This 12-week exercise plan will help keep you active and nimble over the coming weeks. It can be done inside (if you have space), or enjoyed in the garden if the sun is shining.
We’ve broken the plan down into 4 digestible sections. Each section covers 3 weeks and includes some simple mobility, rolling and strength circuit exercises. There’s also a selection of stretches to help you warm down after and a handy pictorial glossary to explain each one.
As you will see, a lot of the exercises included in this plan use a resistance band. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, they can all be done without, or you could try using something else (like a tied-up pair of tights!)
We hope you enjoy it.
• Side Strides
• External Rotator
• Towel Single leg Squat (half time on each leg)
• Reverse Flye
• Walking Lunge
• Bicep Curl
• Basic Squat
• Dorsal Raise
• Body Lifts
• Reverse Curls
Each exercise is performed for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds recovery time and you run through the circuit 3 times.
Place a resistance band in a loop around your ankles. Step to one side maintaining a straight torso and straight legs. Take small steps focusing on feeling the exercise in the gluteus muscle.
External Rotator Cuff
Hold your arms at a 90-degree angle close to your body. Grab the resistance band with your palms facing up and try to pull your hands apart as far as you can making sure your elbows always have contact with your ribs.
Towel Single Leg Squat
Using a towel wrapped around something for support and maintaining a strong straight torso on one leg, lower yourself down leaning backwards from the hip and bending at the knee. Control the movement and squeeze the bum to return to the start position.
From a standing position holding a band put your arms straight out in front of you, palms facing down. Pull the band apart as much as you can, adjusting the tension by moving the hands closer together (heavier) or further apart (lighter).
Step forward and bend the front and back legs to ninety degrees. Shift your weight forward maintaining a straight back and step through with the other leg again bending the front and back knees to 90 degrees. Continue this walking motion moving the lunge forward for the set number of repetitions.
Stand straight and keep a neutral spine with your feet firmly placed on the floor. Hold the band with straight arms just outside of legs and with one foot on the band. Curl the band up to the chest by bending the arms keeping the elbows tucked in to the sides. Lower the arms slowly.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your arms at your side or across your chest. Pushing your weight down through the heel of the foot, slowly lower your body by flexing the knees and hips. Take care to ensure your back stays neutral (straight) and drop as low as your body will allow without letting your heels lift or your upper body to bend forward, then return to the start position for one repetition.
Kneel down on the floor, place your hands underneath your shoulders and position your knees underneath your hips. Roll your pelvis forwards and backwards until you are happy that you have found your mid-position (neutral pelvis). Slide your shoulder blades down your back and away from your ears. Holding this position slide your right-hand forward, lifting it off the floor. At the same time slide your left leg backwards. Raise your arm and leg until they are in-line with your back. Repeat the movement for the opposite arm and leg.
Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent. Keep rolling your pelvis forwards and backwards until you are happy that you can find the mid-point (neutral pelvis). Hold this position. Slowly lift your pelvis off the floor, squeezing your bum until your hips and knees are in line with your shoulders and your knees and toes are facing straight away from you. Slowly lower down into the starting position and repeat.
Lie on the floor on your back. Put your hands by your sides with your feet up and your thighs perpendicular to the floor. They should not go down lower than this during the movement. Using your lower abs, roll your pelvis backward to raise your hips off the floor. Your knees will now be over your chest. Return slowly to the starting position.
These low-impact exercises are done at the start of each session. They’ll help to improve the range of motion in your joints and muscles, assisting in improving posture and preparing you for the next set of exercises in the programme.
Hip Flexor Reach
Kneel on the left leg with the right leg out in front and right foot flat on the floor. The front knee should be bent to 90 degrees and at 90 degrees to the hip. Push the hips forward and at the same time reach with your arms forward and up above your head. The torso should be straight and upright. Keep your abs tight so you do not get unwanted movement in the lower back. Repeat on the other side.
Start in a press up position making sure your abs stay tight and that your hands are beneath your shoulders. Bring your right foot up to the outside of your right hand. Try to maintain a straight back by bringing your chest up as you step forward with the foot. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds and then repeat on the other leg. You should feel this stretch on the inner thigh and hip area. Repeat for set number of repetitions.
Lying T-spine Rotations
Lie on your side and bend your hips to 45 degrees and your knees to 90 degrees. Stack your shoulders and hips on top of each other. Slide your shoulder blades down your back and away from your ears. Keeping your neutral pelvis and shoulder blade position, open your chest by reaching the uppermost arm towards the ceiling. Continue to reach this arm out to the side allowing the upper body to rotate and the chest to open to the ceiling. Slowly rotate the arm and upper body back to the starting position and repeat. Repeat on the other side.
