Do you want to look leaner and feel stronger? Be inspired by these exercise ideas, and pick the one that’s right for you…
1. Indoor Power Walk
Would suit: Anyone who isn’t fit, but would like to be.
It might sound odd to think of going for a walk in your lounge, but this really is a great idea for a low-cost, quick way to get moving. A 53-minute DVD entitled Belly Blasting Walk takes you through a 3km ‘cardio walk’ of marching on the spot, side steps, knee lifts, leg swings and kicks with a bit of light jogging. Avoids the boredom-factor by combining floor segments that include tightening hip raises, butt squeezes, and supine bicycles to really whittle your waist. There’s a bit of punching and stretching, too. A great workout for any level, but particularly good for beginners, as it’s easy to follow. The Belly Blasting Walk DVD, from R59, loot.co.za
2. Gliding Discs
Would suit: Those who want to toughen their workout, without strain.
Move over lifting and stepping – gliding discs are the toning tools on the block. They look innocuous enough – they’re little polymer discs that go on the floor during your workout, then, depending on what exercise you’re doing, you put your feet (or hands, or both) on them, using them for stabilisation as you slide from one position to the next. Use them to make positions like plank, hip raises or squats even harder, and more fluid, which prevents strain. Dual Sided Exercise Slider Discs, R299, takealot.com
3. Barré Class
Would suit: Ballet lovers who want strength and flexibility.
This workout combines Pilates and ballet positions, while making use of a ballet barré, which is fixed to the wall and designed to help maintain posture as you work on strength, form and flexibility. The Pilates elements strengthen your core through small, precise movements. This fun workout combines a little weight training with cardio, balance, and mobility training, and works many muscles: abs, glutes, legs, arms and back. It will leave you sweaty, uplifted, and full of energy. It’s tough but fun, and be warned – it’s addictive! Classes available around the country, search online for one in your area.
4. HIIT it hard
Would suit: Fitness fans who want to rev up their metabolism.
The Grid is HIIT with weighted resistance training (lifting kettle bells and bars, and pushing giant tyres) to create a high-energy circuit class that boosts your body’s metabolism, making it gobble up kilojoules. You even burn fat afterwards – your body works so hard, it’s still trying to replace the oxygen in your muscles after you’ve stopped moving. Burn up to 2 000 kilojoules in 30 minutes in a Grid class, which uses six movement patterns: squats, lunges, twists, pulls, pushes and bends. Available at Virgin Active gyms.
Would suit: People recovering from injury or anyone wanting to get fit.
Advocates claim that any amount of bouncing on a rebounder (small trampoline) will be of benefit, even if you are so weak that someone else has to bounce you. Great if you are recovering from illness or injury, and can be done any time in the privacy of your own home, or you can join a class for more formal workouts and loads of fun – and don’t be deceived, these can be incredibly challenging, depending on the level you choose. Visit reboundsa.co.za for more information.
6. Resistance bands
Would suit: Anyone wanting to intensify or add a resistance component to their workout.
Lightweight and stretchy, resistance bands offer the benefits of weight training without having to go to the gym or buy all the heavy equipment. They are relatively cheap, can be easily packed in a drawer to avoid clutter at home or suitcase when you travel, and there are a million Instagram workouts to do with them. Great for sculping the body and building lean muscle. Body Sculpture Loop Band Set, R299,90, Sportsmans Warehouse.
Compiled by Health Writer, Belinda dos Santos