Five-minute workout that could have changed my life
PUBLISHED: 09:31 07 August 2017
Get fit in just five minutes, said the press release.
I have never been drawn to the idea of joining a gym because it entails some sort of commitment and payment, but the idea of spending just 300 seconds exercising is brilliant. In fact, it’s so quick, I checked it was for people and not gerbils.
Together with Right Guard (and boy, you’re gonna need that), Marvin Ambrosius – the Sky Sports Fit in Five presenter – reckons this workout will get us in shape in only five minutes a day. Ah, so that’s the catch – you have to do it every day. Ah well, even so, it’s only 35 minutes a week. The idea is to complete the 10 exercises in succession, with no pauses, as energetically as possible and to “just add water”.
The only way to test this was to do it, and so I have done this for you, dear reader. It is unlikely I shall be doing it again until I am fully recovered – spring 2018, probably.
So here we go. Each of the below got more or less (usually less) 30 seconds.
1. High Knees: Move your knees towards your waist height in a running motion, while standing on the spot and alternating arms.
A breeze... except for my left knee, which, having been replaced, does not bend as well as my right knee. This meant I was bit lopsided, and though I started in the sitting room I ended up in the dining room.
2. Squat Jumps. Go low into a squat position, then jump upright keeping a straight back.
Once again my left knee caused some difficulty and I found I was jumping forward, like a frog. Once again, I ended up in the dining room. My husband, who was timing me, suggested I might like to start in the dining room and head back into the sitting room.
3. Plank Punch: Balance on your elbows in the plank position, bring one arm out in front and hold. Make sure your hips are in line with your shoulders.
Are they kidding? Achieving the plank took me the entire 30 seconds.
4. Shoulder Taps: While in the press-up position, move each hand up to tap your opposite shoulder.
I was fine until I took both hands off the ground at the same time.
5. Press Ups: Slowly lower down and then back up. Arms should be at a 90° angle from your chest.
I did my best, I truly did, but I have only ever managed one press-up in my life. I bend in the middle.
6. Jumping Jacks: Raise your arms above your head with your feet together, jump whilst moving your arms and legs to the side, to hip width.
Not too bad. Feeling a bit smug.
7. Star Squats: Jump, feet to hip width, with arms raised above your head, come down and touch the ground in squat position.
What? At this point, chest heaving, I checked with my husband that I had been going only three and a half minutes, because it felt like more.
8. Scissor Runs: Jump one leg forwards, the other one back, whilst moving arms in the same alternating movement.
This is rather like my husband’s renowned impression of the Woodentops’ “Biggest Spotty Dog You Ever Did See”, which went down very well in Chalk Farm in 1973.
9. Straight Jacks. Place arms in front of you at 90 degrees, jump with legs apart and punch upwards.
I failed to co-ordinate and in the end did the arms sitting down and then the legs without the arm movements.
10. Side Squats: Jump feet out to hip width with arms raised above your head, come down and touch the ground in squat position but move 90 degrees each time.
This is very like the dance my son does to the BBC Question Time theme music except not as funny... although it made my husband laugh.
Getting through the whole rigmarole took me about 20 minutes and then I had to lie on the floor for a further 20 minutes. Did I feel fitter? Er no. Am I going to stick at it? Er no.
If you do undertake these exercises, safety is key. Be aware of your surroundings and wear the right clothing. If it’s hot, have water with you and wear light clothing.