Perfect for holidays, these fast and effective exercises by personal trainer Aurelien Apport will get you working up a sweat this summer.
This is a great multi-dimensional movement commonly used by martial artists to warm up, and recently popularised in animal flow base exercises. Start on your hands and knees with hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees bent up under your belly button — make sure they’re not touching the floor — with your back parallel to the ground. Begin the movement by rotating your body to the right and extend your left leg without touching the floor. Point your right elbow in the opposite direction of your leg. Once in full extension bring your foot and hand back to the initial position and repeat on the other side. The action should be very smooth and should look effortless.
The bear crawl
This move will strengthen your core and improve your ability to stabilise your spine, helping you increase your weightload back in the gym. It also targets your glutes and activates your shoulders and back, so your whole body will feel the burn. Start in a push up position with your hands under your shoulders and your feet shoulder-width apart. Move forward by bringing your knee towards your forearm of the same side, using your stomach muscles and hip flexors. Keep your hips straight. Drop your foot to the floor and move your hand forward in one smooth and controlled movement. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.
Pike push up
This is a great way to work on a vertical pressing pattern with your bodyweight, and progressively develop stability, strength and control to create a very impressive handstand push up. Start in a regular push up position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Elevate your hips, keeping your back flat and legs straight — or as straight as possible if you have poor hamstring flexibility. Your feet can be on the floor or elevated as shown here, pushing through your toes. Keep your head in-between your arms at all times. Bend your elbows until your head touches the floor, then push back up into the starting position.
Single leg hop
This exercise is guaranteed to give you a giggle, as it can feel a little silly at first. Although we use both legs to run, running isn’t technically a two-legged activity. This exercise is going to improve your reaction time when you run, strengthen the accessory muscles around your glutes and improve your balance and coordination. Start in a lunge position, with your left knee bent and your right leg back. Push off your left leg into a leap and land again bending your left leg. Repeat for 30 reps each side with 5 to 6 sets to really work up a sweat in the shortest time possible.
Frog Jumps will raise your heart rate while targeting your calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes for a full lower body workout. They will also help improve your athletic performance and are an effective way to burn the most amount of calories in the shortest time. Stand with your hands raised high above your head then come down into a squat position. Keep your torso upright. With momentum explode forward into a jump, using your arms to pull your body forward. Repeat 12–15 times for 3 sets. If you’re short on space, jump one rep forward, one rep backward.
Standing hamstring T-stand
This exercise is a favourite for Pilates-lovers, but don’t underestimate its ability to burn. Bring your arms to your sides for balance, keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Bend your knees and lift up one leg behind you. Try and lift this leg so it’s at hip height, but if you’re not quite there yet it’s a good progression to work towards. Keeping your hips facing forward, bend and straighten your raised leg, curling the hamstring with slow, steady reps. Try 15–20 reps on each leg and repeat for 4 sets.
French-born Aurelien Apport is an elite athlete who has competed in world judo competitions. He is a black belt in Judo and Ju-Jitsu and specialises in training high level athletes. He was also a semi-finalist in Australian Ninja Warrior. He is also a personal trainer at Fitness First Bondi Junction. Find him on Instagram at @aurelienapport. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org