We all have an inner child in us, but I bet most people didn’t realise that setting it free could be the secret to losing weight!
Forget laborious jogs in the park, mundane power walks and super strict diets, if you want to get in shape you should go back to the playground, according to new research.
Old school works-out like star jumps, hopscotch and skipping burn more calories and use more muscles than the nation’s favourite ways to work out.
Experts claim those wanting to drop dress-sizes would be better off skipping for 15 minutes to lose 215 calories, rather than running for the same amount of time, which uses just 150 calories.
Similarly, those that enjoy a brisk walk would only lose an average of 50 calories in quarter of an hour, but could expect to shed 135 calories by doing star-jumps for 15 minutes.
Kate Toland, Head of Marketing at Fitness First says: “The question is, are you as fit as a six year old?
“While it might sound like child’s play, this kind of exercise is not for the faint hearted. Functional training challenges your body in a new way every time, promising significant calorie burn – and its great fun!”
To help new and existing members incorporate functional training into their lives, Fitness First Andy McTaggart has designed a short #PlaygroundWorkout, which will maximize the number of muscle groups you use and burn more calories:
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Complete this four times for each move before moving onto the next one. This is 20 minutes of challenging and fun exercise.
1. Crawls: Start on all fours, ensuring your knees don’t touch the floor and maneuverer over a set distance as fast possible. This can be done moving forwards, backwards or even sideways. Great exercise that utilises your whole body and can be done anywhere.
If you have a training partner you can ramp up the competition by turning this exercise into a race!
2. Med ball throws: Squat with a weighted medicine ball and then straighten up, throwing the ball to a target on a wall or a person. This requires explosive power and incorporates the whole body.
3. Inverted mountain climbers: Put your hands on a box or step so you are in an elevated push up position. Drive the knees up to your chest one at a time as fast as you can.
4. Sprints: Set out an area which is long enough to allow for you to build up speed and sprint from end to end. This exercise incorporates speed, agility, power and coordination. The track that’s available at various Fitness First clubs is perfect for this.
5. Bosu bounds: Set out BOSU boxes as stepping stones, either in straight line or spaced out randomly. The aim is to jump from BOSU to BOSU as quickly as possible without falling off. This targets the lower body and improves your balance, agility and coordination.