body into a heavily declined position
Your hands should be approximately shoulder width apart
Maintaining this body position slowly lower yourself towards the floor
Avoid flaring your elbows out to the side
Push through your arms to return to the start position
This excellent pushing exercise requires a combination of arm and core strength. Adopt a split stance with your opposite leg forwards. Step forward until there is some tension in the band then smoothly punch your arm straight out in front of you. Aim to keep your arm parallel to the floor. Achieve full extension in the elbow. Smoothly return the arm to the starting position and repeat.
The sit-through is a versatile circuit exercise which incorporates a number of elements including balance, rotation, mobility and strength. Begin the exercise on all fours with a flat spine, hands underneath shoulders, knees underneath hips and off the ground. Lift your left hand off the ground and rotate your right leg through and under your body. Finish up at 90 degrees to your starting position with your right leg fully extended out in front of your body whilst balancing on your right hand and left foot. Smoothly transition back to the start position before immediately switching and rotating to the other side. Repeat for the desired number of reps or time.
Ginga is a capoeira move which tests your balance and coordination whilst gently raising your heart rate without overly taxing any one muscle group. It’s like a low impact version of jogging on the spot and makes a great active recovery compliment to more intense cardio calisthenics.
A great alternative to push ups. Securely anchor your resistance bands low to the ground and step forward till you feel some tension in the elastic. Maintaining a tall posture smoothly push the bands out on a gentle incline. Pause at the end range of motion before reversing the movement and beginning the next rep. Avoid leaning back at any point during the exercise.
The Walking Lunge is an excellent lower body developer synergistically targeting all the muscles of the lower body whilst also providing a great dynamic stretch to the hip flexors.
Start in the standing position and take a big step forwards
As your front foot lands drop down into the lunge position keeping your front heel grounded
Drive upwards using your front leg and take a big step through with the rear leg
Repeat as you travel forwards
Keep your knees tracking in-line with your feet for the duration of the exercise
Place your hands on your head to increase the balance demands
To perform this version of the pike up you will need to have a pair of fitness sliders, furniture sliders or even a skateboard to place under your feet. Start in the push up position with your feet on some sliders. Keeping your legs straight smoothly pike your body up so your feet move towards your hands without your legs bending. Go as far as your flexibility will allow. Slowly and under control lengthen your body back to the starting position. Maintain tension in the whole body and don't let your lower back and hips collapse downwards
T-Grid Sprints combine multi-directional running into a seamless flow. The constant acceleration, deceleration and changes of direction allow you to strengthen your legs and hips from all angle whilst taxing your cardio fitness. This adaptable routine can be used as a lower body exercise, hip exercise, circuit exercise or interval exercise.
To perform arrange some cones in a T shape. Accelerate from cone 1 to cone 2, side step from cone 2 to cone 3, side step from cone 3 to cone 4, side step from cone 4 to cone 2, run backwards to cone 1. Repeat for the desired number of rounds. Aim to move as quickly as possible!
This challenging core exercise targets the abs and obliques and demands good full body strength to perform successfully. Place one forearm flat across the line of your chest and reach under your body with the opposite arm. Smoothly rotate your whole body and sweep your arm vertically overhead. As you rotate allow your feet to pivot onto their sides. Smoothly rotate back to the start position and repeat. Be sure to work both sides evenly.
A fun movement which will challenge your arms, legs and coordination whilst getting the heart racing. Don’t worry if you are limited on space, simply shuttle forwards and backwards. Start on all fours (hands under shoulders, knees under hips). Move your opposing hand and foot forward to begin the move e.g. left arm and right foot then repeat on the other side. Continue in this fashion for a pre-determined distance or time. If you run out of space simply turn around or crawl backwards (surprisingly tricky!) Don’t let your hips pike up skywards or let your spine twist.
The classic strength endurance exercise for the torso. The plank hold helps build stability around your mid-section and is a boring yet useful exercise. Position yourself on your forearms and toes with a neutral spine then brace your mid-section plus glutes and hold for time. Add some extra tension in the working muscles by squeezing your elbows towards your toes and vice versa.
This static hold is great for building a base of strength and endurance in the legs (particularly the quads.) With your back pressed into a wall slide down until your knees and hips are at an approximate 90 degree angle. Your shins should be vertical. Hold for as long as possible. To make the exercise harder simply hold weights in each hand. Since this is a very quad dominant move try to balance it out with some hip and hamstring dominant exercises e.g. bridges.
A functional lower body exercise which strengthens all your major leg muscles. To make the movement more challenging you have three simple options. Increase the height of the step and thus the range of motion, hold onto a weight in each hand or do both.
Find a stable elevated surface
The higher the surface, the harder the exercise
Place your whole working foot onto the surface
Using the working leg alone, drive up to the standing position
Either bring your rear foot to rest on the elevated surface (easier),
Or let it rest just off the back(harder)
Or drive your rear knee up and through (harder still)
Reverse the movement under control until your rear toes gently tap the floor
Try not to rest too much of your weight on the rear foot
Hold weights in each hand to ramp up the intensity
Performing classic push ups from gymnastics rings or a suspension trainer is a wonderful way to decrease stability and increase the intensity of this exercise. You can perform suspension push ups at an incline (easier) or with your body horizontal to the ground (harder)
An excellent anytime, anywhere arm developer. Lock a band against the floor with your feet then grip with your palms facing in. Keeping your elbows down (and your hands outside the line of your body) smoothly curl both arms upwards keeping your wrists in neutral alignment. Pause at the top then lower under control before beginning your next repetition. Widen your stance or use a thicker band to increase resistance. The same move can be done with tube resistance bands
Perfect for building a strong upper back and arms. Adopt a split stance with the opposite leg forwards. Brace your body to create a solid platform to pull from. Keep your spine tall and grip the band in one hand making sure there is some tension in the elastic at the start of the exercise. Smoothly pull your elbow back past your torso, pause and release. The further you stand from your anchor point (within the safe stretch limits of your band) the harder the exercise becomes.
Climbers are a simple but effective torso exercise which target the hip flexors and core muscles. Adopt a strong push up posture with hands under shoulders. Maintaining this posture smoothly lift one knee up towards your chest. Don’t let your foot touch the ground. Reverse to the starting position then repeat with the other knee. Maintain posture throughout the exercise. Don't let your hips pike up or drop down. Continue at a steady rhythmic pace for time.
A good drill for the glutes, the basic bridge also helps stretch out the hip flexors which get short and tight when confined to a chair all day. Rather than passively perform this exercise engage the mind-muscle connection to fire your glutes as hard as you can! Lie on your back, knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the floor. Continue until they are fully extended… your butt cheeks should be squeezed tightly together! Pause in this position before lowering your hips towards the ground and repeating. Avoiding arching in the lower back.
Sprinting is one of the most powerful and natural movement patterns which synergistically strengthens and conditions the muscles in the foot, lower leg, upper leg and hips whilst also providing a great cardiovascular workout. If it has been a long time since you last sprinted you will want to make sure you have a basic level of strength, mobility and fitness before easing your way back into this type of activity slowly and carefully. As demonstrated in the video you can use a slope or gradient to simultaneously increase the difficulty and safety of a sprinting session.