Last week, I hosted a 30min high-intensity fitness class for a group of awesome girls, as part of my ongoing partnership with Yes To the natural skincare and hair care brand, at the beautiful Mind-Body studio in Virgin Active Mayfair. When I train, I like to combine high intensity exertion with bodyweight exercises, and often skipping too; it’s a highly portable and ultra-effective workout technique which you can easily dispatch from the comfort of your own home, or even a hotel room whilst travelling. For this reason, it’s how I structured this half-hour power-class! It’s especially good if you’re short on time, have a limited attention-span, are keen to toast fat, to improve muscle definition, and to build serious stamina that you can draw upon in a moments notice! Click MORE to get the ‘how & why’!
The class was scheduled for first thing on a Monday morning – a great start to the week – and was arranged by Yes To for some of their media friends. I partnered with the company because where possible, I look to buy natural products, whether that be food or beauty products. In terms of natural organic foods, I strongly believe them to have superior nutritional value, clearly fewer pesticides, they’re likely fresher (as they often have a shorter shelf-life), I find them often to be tastier, will likely have fewer/no preservatives and are more environmentally friendly.
With beauty products, my mind constantly comes back to the statistic that the blood stream absorbs c. 70% of whatever is put onto the skin! Yes To use at least 95% natural ingredients (no parabens, SLS or phthalates), are very affordable and smell delicious, which is why I love using them! (Grapefruit daily facial scrub remains a firm favourite – n.b. it’s stocked at Boots)
My aim with the class was to showcase that if you’re short on time – and indeed equipment – you can still achieve a full body workout, almost anytime, anywhere. My plan of attack started with skipping, which I love – it’s great for coordination, endurance, motor skills and gets the heart rate up quickly! Boxers use it regularly to improve overall fitness, stamina and footwork. Aside from ensuring to get you sweaty, skipping is fairly low impact compared to running if you keep your feet close to the ground, avoiding heavy, stompy jumps. It’s also a great way to work the stabilising muscles in your shoulders (infraspinatus, teres minor & supraspinatus).
Then there were the body weight exercises; an almost rest-free array of walking planks, wide and narrow squats, lunges, situps followed by 2 minutes of skipping; and afterwards a progression of exercises – walking planks followed by narrow push ups, jumping lunges, wall squats with floor touches, bicycles, plank-rotations and mountain climbers. The intention was to make it a ‘go go go‘ class with very little time for rest and recovery which should have left everyone fatigued, sweaty and sore the next day!
If you’re not a massive fan of skipping and want to give this a try at home, you can simply ‘mock skip’ in one place (without rope) and do the foot work add high knees, ensuring to keep the arms simulating the motion too etc. It’s still exhausting to keep up for 2 minutes straight! If you have some stairs at home try running up and down them for 2 minutes, or indeed replace those stairs with a nearby hill! Anything which stimulates short, sharp cardiovascular exertion will do the trick!