Sunday, 23 March 2014

Seven minutes in Heaven…

As much as we hate to admit it, we all find it pretty damn hard to get off our bums and get to the gym.

In addition to the public sweating and complete lack of motivation to leave the house, the gym doesn’t come cheap.

“Seven”, the seven minute workout app can help you achieve the Beyoncé bod that you long for and best of all it’s free.

All you need are a few minutes, a wall and a chair – plus the app of course.
The workout is a 12 step circuit which aims to work your full body. Each exercise is done in 30 second bursts and the number of seven minute circuits can be programmed up to a maximum of five times (39.50 minutes).

It’s fair to say that it ‘guilts’ you in to working out; as missing a day means you lose a heart. Lose three, and all your hard-earned progress is wiped. Completing all the achievements and goals by sticking to the 7 month challenge is addictive.

The first exercise, jumping jacks, serves the very important purpose of getting your heart rate on the rise. At this point, it’s not completely unheard of to start feeling like you’re having a coronary. Stick with it.
N.B. you will look ridiculous, but at least no one is there to see.

Next is my personal favourite. By favourite, I mean it’s the most evil of exercises. The wall sit. Rest your back against the wall, bend your knees at a 90˚ angle, and hold this position.
Curse, scream and cry if you want, nobody is watching.

Third – push-ups. Need I really say more? Ok, so it’s not cheating to do ‘lady ones’. Quite frankly, not everyone has the upper body strength to manage more than one proper push-up.

Next, it’s crunches – a sit-up’s ugly sister. Harder than a sit up and better for toning, crunches require you to raise your back a few inches off the floor and then lay back down again, keeping it controlled.

Step ups are next on the circuit. If you’re particularly accident-prone, this is the time when you double and triple check that you have wedged the chair firmly in place. Plaster casts are not sexy. Step on to the chair and then back down again, simple as that.

Squats. We all know how hellish they can be, but they do give us legs like Shakira.
On reflection, we’ll put up with the burning muscle pains. Remember to stick your bum out as far as it will go for maximum results.

Triceps dips, which help banish bingo wings, are the next part of the routine.  These are not for the faint hearted! Sit in front of your chair, hands behind your back to lower yourself down. Don’t let your butt touch the floor, and then raise yourself back up again. Your arms should be shaking – it’s difficult!

It looks easy to do, but we all know it’s a killer – the plank. This is a great exercise for strengthening your core and back muscles which can help ease muscular pain. Keep the position until you feel a pain in your lower back because this is when those muscles have taken over. It’s alright if you can only last 10 seconds, the beauty is, no one has to know!

Ready set… stay in one place. It’s the ‘high knees running in place’ which is exactly what you would expect it to be. This type of cardio fitness is a fab fat burner. And, there’s always the added bonus that the banging may make your flatmates think you have a social life.

Lunges are a workout staple. Using the same muscles as a squat but more intensely, they help build muscle mass whilst toning legs.

The circuit’s nearly over, and it’s time for push-ups with rotation.  Confusing at first, but keep at it. Do a push-up. Then, resting on one hand, bring the other arm up with a twist of the body. Swap sides and repeat.

Last but not least, the side plank. Another core exercise, this works the muscles on the side of your abdomen. Skinny-minny waist in no time!


By Jaye Dry

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