Exercise of the Week

The Russian Twist

Why do the Russian Twist?

The Russian Twist is an excellent exercise for improving core strength and targeting the abdominal muscles and some muscles in the lower back. This exercise is great as it works the oblique muscles in the stomach which are often neglected in other core exercises. It is perfect for toning up the stomach and can be made easier or harder depending on ability! It is often performed at speed; however slowing this exercise down will really ensure that the abdominals are being worked properly.

How to do the Russian Twist:

1) Sit with your torso leaning back with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle, (see picture). Your upper body should be elevated so that it creates a 'V' shape with your thighs.

2) You can sit with either your feet on the floor or with them elevated a few inches off the floor.

3) Once in the position, twist your torso to one side following with your arms and touch the floor on the side next to you. Hold the position for a second and then twist your torso the opposite way.

4) Repeat this for however many repetitions you have been set- try doing 4 sets of 10 repetitions to start with and then build up to more as you gain strength!

How can I make it harder?

Try adding resistance to this exercise by holding a weight or a medicine ball whilst you do it- don't have either of these at home? Try using a tin of beans!

Keep the movement slow and controlled to try and target the deeper inner core muscles- slow and steady wins the race!

As you gain strength and confidence add more and more repetitions onto your sets. See if you can work up to doing 100 continuous Russian Twists!


Treat of the Week- Snack without the guilt!

Monster Trail Mix Bites

Crunchy bliss balls- a healthy alternative to a sweet treat!

Ingredients:

150g packet of Almonds

12 pitted fresh dates

1/4 cup of Goji Berries

2 tablespoons cacao powder or cocoa powder

1/2 cup (40g) shredded coconut

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons white or black chia seeds

Method:

1) Process almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Add pitted fresh dates, goji berries, cacao powder, shredded coconut and maple syrup.

2) Process until almost smooth and well combined. Place white or black chia seeds on a plate. Roll 2 tablespoon portions of almond mixture into balls. Roll in chia seeds to evenly coat. Place on a lined tray in the fridge for 1 hour or until set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

May Activity of the Month

Volleyball

Volleyball is an Olympic team sport in which two teams of 6 players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organised rules.

Why play Volleyball?

It doesn't matter how old you are, how fit you are or whether you're able bodied or disabled. Volleyball is loads of fun and a very social game. It's the only hi-energy, zero body contact, mixed team sport you can play indoors and outdoors - whatever your ability.

As a sport, volleyball requires skill, fitness, strategic thinking and the desire to play as part of a team, but whatever level you play at, volleyball can enhance your life, improving fitness and coordination.

Sitting Volleyball is another version of Volleyball that has been adapted to allow anyone to participate including those with a disability.

Beach volleyball is a version plays on sand outside; the sun, wind and sand make beach volleyball a difficult game to play requiring a high level of fitness.

What is Volleyball?

The main objective of volleyball is to stop the ball hitting the ground anywhere on your side of the net with just three touches - whilst trying to make it hit the ground on your opponent's side of the court. Three hits are allowed on each side, but the ball must cross the net after the third hit- a player cannot hit the ball twice in succession.

There are no specific pieces of kit required to play volleyball, with most people choosing to wear a t-shirt, shorts and trainers. Some players choose to use knee pads and elbow pads to provide protection from falls when playing on an indoor court. You can get a casual game going almost anywhere, be it the park, the beach, your back garden, university or even a swimming pool; all that is needed is a net and a ball. For more regulated play, clubs throughout the UK run training sessions and leagues for players of all abilities.

For more information on the rules of Volleyball: https://www.volleyballengland.org/competitions/national_volleyball_league/rules_and_information

You can find out how you can get into volleyball on the Leicestershire and Rutland Sport website here: https://www.lrsport.org/sports/volleyball