Gym shortcut? THESE are the only five moves you’ll ever need to stay in shape
From TRX to calisthenics, and strongman training to pilates, knowing which exercises to do can be as much of a challenge as motivating yourself to hit the gym.
But an expert says there’s no need to over-complicate things.
Indeed, Lawrence Hannah – personal trainer and founder of newly-launched back-to-basics functional training studio Metabolic London (www.metaboliclondon.com) – believes that it’s possible to remain in the best shape of your life with just five simple moves.
“I am a massive fan of ‘keep it simple’. Complicated, specialist workouts have their place, but you can target the entire body in just a small number of exercises,” he said.
That’s not to say you won’t work as hard – just more effectively.
He explained: “The reason why these movements are so great is that they recruit so many muscles, utilise multiple joints and highly activate the nervous system.
“Known as compound exercises, these bigger movements target the use of the main muscle groups performing the movement, and also recruit a bunch of supporting muscles. This means the body is getting a greater workout.
What’s more, compound movements have the potential to burn more fat.
He added: “With compound movements we are creating a greater hormonal response when we train. So it follows: the bigger the movement, the bigger the hormonal response, the bigger the change.”
These are the five exercises with which he believes you can’t go wrong.
With your back straight and feet shoulder-width apart, sit down into your heels until hips are lower than your knees. Then drive up through your heels to standing.
With weight on one leg, hinge forward from the hips with your back straight. Kick back with the opposite leg that’s in the air.
Then reverse motion and thrust the hips forward back to the starting position.
Beginning in a high plank position with arms straight and hands beneath shoulders, slowly lower your hips and shoulders towards the floor by bending your arms. Next, drive up through the shoulders, arm and chest back to the start position.
Gripping an overhead bar with arms extended, lean back slightly and pull your body in a rowing motion upwards until your hands hit your armpits.
Using a gym bench or chair, place your hands behind you on the edge of it. Your knees are bent in front of you with feet flat on the ground.
By bending the elbows, slowly lower your butt cheeks to the floor. Then drive up through the arms back to the starting position.
“The body is very, very clever and will get used to the same workout performed over and over again,” he explained.
“To keep it guessing, change the exercises slightly by increasing the weights, increasing the reps, performing the movement for longer, or even holding it in a static position.”
“If you want some guidance, try Metabolic London classes – they are about hard work mixed in with a super approachable and knowledgeable team who will coach you through tough workouts in a friendly manner.”