Stand with your back against a wall and your feet a step forward. Roll your pelvis forwards and backwards until you are happy that you have found your mid-position (neutral pelvis). Keeping your shoulders down, raise your arms above shoulder height and with your palms facing away from you, create a Y shape. Holding this position, pull the lower points of the shoulder blades down and in whilst bringing your elbows down towards your sides. Try to keep your arms and hands as close to the wall as possible. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
Lower Back/Glute Rotation
This stretch should be felt along the side of the torso and into the side of the abdomen. Lie on your back, arms outstretched on each side of the body. Bend the right knee and bring up to hip height. Keep the left leg straight; take the right knee across to the left side of the body keeping the hip and knee at a 90-degree angles. Repeat on the opposite side.
Iliotibial Band (ITB) Rolling
Lie down on your side supporting your upper body with your hands on the floor. Position the roller underneath your outer thigh and rest your weight on the roller. Now move along the floor allowing the roller to move along your outer thigh from the hip to the knee and back again. Keep as much pressure on the roller as you can manage. Some mild discomfort should be expected.
Lie down on your back with the roller underneath and across your upper back. Keep your feet flat on the floor and place hands behind the head to support and protect the neck. Move slowly back and forth allowing the roller to roll underneath your upper back from the top of the hips and up to the lower neck.
Sit back with the roller lying underneath and across your buttocks. Support your upper body with your hands behind you on floor and place one foot on the opposite knee. Shift your bodyweight onto the side of the bent leg and roll back and forth with as much of your bodyweight on the roller as possible. Repeat on the opposite side.
Stand sideways onto a wall or bench with your weight on your left leg and your right hand on the wall for balance. Swing your right leg forward and backwards, maintaining a straight back.
Leg Swings Lateral
Leaning slightly forward with both hands on a wall or bench and your weight on your left leg, swing your right leg to the left in front of your body, pointing your toes upwards as your foot reaches its furthest point of motion, then swing back to the right. Repeat to the other side.
Start by stepping forward with your right leg toes pointing up locking your leg out. Then bend at the waist and lean forward until you feel a nice stretch in the hamstrings. Repeat on the other side.
Glute/ITB using Bench
Standing in front of a bench step one foot up and externally rotate the hip so that the inside of the foot is facing upwards with the weight resting on the outer foot and the knee bent. Slowly lower your body by bending the back leg until your feel a stretch around the hip of the elevated leg and along the outside of the thigh.
This stretch should be felt in the front of the hip. Kneel on the left leg with the right leg out in front and right foot flat on the floor. The front knee should be bent to 90 degrees and at 90 degrees to the hip. Lean forwards tilting the hips forward. The torso should be straight and upright. Repeat on the other side.
Lie on your back and pull your knees in towards your chest keeping your head on the floor. Continue to pull in until your feel a gentle stretch on the lower back.
This stretch should be felt in the back of the lower leg. Stand near a wall or sturdy object to help you balance. Bring one leg forward for support. Your outstretched leg should form one straight line behind you. With both feet facing forwards, shift forward from the ankle joint until a stretch is felt in the calf. Repeat on the other side.
Stand with a wider than shoulder width stance with your toes pointing forward. Slowly lean to one side by bending the knee on that leg while keeping the other leg straight. Keep going until you feel a stretch reflex on the inside of the thigh of the straight leg.
Kneel down on the floor, place your hands slightly forward of your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Roll your pelvis forwards and backwards until you are happy that you have found your mid-position (neutral pelvis). Push up through the shoulder blades rounding the upper back, feeling a stretch between the shoulder blades. Push down and try to push the upper back through the middle of the chest without rounding the lower back.
Lie on your back with your arms outstretched to your sides. Bend your knees up towards the waist and slowly lower your legs to one side keeping your shoulder blades pressed into the floor. Repeat on the other side.
Upper Chest/Lat Stretch
Placing your hands on a wall or the back of a bench, slowly sit back by bending the knees taking care to keep your back straight, until your arms and body are straight. With your arms now out in front of you, sit back into the stretch so that you feel a gentle pull down the outside of your torso.
This stretch should be felt along the front of the thigh. Stand up straight, bend one knee and grasp just above the ankle pulling the heels up towards the backside. Keep the supporting knee slightly bent, and tilt the hips forward, keeping the stretched leg in-line with the supporting leg. Repeat on the other side.