A recent survey has revealed that both sexes prefer the athletic lines of the likes of Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill over the cartoon curves of glamour models.
British Military Fitness has put together simple exercises to help you achieve that athletic body and give some fit-spiration this spring / summer.
Get Jessica’s six-pack
Incorporate these top abdominal exercises to help you sculpt your own envy-inducing abs...
Spend 5 - 10 minutes, 3 times per week working on your core muscles and feel the benefits.
Exercise 1 – The plank
Adopt a stand similar to a press up but keep your forearms on the ground and shoulder width apart beneath your chest. Keep your body straight and your feet together and balance on your toes. Pull the belly button up to your spine to feel the full effect. Just hold still in this position.
Aim to hold for 20 to 60 seconds and lower slowly. Repeat three to five times.
Exercise 2 – Plank superman
From the normal plank, lift your left foot off the ground slowly. Then slowly extend your right arm in front of you. You should now be balancing on your left forearm and right foot. Again hold and squeeze in the abdominal area.
Aim to hold for 10 – 30 seconds and repeat two to three times on each side.
Exercise 3 – Half sit
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at 90 degree. You then squeeze your abs and slowly raise your shoulders and body keeping your back straight. Come about half way up so you maintain tension in the abs and then slowly lower but don’t let your shoulders touch the ground.
Aim to complete 10 – 20 repetitions and repeat three to five sets.
Use your commute as a workout
Morning workouts invigorate you for the rest of the day. Plus, commuting can be dead time, so use it for exercise. Walking to work is great, even if you take the train part of the way and just walk the last two miles. Try to do interval walking: walk fast for 300 metres and then slowly for 200 metres.
Get a pert bottom
To really achieve that pert bottom you need to strip that fat away:
High Intensity Training – As an alternative to counting reps you can follow a timed method, which has proven to be one of the most effective methods for fat loss, work at high intensity for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest. Repeat for four minutes (8 cycles). This is a great way to burn calories and it really works.
There’s no substitute for hard work, and to get the amazing results of high intensity training you need to work hard. The good news is these workouts are much shorter; a 20 – 30 minute high intensity workout will burn the same amount of calories as a one-hour cardio session. With an increased metabolism for up to 36 hours, overall you will burn much more calories.
Sign up for a 10k race or triathlon in the spring/summer, such as BMF’s Major Series (majorseries.com). That way you will have a target to work towards over the winter. And if you can, train with friends. If you're training alone you're more likely to give up. At a British Military Fitness class you never have to go it alone, and working as a team will motivate you every time.