London 2012 – remember that? Of course you do! As a nation we were swept up in two weeks of sporting triumphs and patriotism like never before and, two-and-a-half years on, it is those triumphs and star performances that still keep so many of us motivated to hit the gym or head out for a run. And now, thanks to Fitness First and its discovery that the desire to train like an Olympian was so prominent during the Games, its legacy looks likely to live on long into 2015 and beyond, too. The nationwide gym and health club chain has recently opened its doors to a brand new branch in London’s Bishopsgate with an athletic slant firmly in mind.
This amazing, state-of-the-art club boasts three new fitness programmes devised by Team GB athletes and coaches, and its new track, interactive Move studio and ceiling-mounted coaching camera are ideal for gym-goers who continue to be inspired by the athletes of 2012. The club even had its opening ribbons cut by three of Britain’s best young sports stars: Nicola Adams, the world’s first female boxing Olympic gold medallist; Ed Clancy, Olympic track cycling gold and bronze medallist; and Max Whitlock, Olympic gymnastics bronze medallist.
But, of course, you don’t have to work out in the gym to train like an athlete (though if you live in London we definitely recommend a visit to the Bishopsgate club), so Fitness First has devised this fantastic workout that’ll boost your speed, power, agility and athleticism. You’ll be running faster than Usain Bolt in no time! (OK, we can’t quite promise that, but a girl can dream…)
How to do it
Perform the first move continuously for the time period allotted for your level. Rest for 15-30 seconds depending on your fitness level before moving on to the next. Once a full set of each move is complete, go back to the start to begin the next set, following the same structure.
Beginner: 5 x 30 seconds
Intermediate: 5 x 45 seconds
Advanced: 5 x 1 minute
Areas trained: hips, legs, core
-From plank position, bring your right foot up to the outside of your right hand, letting the hips drop. Keep your left leg straight and right leg bent.
-Jump to switch sides so that your right leg is straight and your left leg is bent with your left foot outside of your left hand.
-Continue to alternate for the allotted time for your level.
Keep your head in a neutral position
Area trained: shoulders
-Stand in a stable position with legs slightly bent and back neutral.
-Position your arms as if you were to begin a sprint, with one slightly in front of the body and one behind, both bent.
-Switch positions so that the opposite arm is now in front instead.
-Repeat this as fast as you can continuously.
Keep your shoulders back and gaze forwards
Lateral move + T press-up
Areas trained: Core, sides, chest, rear upper arms
-Lie face down on the floor with arms extended out to the sides.
-Bring your hands to your sides under your shoulders, palms flat on the floor.
-Keeping your core tight and body in a straight line, push your body off the floor to complete a press-up.
-Rotate your torso to the side to bring one arm up to the ceiling, taking your gaze with it.
-Bring it back to the floor and bend your arms to lower yourself back to the ground to repeat, switching sides for the next rep.
Don’t let your hips drop lower than the rest of your body
Areas trained: legs, bottom
-Take a large step forwards and bend both knees to about 90 degrees with your back knee just above the floor.
-Generate as much momentum as possible to jump as high as you can, switching the position of your legs mid-air to land with the opposite leg in front.
Keep your torso upright throughout
Isometric squat hold
Areas trained: thighs, bottom
-With your back resting against a wall, lower yourself until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, keeping feet flat on the floor.
Keep your knees in line with your toes
Areas trained: core, chest, rear upper arms
-Start in plank position on your hands.
-Bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor, keeping your body in a straight line throughout.
-Push back up to the start.
-Without tilting your body, tap your left shoulder with your right hand.
-Lower, your hand back to the floor, then tap your right shoulder with your left hand.
-Return to the start and repeat.
Safety tip Keep your hips square throughout
Areas trained: hips, legs
-Run on the spot as fast as you can, driving your knees high, for the allotted time for your level.
Safety tip Keep your back straight and shoulders back