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Exercise Programme

Legs Bums and Tums Exercise Programme

This exercise element of our LBT challenge has 3 different components:

30 Minute Burn walking and/or jogging to burn off the calories

20 Minute Tone for shaping legs, bums and tums

5 Minute Tum extra help for amazing abs

 

30 Minute Burn – 5 times each week

Outlined below are 2 Burn programmes, choose the one that best suits your current level of fitness. Both are designed to be followed over a 6 week period.

Level 1 Burn

For those who are not currently exercising regularly.

Activity:

  • Week 1 & 2: 30 minute walk
  • Week 3 & 4: 30 minute brisk walk (a bit further/faster)
  • Week 5 & 6: 30 minute very brisk walk (even further/faster)

Note

If you think walking for 30 minutes continuously will be a struggle, do 20 minute walks in weeks 1 & 2, 25 minutes in weeks 3 & 4 and 30 minutes in weeks 5 & 6.

Instructions

Start in week 1 by completing a 30 minute walk 5 times in the week. Increase the intensity of your walks over 6 weeks, as outlined above. Try to increase the distance that you complete every time you walk.

For example, if on your first walk you get to the shops and back in 20 minutes, on day 2 try to walk a little quicker and reach the lamppost just past the shops before turning back for home. To ensure that you are getting the most out of these exercise sessions you need to increase your pace to make your walks challenging.

Intensity

As a guide you should walk as briskly as you can, whilst still being able to speak. You are looking to be working at 65 – 75 % of your maximum heart rate. See my guidance on Exercise Intensity and Optimum Heart Rate for Exercise below.

Frequency

5 x per week

Level 2 Burn

For those who are currently exercising regularly.

Activity:

  • Week 1 & 2: 30 minutes of interval training (walking and jogging)
  • Week 3 & 4: 30 minutes of interval training (walking with a bit more jogging)
  • Week 5 & 6: 30 minutes of interval training (jogging and walking)

Instructions

Interval training involves running or walking at various speeds. Aim to complete the sessions outlined above without stopping. How much jogging and walking you do is dictated by your own level of fitness. Start off with a gentle jog and maintain a comfortable pace. When jogging isn’t comfortable any more, slow to a walk to get your breath back, but keep walking. Repeat this pattern of jogging and walking until you have completed the duration of time as specified above.

As you get more used to jogging you can set yourself more structured, individual goals i.e. jog 1 min/walk 1 min or jog 2 mins/walk 1 min. Check out the guidance below to make sure that you are working at an appropriate intensity.

Intensity

65 – 85 % of your maximum heart rate. See my guidance on Exercise Intensity and Optimum Heart Rate for Exercise below.

Frequency

5 x per week

Exercise Intensity

To get the most out of exercise it should be challenging. You need to do more than you usually do on an average day. Make your body work at a greater intensity than your normal level of daily activity. Heart Rate Monitors are the easiest way to monitor your exercise intensity but there are other ways. You can take your pulse manually after exercise with the aim of achieving your Optimum Heart Rate for Exercise or follow the guidelines below to decide on the appropriate level of exercise intensity for you:

Normal effects of exercise on the body

  • Increase in body temperature (including sweating)
  • Flushed skin
  • Warming/aching of the muscles being used

You are working too hard if:

  • You can’t talk
  • You are panting for breath
  • You have a head ache or feel dizzy
  • You are in pain!

You have worked too hard if:

  • The next day you are unable to complete a normal day’s activities

 

20 Minute Tone – 3 times each week

The aim of completing the following exercises is to increase muscle tone in your legs, bum and tum!

There are 2 exercises for each body part. Complete these exercises 3 times each week - but not on consecutive days as your body needs time to strengthen and repair. Once you have mastered an exercise and need more of a challenge move on to complete the ‘progression’ of that exercise.

Top Tip

Keep breathing!

Legs Exercise 1: Squat

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15
Start position: Stand with your feet hip distance apart, your hand on your hips and your shoulders back. Draw in your tummy and hold it in (pretend that you are in a bikini and your friend has just produced a camera!)
Movement:squat Lean forwards at the hips, keeping your back straight.

Sit down as if you were lowering your self onto a chair.

Your feet should stay flat on the floor and your body weight should be distributed evenly through them.

At the lowest point of the squat position your hips should be just above knee level, and your knees should be over your ankles and behind your toes.

