Exercise of the Week
Why do Dorsal Raises?
The Dorsal Raise is a body weight movement that requires minimal space and no equipment! This is a great exercise to complement the sit up and the plank, which work the abdominals, whereas the Dorsal Raise works the lower back. By combining all three of these exercises you will work the opposing muscles of the core at the front and the back. This smart combination will create a strong core meaning a more stable and well supported body.
It is very important to strengthen the back if you do a lot of core! Only doing abdominal core is a common mistake that can be overcome with the dorsal raise!
How to do the Dorsal Raise:
1) Lie face down on the floor with your hands at your temples and your shoulders relaxed.
2) Take a deep breath in, lifting your chest off the floor. Hold briefly, then gently lower to the floor breathing out.
3) Repeat this for as many sets as you can do- try 3 sets of 10 reps to begin with and work up to more!
4) Concentrate on clenching your bum at the top of the movement. You should feel this exercise working your lower back.
How can I make it harder?
- Make the Dorsal Raise more difficult by holding the lifted position for longer and by making the whole movement a lot slower.
- Try lifting your legs off the ground at the same time as lifting your chest!
- Attempt lifting one shoulder up at a time to try and target the muscles down the sides of the back
- See if you can make the exercise a rocking movement where you rock between having your chest off the floor and having your legs off the floor- like a rocking horse!
- Add more reps into your sets as you gain strength!
Treat of the Week- Snack without the guilt!
Nutty Chicken Satay Strips
Keep these nutty chicken satay strips in the fridge for a healthy choice when you're peckish. The chicken is delicious served with cucumber and sweet chilli sauce.
2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp Madras curry powder
A few shakes soy sauce
2 tsp lime juice
2 skinless, chicken breast fillets (about 300g) cut into thick strips
Sweet chilli sauce to serve
1) Heat oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas 4 and line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
2) Mix the peanut butter with the garlic, curry powder, soy sauce and lime in a bowl. Some nut butters are thicker than others, so if necessary, add a dash of boiling water to get a coating consistency. Add the chicken strips, mix well then arrange on the baking sheet, spaced apart, and bake in the oven for 8-10 mins until cooked, but still juicy.
3) Eat warm with the cucumber sticks and chilli sauce, or leave to cool then keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
January Activity of the Month
For a fast paced, high intensity work out, an indoor Spin Class could be the perfect boost to your fitness.
Why do Spinning?
The benefits if attending a Spin Class are broad and varied, whether you're a serious cyclist trying to improve your fitness or a fitness newbie simply trying to burn some calories- a spin class is perfect for both. Spin Classes are excellent for improving cardiovascular health and also for toning and strengthening the leg and glute muscles.
Spin Classes are incredibly adaptable because they can be as easy or as difficult as the participant makes them. An instructor will determine the intervals of effort in the class and advise on what level and pace to ride the bike- but you are in control, you can go as fast or as slow as you can handle! The great thing about spin classes is that they allow riders of all abilities to push themselves as much as they like, in the same place. So an Olympic Champion can train alongside a complete novice without either placing any impact on the other's training.
Classes often involve music which can set the tempo for the intervals, follow the beats of the music making it a lot more motivating.
What to expect in a Spin Class?
Spin classes commonly last between 45 and 60 minutes and each participant will have their own spin bike where they can adjust the resistance themselves- so a stronger cyclist can turn their dial right up to the max, whilst a beginner may want to be a bit more restrained.
Before the class begins the instructor should advise you on the best way to set up your bike positioning; therefore it is a good idea to arrive to the class early so that you can ensure that you are comfortable on your bike and so that you have time to do a warm up. Spin Classes can get quite sweaty so it is advisable to take a small hand towel and a bottle of water that you can reach from your bike. Throughout the duration of the Spin Class you will not be expected to get off your bike. Expect to be achy the next day as a spin class is a high intensity work out!
Contact your local leisure centre to find out when their Spin Class are available!