AS much as we would like to, we don't always have the time or the endurance to weather an hour-long workout. But that doesn't mean that we have to forfeit giving our bodies a little physical edge or our immune system a boost, says personal trainer and fitness expert Gisel Harrow.
She pointed out that workouts don't always have to be drawn out to be effective, noting that a rigorous 10-minute session could be enough to re-energise you.
“An exercise session doesn't have to go for long unless you're working on and focusing on specific muscle groups for developing strength and gains. Doing a 10-minute workout can significantly improve your fitness and well-being. They can also be done anytime and anywhere,” Harrow shared.
The booty builder
If you are ready to give it a try, grab your workout shoes and a towel and get ready to take on this week's technique — bodyweight squats or the booty builder.
“The bodyweight squat is a technique that can be described as a foundation body workout movement that can be performed even at the beginner's level of exercise. It is one of the most practised lower body strengthening exercises and because it does not require any gym equipment at all, it can be performed almost anywhere,” Harrow said.
She pointed out that this particular technique targets all the major muscle groups in the legs. These include the quads, glutes, hamstrings and core.
Before you get into the technique, get your body warmed up. Some warm-up activities that you can try include stretching, walking and jogging.
How to do bodyweight squats
1. To complete this technique, set your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Next, slightly turn your toes outward and hold your arms out in front of you at shoulder height. Now, pull in your lower abs.
3. Keeping your back straight, bend to knee level and drop your hips. Keep your heels flat on the floor.
4. Now pause for a moment and strongly push back up to the starting position, mirroring the descent.
5. Repeat for 20 repetitions. Pause for one between each set of repetitions.
To increase the intensity of this exercise you may add a few exercise equipment, some of which are inexpensive and small enough to use even if you have a small space. These include dumbbells, kettlebells or even a piece of furniture as you become more familiar with the technique.
Skimping on the cool down process can be quite tempting because few see the value in it. However, Harrow says that cool-down activities are just as important as the rest of the exercises. Cooling down brings your heart rate back down as well as it preps your body for recovery and helps reduce the sore, stiff feeling that often accompanies a workout session.
Some cool-down exercises to consider are jumping jacks, walking and stretching.