1st April, 2015

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5 Minute Workout!

In only 5 minutes a day, you can still make a difference to how great you feel & your long-term health!

Does your desired exercise routine keep getting pushed lower and lower on your to-do-list? Are you like the rest of us that flop into bed at the end of each day, only to then remember that you have completely neglected the welfare of your body? Here is a simple exercise program that literally takes 5 minutes to complete. And in that time, you will build strength, stretch muscles and help prevent further injuries.

The great part about this particular program is that each exercise involves multiple muscles. Given its also continuous, you make the most of your 5-minutes and will be huffing a puffing at the end.

Note: As with any exercise program, if these exercises involve movements or exercises that your body is not accustomed to, take the first session easy. Then as your body strengthens in response to the exercise, you can push yourself harder without risk of post-exercise soreness or injury. For some exercises a moderate and easy version have been added as alternative options.

Exercise 1: Calf raise into squat (calf, gluteal & general leg strength)
While holding on for balance, lower down into a squat on one-leg. Then rise up into a calf raise on that same leg. Move between the two positions as quickly as is comfortable.

Leg - SL squat

Calf - SL raise2

Repeat for 30 seconds on each leg (1 minute)

Exercise 2: Straight-arm plank with superman lifts (upper body strength & control)
Lift opposite arm and leg simultaneously while in straight-armed plank position.
Moderate option: Start with knees resting on ground and complete the same exercise.
Easy option: Start with knees resting on ground and alternate between lifting one arm and one leg.

Body - straight arm plank and superman

Body - straight arm plank

Repeat for 30 seconds

Exercise 3: Alternate between prayer stretch & back arch with arms fixed (stretch upper & lower back)
Rest your arms on a bench, couch or coffee table. Then sit back over your heels dropping your head in between your shoulders stretching your upper back. After 5 seconds, rock forward and while keeping your arms straight and head high, drop your hips forward to arch your lower back. Alternate every 5 seconds or so doing stretches to a level that feels comfortable.

Back - prayer stretch

Back - cobra with arms on bench

Alternate between positions for 30 seconds

Exercise 4: Jump squats (leg strength, endurance & power)
Lower into a two-leg squat until thighs parallel with floor. Then push out of this squat into a jump. Upon landing go back into a squat and repeat.
Moderate option: Do as squat into quick push up but don’t let your feet jump off the ground.
Easy option: Complete as two-leg squat (without jumping) to a depth that is comfortable.

Leg - DL squat
Repeat for 30 seconds

Exercise 5: Repeat jumping lunges (leg strength, endurance & power)
Lunge with one-foot in front of the other (ensuring the knee of your front leg does not travel further forward than the position of your toes). Jump on the spot out of this position to switch front leg. Continue to jump between lunge positions as quickly as you find comfortable.
Moderate option: Walking lunge where alternate lunge position is achieved by walking forward to bring the other leg through.
Easy option: Reduce depth of walking lunge.

Leg - lunge
Repeat for 30 seconds

Exercise 6: Push-ups (pec & upper body strength)
Done well, a push up is a great upper body exercise. Ensure push-up is controlled throughout the movement and while you are doing the push-up, try to keep your shoulder blades in the same position (not pinching together or separating apart).
Moderate option: Complete push up with hands on couch armrest.
Easy option: Do push up in upright position with hands up against a wall.

Arm - push-up low position
Repeat for 40 seconds having breaks as necessary

Exercise 7: Side-bridge lifts, resting on knees and forearm (glute & core strength)
Set yourself up in a side bridge position having your elbow and the knee of your lower leg contacting the ground. From this starting position, lift your pelvis up to have your body in line with your legs. Lower and repeat at a comfortable speed.

Leg - side-bridge
Repeat for 20 seconds on each side (40 seconds)

Time to finish with a stretch.

Exercise 8: Hip flexor stretch (stretch the front of hips to reverse effects of prolonged sitting)
In a single leg kneeling position, tuck your tailbone under your body to create a stretch through the front of the rear leg. This should NOT be felt in your back.

Leg - hip flexor stretch
Hold for 20 seconds each side

Congratulations: You’re done!

If you wish to have an exercise program specifically tailored for an injury or to your level of fitness, come in and see one of the physio’s at Malvern Physiotherapy Clinic and we will write a program just for you.

It is just a matter of telling us ‘what you want to achieve?