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The Smart Workout Train Your Brain! (part 1)

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Want to give your think tank a boost? These exercises will get your grey matter firing.

Kit you’ll need

·         2 x 3-5kg dumbbells

·         3-5kg medicine ball

·         Skipping rope

·         Step

You know working out regularly is great for your body, but it also has another important benefit that we tend to overlook: brain power.

Exercise revs up your circulation and boosts your metabolism, helping to relies stress, improve your mood and bolster your attention span. So, if you’re feeling a bit slow off the mark or you’re struggling to concentrate at the office, a workout that stimulates your grey matter could be the perfect fix.

There are combinations of moves you can blend together to ensure both your body and your brain get all the exercise they need. This cardio workout is designed to get your heart pumping and the blood flowing to your noggin to make sure you’re ready to take on any challenge that comes your way!

Complete this workout twice a week for best results, moving quickly from one exercise to the next to keep your heart rate elevated. Perform four rounds of the first seven exercises, then hold the shoulder stand for 30 seconds to complete the workout.

Beginner: 30 seconds each exercise

Intermediate: 45 seconds each exercise

Advanced: 60 seconds each exercise

Squat and punch

Areas trained

Thighs, bottom, shoulders, arms

Technique

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells in each hand by your shoulders, with your arms bent.
  • Squat down, pushing your hips back, so that your hips are just slightly higher than your knees. At the same time, start punching forward with your right hand, then left.
  • Straighten your legs and return to standing, punching throughout the movement.

Description: Squat and punch

Speed step-up

Areas trained

Thighs, bottom, cardio

Technique

·         Begin standing on the floor with a step or low in front of you

·         Quickly step up onto the box with your right foot, followed by your left, then step off the box, right foot first.

·         Try to complete as many steps as you can in the allotted time

Description: Speed step-up

Clockface jump

Areas trained

Thighs, bottom

Technique

·         Imagine you are standing in the centre of a clock face and pick four numbers at random.

·         Jump to the first, then back to the centre, and so on.

·         Pick another four numbers and continue for the allotted time.

Description: Clockface jump

Safety tips

·         Keep your abs engaged and your back straight in each exercise

·         Land softy after jumping, with your hips, knees and ankles in line

·         Keep your neck relaxed and neutral in the shoulder stand.

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