Return to start position and repeat.
Posture: Try to keep your tummy muscles drawn in throughout the movement.
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Legs Exercise 1 Progression: Side Step Squats

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15
Start Position: Same as squats, above
Movement: Take a large step to the right and lower down into a squat position as described above.

As you rise up out of the squat simultaneously step back into the start position.

Repeat on the left hand side to complete one repetition.
Posture: Keep your tummy muscles drawn in throughout the movement.

Legs Exercise 2: Forward Lunge

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15
Start Position: Stand with your feet hip distance apart, your hands on your hips and your tummy drawn in.
Movement: lunge Take a large step forward with your right leg, allowing your left heel to raise up off the floor.

Lower your body straight down by bending your left knee beneath you (but not hitting the floor).

Keep your right knee behind your toes and aim to get a right angle at each knee.

Return to the start position by pushing back on your right leg.

Posture: Keep your body upright throughout the movement.
Tip: Whilst you are getting used to this exercise and your muscles are strengthening only lower your back knee to a level that you are comfortable with. You will feel this exercise in your thighs.
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Legs Exercise 2 Progression: Forward Lunge – Alternate Legs

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15
Start position: Same as Lunge, above
Movement: Complete lunges on alternate legs.

Lunge forward with the right leg, return to start position and then repeat with the left leg. (This is one repetition)

Posture: Keep your body upright throughout the movement.

Bum Exercise 1: Bridge

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15 + pulses
Start position: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor positioned hip distance apart.

Relax your hands by your sides. Draw in your tummy muscles.
Movement: bridge Keeping your back straight, raise it off the floor until you have a straight line through your shoulders, hips and knees.

Clench your bum at the top of the exercise then release it as you lower your body back down to the floor.

Touch the floor but try not to put your weight down. Repeat slowly for 15 repetitions.

When you are at the top of the 15th repetition, complete 10 small pulses by squeezing and releasing your bum muscles.
Posture: Use your tummy and bum muscles to ensure that your back stays straight.
Tip: You should feel this one in your tummy and your bum and not in your lower back.
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Bum Exercise 1 Progression: Bridge (feet together)

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15 + pulses
Start position: Same as Bridge, above, but with your feet and knees together.
Movement: Same as Bridge, above, but with your feet and knees together throughout the movement.
Posture: Use your tummy and bum muscles to ensure that your back stays straight.

Bum Exercise 2: Back kick

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15
Start position: Start on your hands and knees with your hands below your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Keep your back straight and draw in your tummy muscles.
Movement:back kick Slowly lift up your right knee approximately 1cm off the floor without adjusting your overall position.

Keep your right leg bent and raise the sole of your foot to the ceiling.

As your thigh becomes parallel to the floor, squeeze your bum muscles to hold the position and then lower your leg back down.

Repeat the same movement with the right leg 15 times before repeating it with the left leg.

Posture: Use your tummy muscles to support your lower back so that it doesn’t arch.
Tip: Try not to raise your leg too high or it will put pressure on your lower back. You will feel this one in your bum.
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Bum Exercise 2 Progression: Back kick (arm extended)

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15
Start position: Same as Back Kick, above
Movement: Complete the Back kick and in addition raise the opposite arm at the same time as you raise the leg. i.e. right arm and left leg raised at the same time.

Lower your arm and leg to complete one repetition. Repeat the same movement 15 times before repeating it with the other arm and leg.
Posture: Use your tummy muscles to support your lower back so that it doesn’t arch.

Tum Exercise 1: Pelvic Tilt

Sets/duration: 2 x 20 - 30 seconds
Start position: Lie down on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind the small of your back (palms to the floor) so that your finger tips are touching.
Movement:pelvic tilt Push your lower back down onto your hands and apply a constant pressure onto your hands.

Try to relax your bum and your shoulders so that your abdominals have to work hard.

Gradually extend the duration of the exercise up to 30 seconds as your lower abdominal muscles get stronger.
Tip: Don't hold your breath. You will feel this exercise in your lower abdominals.
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Tum Exercise 1 Progression: Pelvic Tilt with Single Leg Lift

Sets/duration: 2 x 20 - 30 seconds
Start Position: Same as Pelvic Tilt, above.
Movement: As with the Pelvic Tilt, push your lower back down onto your hands and apply a constant pressure onto your hands.

