In support of National Fitness Day, maybe we will take a trip to the gym today – or at the very least go for run. Speaking of running, have you ever noticed how even if you do workout upon workout, you still struggle with a ‘an easy 5k’?
Let’s be honest, many people are motivated to go to the gym to look better – but we need to feel the effect of our fitness regime, as well as seeing it.
Workouts mostly comprise of hitting up the mirror muscles with set after set of bench presses, bicep curls and abdominal crunches.
Sure, training this way can make you look great, but how often have you been sitting pretty at the gym, having just mastered a great achievement on the stair machine – only to struggle and get a stitch as you run for the bus? Or perhaps you’re able to lift some of the heaviest weights but walking up the stairs of your flat building with the week’s food shop is wiping you out.
Every personal trainer and fitness professional has their favourites but a mix of strength training and cardiovascular exercises will ensure you’re as fit and in shape as your gym membership makes you out to be.
Amber Johnson, a teacher at Barrecorre, recommends some of her favourite ways to get fit as squats, wall sits, planks, press ups and tricep dips – the best thing about all of them being that they can be done as part of your home workout, as well as at the gym.
Test yourself onthese top five physical fitness tests designed to assess your upper body strength, core strength, and physical endurance to see how fit you really are.
1. The Push Up
What are you testing?
The push up is a classic exercise designed to test upper body strength with particular emphasis on the chest, shoulders and triceps.
How to do it
From the ground, keep your body in a straight line from shoulder to heel. Place your hands just wider than shoulder width and make sure you are up on the balls of your feet. Brace your abs and slowly lower your body until your chest grazes the ground. Then push back up explosively. Be sure to keep your elbows tucked in throughout.
How do you fare?
Excellent = 40+
Good = 30-40
Average = 20-30
Poor = 20 or below
How to improve
Try tensing your glutes hard throughout the exercise for greater stability. Most people don’t realise that the push up isn’t just an upper body exercise, to keep your body nice and straight throughout you’ll also need a strong core. Focus on increasing the amount of time you can hold a plank for and you will soon see your push-up count rise.