Fitness Tips

If you're looking to go from good to great, but you've hit a plateau with your existing workout, try changing into a different gear thanks to our selection of exciting fitness tips ...

Tip 1

If possible, place your fitness equipment in front of the TV screen, as research has shown you're likely to work harder, faster and for longer if your mind is distracted away from concentrating on your effort level. This is also a great way to build an exercise habit, by committing to a cycle or row whenever you usually tune in for your favourite soap, comedy or news programme.

Tip 2

Scientists in Australia have proven that just 20 minutes of specific interval training can burn around three times as many calories as 40 minutes at a steady pace. To get the best weight loss benefits from your new fitness equipment, therefore, spend just a couple of minutes at a gentle tempo to warm up, then repeat the pattern –eight seconds fast, 12 seconds moderate – for 20mins.

Chair Exercises

Hip Flexion

Sit tall with the tummy pulled in and lift the left foot off the floor a few inches, knee bent. Hold for two seconds, lower to only just touch the floor (not rest) and immediately repeat.

Leg Extension

Sit tall with the tummy button drawn back towards the spine and extend the left leg until it's level with hip, squeezing the muscles in the front of the thigh. Hold for two seconds then slowly lower.

Inner Thigh

Place towel between your knees and squeeze it together using a strong contraction in the inner thigh of both legs.

Chair Squat

From sitting, with your feet hip-width apart and your arms out for balance, press the heels into the floor, stand all the way up, and then slowly lower back down. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in tight at all times, so your back does not arch.


Place hands next to hips with the fingers pointing forwards. Move hips in front of chair and bend the elbows, lowering the backside down towards the floor until the elbows are at 90 degrees. Push back up by straightening the arms but do not lockout the elbows.

One-Leg Squat

Lift one foot slightly off the floor, in front of the other. Use the hands to assist your balance (and the lift if you need to) as you push up into a one-legged squat, hovering just over the chair, not all the way up, then slowly lower back down.

Front Raise to Triceps Press

Sit tall with the navel drawn in and hold a full water bottle in one hand, by your side. Lift the bottle up in front of you, with the arm only slightly bent. Now continue lifting all the way up over the head. When the arm is next to the ear, bend the elbow. Now reverse the motion, straighten the arm, lowering the bottle down in front of you and to the start position.

Bicep Curl

Hold the water bottle in one hand, with your back nice and straight. Keeping the elbow fixed against your ribs, bend the elbow to curl the bottle up towards your shoulder, and then slowly lower down.

Side Bends

Hold a water bottle with both hands and stretch it up over the head, arms straight. Gently bend towards the left as far as you can. Come back to centre and repeat to the right. Focus on keeping your tummy pulled in at all times to protect your lower spine.

Ab Twists

Hold the water bottle at chest level and, keeping the knees and hips forward, slowly and smoothly turn your upper body to the left as far as you comfortably can. Come back to the centre and repeat to the right.

For more fitness tips, keep your eyes peeled and check out the Expert Zone over the coming weeks and months ...

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