• Guest Post: Couples Outdoor Workout

    Stretching

    Here are 7 bodyweight exercises to do with a partner. Aim for as many reps as you both find comfortable for 2-4 rounds. Label yourselves A and B for the first round and then switch for the second.

    1. PARTNER DEEP SQUAT - Both partners to cross both hands over, arms stay locked, belly drawn into lower spine. Squat all the way down, drive up through the heels, stand tall and squeeze your glutes.

    Partner Deep Squat Exercise

    2. SHOULDER PRESS PRESS & V SIT - Partner A will sit in a V Sit position, abs pulled in tight to lower back, shoulders relaxed, back straight and legs together whilst partner B is creating resistance as A pushes up and down into a shoulder press. Working the abs & shoulders simultaneously.

    Shoulder Press V Sit Abs Outdoor Workout

    3. PARTNER ROW - Partner A will be in a hold Plank position, body in a nice strong and straight line and holding onto elbows whilst partner B stands either side and rows A into their tummy. Partner B's knees to be soft, abs switched on and hinging from the hips.

    Partner Row Exercise Strength Core

    4. PLANK CORE COMBO - Both are in a plank position, body in one straight line, abs pulled in tight. Opposite hands will clap whilst opposite leg comes up at the same time. Focusing on keeping hips and shoulders square to the ground whilst maintains core stability.

    Plank Core Combo Abs

    5. STAGGERED STANCE PULL - Holding opposite hands, one goes down to the floor whilst the other pulls the other partner up. The focus is on the mid back.

    Staggered Stance Pull Strength Training Exercises

    6. PLANK HOLD & TRICEP DIPS - Partner B will be in a plank Hold position (forearms or full plank) with the core switched on, shoulders relaxed with strong form whilst partner A will do Tricep Dips. Partner A needs to make sure elbows are 90 degrees and squeezing the triceps at the top of the range.

    Plank hold Tricep Dips Isometric Exercise

    7. PARTNER TOE TAPS - Both facing each other, at a quick pace tap each other's opposite foot. Sometimes known as quick Feet this is a great workout finisher and cardio fix.

    Toe Taps Cardio Get Fit Outdoors

    About the authors: Carly and Elia Siaperas are a married couple who together own a PT studio in London. 

    Posted by Guest Reviewer
  • Guest Post: Boxing To Get Fit

    Boxing Gym London Padwork Sparring Get Fit

    Sundried ambassador Kris Hughes tells us how to use boxing as an effective way of getting fit.

    Is boxing a good way of getting fit?

    Yes! Boxing training is beneficial for so many training goals and the workouts can be adapted to suit just about anyone. With a high cardiovascular demand, boxing is great for burning calories, leaning out your upper body and abs, building strength in your arms and shoulders as well as boosting your endurance for various sports. Also, as much as it receives a view of being aggressive in nature, it can be a very relaxing and soothing form of exercise by releasing daily tensions in a safe and managed manner to help you get that much-desired beauty sleep.

    Can boxing help me lose weight?

    Definitely! Boxing burns a lot of calories with its physical nature so expect to see some great results. Also, with most calorie burning exercises being viewed as your standard cardio workouts of running and cycling, it is great to put more focus on your upper body and have some fun variety from the usual routines.

    Is boxing easy?

    I like to describe why boxing is tiring in a simple way. We tend to use our legs for cardio (as in cycling or running), so imagine doing the same duration and style of work but on your hands! All of a sudden it sounds brutal. Boxing is a cardiovascular work focussing more around these muscles so trust me it will be tiring (but fun) even for the seasoned athlete. Yes, you can just use pad work or heavy bag exercises but there is so much more to a boxing workout than just flinging big punches: the techniques, the footwork, the utilisation of your core and base strength and endurance exercises make this a full body workout to remember.

    Can anyone do boxing?

    Absolutely. Boxing can be suitable for anyone whether it be kids, athletes, beginners or even pregnant women.  As long as the session is adequately designed for your specific needs then there is no reason why you can’t fling a few punches for fun/fitness.

    Posted by Guest Reviewer
  • The Benefits of Joining A Running Club

    Flyers Southend Running Club

    It can be hard to stay motivated when running solo. Cold winters, shin splints, boring playlists... sometimes getting up and out can be the hardest part. So what about joining a running club? Have you ever thought about it? What are the benefits, and are there any drawbacks?

    Companionship

    Running alone can be dreadfully lonely, especially on the long winter nights when you find yourself plodding along for 10 miserable miles. But who said running has to be boring? If you join a running club, you'll be among like-minded people who may be training for a specific event or just out for a fun jog with their friends. You'll meet people from your town who you may never have met otherwise, so it's a great opportunity to make friends. 

    Motivation

    There's been countless times that I've set out for a run but ended up turning back after only a mile or two because it's too cold or I'm too tired or my legs hurt too much. But if you're running with a club, there is much more motivation to keep going. You can chat to your running buddies to keep your mind occupied and you can explore new routes, which will be covered in the next point.

