We’re learning that it’s just as important to stay active throughout the day as it is to fit in those “official” workouts. Staying active always requires a little effort, but our efforts our redoubled during the holidays – sometimes translating into awkward yoga in a friend’s guest room or a few moves like these from fitness maven Kayla Istines in our childhood bedroom.
Kayla Itsines is one of the breakout fitness leaders of the year, championing a message of intense, but accessible fitness goals and positive body image that women around the world have flocked to. Just before the holidays hit, we asked Kayla to equip us with some basic moves that all of us can work into our weekly routines. These five simple, but effective moves are what Kayla herself relies on for high-energy and those killer abs. Here’s Kayla…
Even though the end of year is creeping up and our schedules are busier than ever, don’t get yourself down when you have not been as active as you would have hoped to be. After all, you’re only human, right? My tip is that no matter how small, doing some form of activity is going to be better for your body than doing nothing at all. This is because it will help your body to develop a healthy habit of being active, making it easier to stay on track! So when you miss that training session or early morning walk, don’t get upset. Try and fit in one or all of these exercises into your day to help get your blood pumping! Even though it’s a small step, it’s still a step in the right direction!
5 Power Moves From Our Fitness Crush Kayla Itsines
Straight Leg Situps + Twist
20 reps (10 each side): Start by lying flat on the floor on a yoga mat with your feet extended out in front of you. Bend your elbows to place your hands behind your earlobes and engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. Using your abdominals, slowly lift your head, shoulder blades, and torso off of the floor. As you sit up, extend your right arm and twist through your torso to touch the floor immediately next next to your left leg. Slowly untwist and release your torso backwards and bring your right hand towards your ear. Repeat using your left hand.
Lay Down Push Ups
15 reps: Start by lying flat on your stomach, with arms extended out in front of your and legs straight behind you with feet slightly apart. Position your toes in towards the floor as shown. Bring your arms in towards your body and position your hands on either side of your chest. Push through your chest and extend your arms to lift your body into push-up position. Ensure that you maintain a neutral spine and stabilize through your abdominals muscles throughout the entire movement. Slowly lower your body completely to the floor and extend your arms out in front of you. Repeat.
Burpee + Tuck Jump
10 reps: Once in a pushup position on the floor, transfer your weight onto your hands and jump your feet inwards towards your hands. As you stand up, propel your body upwards and bring your knees in to your chest. Take care when landing, ensuring that you maintain ‘soft’ knees. Bend at both the hips and knees to place your hands on the floor in front of you and jump your feet backwards to return to pushup position.
15 reps: Start in a neutral standing position with your feet together and hands clasped in front of your chest. This is your starting position. Bend your knees slightly and immediately propel your body upwards into the air. Whilst in the air, extend and reposition your legs to land in sumo (wide) squat position with feet pointed outwards. Propel your body upwards again and reposition your legs to land in starting position. When landing, ensure that you land on the balls of your feet first before rolling through the flat and heel. Maintain ‘soft’ knees to prevent injury. Repeat.
20 reps: Start by lying flat on the floor on a yoga mat with arms extended above your head. Carefully raise your legs off of the floor so that they create a 90-degree angle with your hips. Engage your abdominals by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. Using your abdominals, slowly lift your head, shoulder blades and torso off of the floor to bring your hands to your toes (or the action of). Squeeze your upper abdominals before slowly lowering your torso backwards and extending your arms behind your head. Repeat.