3. Abdominals series

Time: 3½ minutes

Benefits: This series will work your entire ab area, including the hard-to-reach lower abdominals and your obliques, the side muscles that help minimize love handles. Making the Flying X as explosive as possible will also improve your body’s ability to generate power.

Say – single x crunch

Reps: 20 (10 each side)

Description: Say – single x crunch

Say – single x crunch

  • Lie on your back with your legs and arms extended to form an X-shape (a)
  • With your right hand behind your head, raise your left leg off the floor and reach your left hand towards your left foot, making sure you also lift your shoulder blades off the floor (b)
  • Hold for a count of two and then lower. Perform 20 times on one side before switching to the other side.

Thank-you – x crunch and twist

Reps: 12 each side

Description: Thank-you – x crunch and twist

Thank-you – x crunch and twist

  • Lie on your back with your legs and arms extended to form an X-shape (a)
  • Raise your right leg off the floor while reaching your left arm across your body towards your right foot (b). Hold for a few seconds, then slower lower and repeat with your right arm and left leg, making sure to raise your right, shoulder off of the floor.

Please – flying x

Reps: 12

Description: Please – flying x

Please – flying x

  • Lie on your back with your legs and arms extended to form an X-shape (a) then simultaneously reach both arms and both legs into the air, aiming to lift your shoulder blades up off the floor while keeping your core engaged (b)
  • Hold for a count of four and lower

4. Bonus cardio series – the jumping jack

Time: 2½ minutes

Benefits: This series will get your heart pumping. Landing on one leg from a jumping Jack requires good leg strength and balance, while the twisting Jack turns improve co-ordination. The Jack tucks are hand, so expect your heart rate to shoot up while you’re working your legs and glutes to the max.

Say – single jack

Time: 60 seconds

Description: Say – single jack

Say – single jack

  • Begin with your feet shoulder-distance apart and your arms above your head in a basic jumping Jack position (a)
  • Lower your arms as you jump your feet in to land on your left foot, right knee raised to waist height (b)
  • Pause for a second as you balance, then repeat, jumping out to a jumping Jack position, then jumping in again, landing on your opposite foot.

Please – jack tuck

Time: 30 seconds

Description: Please – jack tuck

Please – jack tuck

  • Begin with your feet together and your arms by your sides (a)
  • Bend your knees and push off the floor as you tuck your knees in to your chest and jump in the air (b)

Thank-you – twisting jack turn

Time: 45 seconds

Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms up in a basic jumping Jack position (a)

Jump your feet together and, as you land, rotate your body 90º to face the left (b)

Jump back to the center, so you land with your feet apart again, your arms above your head.

Then, jump your feet back together as you jump 90º to the right.

Description: Thank-you – twisting jack turn

Thank-you – twisting jack turn

Description: Thank-you – twisting jack turn

Thank-you – twisting jack turn

Eat up! Try to eat your lunch (carbs, protein and vegetables) within an hour of working out. This is when you absorb the most glycogen (the energy source used by your muscles)


Time: 5 minutes

  • Spend a few minutes winding down from your workout with some gentle cardio, like marching on the spot while swinging your arms, then stretch your quads, glutes, arms and abdominals, to lengthen and nourish your muscles.
  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds, then hit the showers before walking briskly back to the office.


Once you have grasped the basic of the ‘Say” “Thank-you, please”’ principle, you can apply it to almost any workout you do, to give you new and different results. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1.    Do all the “Say” moves on Monday, all the “Thank-you” moves on Wednesday and all the “Please” moves on Friday. Repeat the moves in a circuit two or three times.

2.    Choose one principle for each part of the body, for example, “Say” – a lunge for your lower body; “Thank-you” – a push-up for your upper body, and “Please” – an explosive Flying X for your abs. Repeat two to three times. This will give you plenty of variety and confuse your body as you switch from one body part to another.

3.    In combination with 20 minutes of cardio (run, bike, swim, jump rope), do one set of lunge and push-up variations on Monday, one set of tricep and ab variations on Wednesday and one set of a plank and star jump variation on Friday. The main thing is to be creative and experiment


Don’t forget your power playlist to get you through the gym. We like Get Fit ($6; hmv.com or play.com), in association with London 2012, a new album by Universal Music, guaranteed to get you through your workout. Here are some of our favourites.


Dynamite: Tai Cruz (Warm-up)

Don’t Upset the Rhythm: Noisettes

Two Can Play That Game: Bobby Brown

The Only Way Is Up: The Plastic Population & Yazz

Hole In the Head: Sugababes

Boys and Girls: Pixie Lott

I Think We’re Alone Now: Tiffany

Just Can’t Get Enough: The Saturdays

Jump: Girls Aloud

She Works Hard For the Money: Donna Summer

Lifted: Lighthouse Family (Cool-down)

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