These exercises are designed to strengthen specific muscle groups. It is important to just use your own body weight in the early weeks. In the latter weeks, small weights can be added to the ankles or you can put on your rucksack to help build extra strength. The idea of the circuit is to complete each exercise then move onto the next.
Once all exercises are completed, (i.e. one circuit), you then go round the circuit again 3, 4, or 5 times. You can also increase the number of repetitions for each exercise from 20 to 30, 40 or 50 depending on how strong you’re feeling. It is essential you stretch before and after the session to keep your muscles loose and long, not tight and short.
1 – Calf Raises:
Stand with your feet together, about an arm's length away from a wall. Your fingers should just be touching the wall for balance. Raise yourself slowly onto tip toes and then slowly lower. Repeat 20 times.
2 – Squats:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your hands on your hips. Keeping your back straight and your head up slowly lower yourself so your knees are bent 90 degrees. Then stand up so your knees are almost (but not quite) locked straight. Repeat 20 times.
3 – Step ups:
Using the bottom step of a staircase or low bench, start with your left foot on the step and your right foot on floor. Stand up straight on your left leg and bring your right foot up to next step above and then lower your right back down to floor. Repeat 20 times. Change to having your right leg on the step and repeat.
4 – Leg extensions:
Sit on a high sofa/bed/bench with the backs of your knees just on the edge and your feet hanging down. Lean back with your hands behind your head for support. Keeping the backs of your knees on the surface, slowly lift your left foot up so your leg becomes straight and ten lower it down again. Repeat 20 times. Change to your rifht leg and repeat.
5 – Leg Raises:
Lie front down on a mat or soft floor with your hands under your chin. Keeping your left leg straight slowly raise it six inches off the floor and then slowly lower it again. Repeat 20 times. Change to your right leg and repeat.
Please note the following:
- If you want to increase your strength then do less circuits but with more weight/resistance on each exercise
- If you want to increase your endurance then increase the number of circuits you do and do not use weights at all
Most people taking part in charity events should be increasing their endurance before they start thinking about increasing their strength. If at any time during any of the exercises you feel faint or dizzy you should stop immediately and seek medical advice.
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