Gradually raise one foot off the floor until your knee is over your hip, ensuring that the pressure on your hands remains constant.

Slowly replace your foot back on the floor and repeat with the other leg.

Tip: If you lose the pressure on your hands stop the exercise and start again.

Tum Exercise 2: Crunch

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15
Start position: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Rest your head into your hands. Your fingers should be touching but not interlinked.
Movement:crunch Pick a point on the ceiling above your head and keep looking up at it.

Curl your upper back off the floor using your abdominal muscles. Return to start position to complete one repetition.
Tip: Keep your elbows back and avoid the temptation of pulling on your neck. You will feel this exercise in your abdominal muscles.
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Tum Exercise 2 Progression: Advanced Crunch

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15 + pulses
Start position: Same as Crunch
Movement: Complete the crunches without resting your head on the floor in between repetitions.

On the 15th repetition stay at the top of the movement and complete 10 small pulses by squeezing your abdominal muscles.

 

5 Minute Tum – 3 Times Each Week

Complete the following exercises 3 times each week but not on consecutive days. Deconflict these 5 minute sessions with your toning workout by completing them on alternate days.

Exercise 1: Plank

Sets/duration: 2 x 20 - 30 seconds
Position:plank Position yourself with your body weight supported by your knees and forearms. Keep your tummy drawn in and ensure that your back stays straight and doesn’t arch.
Tip: You will feel this exercise in your abdominals.
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Exercise 1 Progression: Advanced Plank

Sets/duration: 2 x 20 - 30 seconds
Position: Position yourself with your body weight supported by your feet and forearms. Keep your tummy drawn in and ensure that your back stays straight and doesn’t arch.

Exercise 2: Side Plank

Sets/duration: 2 x 20 - 30 seconds
Position:side plank Lay on your side with your knees bent to 90%. Raise your body up onto your lower knee and forearm. Keep your tummy drawn in and ensure that your back stays straight and doesn’t arch. Hold this position.
Tip: Make sure that your body is aligned. This exercise should be felt in your oblique muscles (down your sides).
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Exercise 2 Progression: Advanced Side Plank

Sets/duration: 2 x 20 - 30 seconds
Position: Lay on your side and raise your body up onto your lower foot and forearm. Keep your tummy drawn in and ensure that your back stays straight and doesn’t arch.

Exercise 3: Alternate Leg Raise

Sets/Repetitions: 2 x 15
Start position: Start on your hands and knees with your hands below your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Keep your back straight and draw in your tummy muscles.
Movement:leg raise Slowly lift up your right knee approximately 1cm off the floor without adjusting your overall position.

Straighten out your leg up so it is in line with your torso. Use your abdominal muscles to make sure your lower back doesn’t arch.

Slowly lower your leg back down to the floor. Now repeat the movement with your left leg and keep alternating.
Tip: Try not to raise your leg too high or it will put pressure on your lower back. Practice this exercise in front of a mirror.
Progression: When you're ready for this exercise to be a bit more challenging, move on to:

Exericse 3 Progression: Opposite Arm/Leg Raise

Sets/repetitions: 2 x 15
Start position: Same as Alternate Leg Raise, above
Movement: Lift your right knee and left hand approximately 1cm off the floor.

Pause before slowly stretching out your right leg and left arm so that they are inline with your torso.

Lower your right leg and left arm and repeat with the left leg and right arm. Ensure that your back stays straight throughout the movement.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to stretch the muscles that you work after every session.

Calculating your Optimum Heart Rate for Exercise

What heart rate is best for you depends on your current level of fitness and your goals. If your aim is general fitness and weight loss then an ideal heart rate range is 65-75% of your maximum heart rate for beginners and 65-85% of your maximum heart rate for someone who is used to regular exercise.

To calculate your optimum heart rate your first have to work out your maximum heart rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220. Then to find 65% of your MHR, multiply your MHR by 0.65. To find 75% of your MHR, multiply your MHR by 0.75. i.e. If you are 40 years old your MHR is 180. 65% of your MHR is 117 beats per minute (BPM). 75% of MHR is 135 BPM:

220 – 40 = 180 BPM

180 x 0.65 = 117 BPM (65% MHR)

180 x 0.75 = 135 BPM (75% MHR)

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