YOUR PERFECTLY PORTABLE WORKOUT
Images by Dallas Olsen | Fitness mode: Sarah Tarran | Hair and make-up by Tegan Woodford
Life can get a bit hectic at times – particularly during this time of the year. There’s so much to do, countless things to organise and so many places to be – how we fit it all in is a mystery! We wake up to our phones, go to bed to our phones; we sit in traffic each morning and again in the afternoon; we hurry around busy shopping centres getting groceries and gifts; we race from the gym, squeeze in a workout, and hurry home again. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
However, it’s one thing to be stressed and leading a life that’s a little too busy - and another to be continually anxious. Excessive worrying, hyper-vigilance, avoidance and emotional stress are just some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders; disorders that affect around 12 per cent of Australian women each year.
It’s this anxiety and ‘bad’ stress that so many of us experience that results in us suffering sickness, headaches, altered appetite and the inability to concentrate. While there is such thing as ‘good’ stress (which helps to motivate you to achieve amazing things), anxiety and everyday stress is far too common in our modern lives, so we want to help you combat it.
A German study in 2005 found that women who described themselves as ‘emotionally distressed’ improved their depression scores by 50 per cent, anxiety scores by 30 per cent and overall wellbeing scores by 65 per cent by doing two 90-minute yoga classes each week for 12 weeks. What’s more, according to research presented by the American College of Sports Medicine, after a six-week resistance training period, rates of anxiety remission were as high as 60 per cent. So we thought: ‘why not combine them?’
This workout will save you time and will have you feeling calmer, sleeping sounder and feeling healthier overall. Plus, by using a resistance band you can do it anywhere! Head down to the park during your lunch break to reduce work stress, do it on your bedroom floor last thing in the evening to wind down or use it to stay on top of your fitness and stress while away visiting family this festive season.
Get your blood flowing first by lightly jogging on the spot. When you feel warm, perform each move in the order listed with no rest. To increase your flexibility, remember to move through the full range of motion, adjusting the tension of the band so it’s challenging enough to complete the recommended reps but not easy enough you’ll smash through them.
Following the completion of one circuit, rest for one minute and repeat once or twice more, depending on your fitness level.
Complete this routine three times a week on alternate days, slipping other resistance and cardio training in throughout the week for a well-rounded fitness regime.
Warrior two with triceps extension
TARGET MUSCLES: legs, abdominals, triceps
SET-UP: Stand with your feet wide apart. Turn your right toes to the side and keep your left toes facing the front. Lunge on your left knee, keeping your hips and shoulders facing front. Hold the band in front of your chest at shoulder height with your palms facing down.
ACTION: Extend your right elbow, pressing your palm to the side as you contract your triceps Slowly bend your elbow, returning to the starting position. Shift your weight from your left leg to your right by bending your right leg and straightening your left. Repeat on the opposite side, ensuring to keep tension on the band the entire time. Repeat for 12 to 15 times per side.
BEGINNER TIP: Adjust the tension in the band if need be.
Side plank with lateral raise
TARGET MUSCLES: obliques, medial and posterior delts
SET-UP: Come into a side plank on your left side and place one end of the band under your left hand. Extend your legs so your feet are in line with your shoulders, and keep your abdomen engaged to stabilise your spine. Avoid sagging in your middle.
ACTION: Clasp the other end of the band with your right hand and extend your arm toward the ceiling, until your palm is lined up over your right shoulder. Slowly lower to the starting position, keeping your legs extended the entire time.
BEGINNER TIP: Keep your bottom knee on the ground.
For the full article and workout, check out the latest issue of Oxygen in all good newsagents, or you can click here to subscribe.
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