August 20, 2008

Plenty of Star Quality in This 30-Minute Workout

TIME-POOR stars are signing up to an exercise routine to beat the clock and stay in shape.

Celebs such as Beyonce, Mel B and Rihanna, left, are discovering 30-minute sessions are the ideal way to keep fit.

The secret of the fitness regime is to include different cardiovascular and weight-training activities in the one workout.

So a daily workout might include 30 minutes of swapping between bursts of jogging, Swiss ball weight training, skipping, Pilates, sprinting and pressups. This kind of session is also ideal for "mere mortal exercisers", according to personal trainerCarolyn Murray, of Glasgow.

She said: "Most people can achieve great results by doing a mix of cardio and weight training exercise for 30 minutes every day.

"This can be done at home with a Swiss ball and light weights, or at the gym.

"The key is to keep the heart rate up and to try to include as many exercises for different muscle groups as possible."

Here's an example of a simple, 30-minute celeb-style workout.

Three-minute warm-up on the rower or gentle jogging/skipping.

One minute of shoulder presses sitting on a Swiss ball. Shoulder presses involve sitting on the Swiss ball with your feet planted on the ground. Using hand-held dumbells, or small bottles filled with water, raise your arms slowly straight up fromshoulder height until the arms are fully extended. Then lower your hands/weights slowly back to shoulder height. Repeat for the full minute.

Two minutes of leg lunges. To complete a leg lunge, first stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward, as if striding, plant the foot and then bend both legs as if sitting down into the lunge. Your front knee should remain behind the frontfoot as your sink down. Then stand up and bring the leg back to the start position. Repeat with the other leg. For extra toning, hold hand weights as you complete the exercise.

Three minutes skipping or jogging on the spot.

One minute of bicep dips from a bench or sturdy chair. To complete a dip, first sit on the edge of a bench. While holding on to the front edge of the bench with your hands, move your bum slightly up and forwards. Bend the arms at the elbow, and dip yourtorso towards the ground. Do this slowly, before straightening the arms again. Repeat this movement for the full minute.

Two minutes of squats. Stand with your feet slighty wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your feet flat on the ground, bend your legs at the knee and your hips as if sitting slowly down into a seat. Slowly straighten the legs up again. If you'reusing a swiss ball, place the ball behind your back and against a wall. Keep your back in contact with the ball as your descend into the squat and the ascend.

Three minutes of cardio moves, such as jumping jacks or star jumps.

Repeat the sequence.

'Most people achieve great results'

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