women

Get ready to take your body to the top! This athletic workout builds speed, endurance and power and torches calories for the ultimate fitness fix

Think practice makes perfect? Think again. You’ll never catch top athletes practicing their sport all day, every day. Instead they train smart, using a range of different workouts to build towards their goal. And they don’t just bag an awesome body - this training tactic also ensures they don’t over-train, keeping them injury free.

If you’re striving for a honed body and first-rate fitness, we’ve got a workout to help you score a personal best. Unlike pro athletes, most of us are too busy juggling work, friends and family to commit to several different workouts a day. But don’t sweat it. Fitness First’s new Athletic Fitness Team Workout class (available to Fitness First members nationwide) has the answer. This clever class offers 30 minutes of training that promises to boost speed, endurance and power in one high-intensity interval session - great for revving your metabolism and torching fat. You may not be able to beat Bolt over 100m Or drive a javelin further than Bleasdale, but you will notice huge improvements in your running, lifting, cycling and much more if you slot in a few speedy sessions.

‘Taking inspiration from the kind of training professional athletes use, this enhanced form of interval training not only improves your athletic capacity, but radically improves your body’s ability to burn fat, too,’ explains Fitness First trainer Tom Eastham. ‘Each class focuses on one key element of fitness for the full 30 minutes, but every session incorporates the HIlT method of working at maximum effort for short periods separated by low-intensity breaks.’

The elite elements

Exercises that get your body working as fast as possible, such as single-leg squat thrusts and arm drives, will help to boost your speed. So, if you take part in any sport that requires moving an object from A to B in the shortest amount of time possible or reacting with speed (think boxing, for example), this workout will give you a boost exactly where you need it most.

Muscular endurance is another crucial athletic element, but it’s often confused with cardio fitness. While you need a strong heart and lungs to carry you through a long-distance run, cycle or swim, good cardio fitness is useless if the rest of your muscles are unable to meet the demands you put on them. To counter this effect, the endurance aspect of this workout is guaranteed to get your muscles burning thanks to total-body exercises like press-ups, lunges and squats.

Power is another must if you want to boast the all-round strength and fitness of an athlete. This section of the workout is about being explosive and dynamic. Jumping exercises like burgees will work your fast-twitch muscles so you can ace that long jump, knockout punch or backflip. Lump it all together and you’ve got an intense workout!

Make it count

Worried you don’t have the time for all that extra training? A busy schedule shouldn’t mean missing out on medal-worthy results. The moves from this class are simple but effective, require minimal kit and can be done anywhere great if you find yourself struggling to get to the gym.

Fitness First has shared the top moves from this popular class with us to help you reach your athletic goals. In our workout you’ll get a dose of intense interval training, cardio and athleticism as well as a serious calorie burn that lasts long after you’ve hit the shower. Try it three times a week for top-ranking results.

The athletic fitness team workout

Fitness First’s Tom recommends using a circuit format to perform this workout. Perform one set of each exercise without resting - this counts as one circuit. Rest for 60 seconds then begin the next circuit.

·         Beginner: 3 x 10 reps

·         Intermediate: 3 x 15 reps

·         Advanced: 4 x 15 reps

V-sit with toe touch

Build endurance

Areas trained: stomach, sides of stomach

Build endurance

Build endurance

Technique

·         Sit on the floor on a mat with your upper body reclined slightly and your legs raised in the air so that your body resembles a V shape.

·         Extend your left hand towards your right foot, then your right hand to your left foot, while maintaining the V position.

·         Continue alternating sides.

Safety tip: Try not to arch your lower back in this move

Squat and kick

Areas trained: bottom, front thighs, stomach

Squat and kick

Squat and kick

Technique

·         Bend at your knees and hips to lower into a low squat.

·         Push through your heels to return to the starting position, then raise one leg and kick it out in front of you.

·         Squat down again and repeat on the opposite leg, kicking it out in different directions with each rep.

Centipede

Areas trained: stomach, shoulders, rear thighs

Centipede

Centipede

Technique

·         Keeping your legs straight, reach down towards your toes.

·         Walk your hands as far forward as possible without letting your hips and knees touch the floor.

·         Walk your hands back to the starting position, keeping your legs straight as you do so. Stand up and repeat.

Hot tip: This is great way to extend your abs, rather than flex them

Kneel to feet jump

Develop power

Areas trained: thighs, bottom, stomach

Kneel to feet jump

Kneel to feet jump

Technique

·         Kneel down with your hips forward and shoulders back.

·         Jump into a squat position, landing on your feet.

·         Return to the start and repeat.

Side lunge with slam

Areas trained: bottom, thighs, stomach

Side lunge with slam

Side lunge with slam

Technique

·         Holding a medicine ball, take a large step sideways, bending your leg as you do so.

·         As you bend down, slam the medicine ball into the floor in front of you, catching it as you stand back up again.

·         Push back to the start and repeat the move on the opposite side for the next rep.

Plank with leg crossover

Areas trained: stomach, core, sides of stomach

Plank with leg crossover

Plank with leg crossover

Technique

·         Start in plank position with your hands on a step or bench.

·         Kick your right leg underneath your body to your left.

·         Bring it back to the start position and repeat with the opposite leg.

Safety tip: Make sure your shoulders are above your wrists

Quick feet

Increase speed

Areas trained: stomach, rear thighs, calves

Quick feet

Quick feet

Technique

·         Stand in front of a step or bench.

·         Lift one leg and tap your toe on the step.

·         Jump to switch legs and tap the other foot on the step. Repeat.

Hot tip: This is great move to help runners boost speed

Travelling press-up

Areas trained: chest, rear upper arms, shoulders, core

Travelling press-up

Travelling press-up

Technique

·         Start in plank position with one hand on a step or bench.

·         Bend your arms to lower your chest towards the floor, keeping your body in a straight line throughout.

·         Explosively push back up to the start position while switching your hand position so that the opposite hand is resting on the step, and repeat the move.

Safety tip: Perform this move on your knees if you can’t keep your body in a straight line throughout

Knee raise

Areas trained: sides of stomach, front thighs, bottom, calves

Knee raise

Knee raise

Technique

·         Jog on the spot.

·         With every other step, raise your knee to meet your opposite elbow, rotating your body as you move.

·         Alternate sides with each rep.

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