    New Routes

    When I run, I'm very guilty of always going the same way, which can get very boring after a while. I'm not very adventurous with my runs because I'm never too sure of where will be safe to run, or if the route will even have pavement the whole way along. I certainly never bother to drive out to a run location; I always start and finish at home. But by joining a running club you will be encouraged to try new routes that you would never have even dreamt of before. The best part is that the distance will already be tried and tested so all you will have to do is turn up and run! You may experience runs through woodlands or off-road for the first time which is a great added bonus.

    Safety In Numbers

    Running alone, especially in the evening, can feel a little unsafe. Running with a club means you will be a lot safer in all aspects as there will be so many people running alongside you. Traffic is also more likely to stop to let you cross the road if there is a large number of you, so your run will be less interrupted if you are running on busy streets or in a city.

    Doors to other events

    Before I joined a running club, I never even thought about running a race or joining the local Parkrun. By being a member of a club, you will end up being motivated to train for events such as 10ks and half marathons, which are always more enjoyable when you have comrades to cheer you on. Feeling part of a team is a fantastic feeling. 

    Choosing the right club

    There may well be more than one running club in your town or city, so choosing the right one is fairly important as they are not all the same. In my town for example, we have one club which is free of charge to be a member of and it is very much a relaxed group of people who love to run for fun and eat cake afterwards! There is another club which is on the other end of the spectrum, who take running very seriously, so they motivate each other in a very different way. This club has an annual fee, however being an affiliated club means you get cheaper entry to races so after a while your fee should pay for itself. Run Together has a list of nationwide running clubs, or doing a simple Google search will provide you with local clubs around you.

    Parkrun Running Club Get Fit Outdoors

    Parkrun

    If you don't feel ready to join a run club just yet, why not try Parkrun? This weekly event is a 5k run held in your local park (you can find your closest Parkrun here) It is a growing community, with hundreds of participants showing up each week at each location! It is completely free of charge and you can be of any ability, many people just walk the course. It's great for those trying to improve their running as it is chip timed so you get an official finish time every time you turn up and run. The atmosphere is incredibly supportive and it will allow you to meet like-minded people from your local area who are all there for the same reason - to get fit and enjoy the process!

    So what are you waiting for! Let's get running!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Sundried Summer Workout

    Shea Vegan Personal Trainer Sundried Summer Workout

    Summer is finally here, which means it’s the perfect time to exercise outdoors! Outdoor workouts are great because you can bathe in the glorious sunshine and reap the extra health benefits of the vitamin D exposure from the rays. Getting active in the sun can be social too; get your friends or family to join you so that you can all get fit together! No more hours spent staring at a blank wall in the gym, it’s time to get out there and learn to enjoy moving again!

    This outdoor workout can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any equipment so you can do it whenever the mood strikes. Maybe in your garden, while the kids play, or maybe in the park with your friends. Always remember to warm up properly before a workout and stay hydrated by always having a water bottle with you.

    Round 1

    The first round is a small circuit comprising of 5 exercises. Aim to complete each exercise for 60 seconds with no rest. If you are a beginner or you have an underlying injury, take it at your own pace and rest whenever you need. If you want more information on how to do an exercise, click the name of the exercise.

    1. High Knees
    2. Press Ups
    3. Inch Worm
    4. Plank Shoulder Taps
    5. Burpees
    Lunge Bench Outdoor Workout Body Weight Sundried

    Round 2

    The second round is based on a Tabata style of HIIT training. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is a great way to burn fat and get fit. Tabata consists of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, and you can repeat that as many times as you like with as many different exercises as you like. In this workout, you'll be completing 8 rounds (1 round = 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest) to last 4 minutes with all different exercises. Go straight from one round to the next until you are finished.

    1. Jumping Jacks
    2. Side Steps
    3. Shuttle Runs
    4. Curtsy Lunges
    5. Mountain Climbers
    6. Lunges
    7. Donkey Kicks
    8. Squats
    Press Up Garden Home Workout Sundried

    Round 3

    Your final round is based more on body-weight strength training. You don't need equipment to have a good workout! Complete 3 sets of 10 reps on each of the following exercises with 30-60 seconds of rest in between each one. This is a full body workout which will target every muscle group. Take the exercises slow and perform each repetition with care, focussing on the muscle under tension.

    1. Squats
    2. Lunge to kick through
    3. Press Ups
    4. Back extensions
    5. Crunches
    6. Glute bridges

    Well done for completing the Sundried Summer Workout! On completion of this workout, you should really be feeling the effects! If not, you can either work harder or make the exercises tougher! Remember, exercise is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, and you should fuel your body with nutritious food afterwards. If you find a particular workout boring, don't make yourself suffer by doing it! Find something you love, and you will find that staying fit has never been so easy.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Get Garter Ready Legs

    Part of our wedding workout guide.

    Create slender thighs for your garter to slip over. Wedding workout four ups the ante, we’re working on legs - your biggest muscle group. Why do we work the biggest muscle group? Bigger muscles mean more energy is needed to use them and what does that equal? More calories burned. Warning - What I wouldn’t do is train legs in the last few days before your big day, not unless you fancy tumbling down the aisle like a newborn calf.

    Wedding Workout

    Before we start:

    Before we get ahead of ourselves, there is an important rule one must abide by when completing this workout.

    Let me hear you say it ladies:

    “Thou shalt not wear see through leggings”

    When you're squatting, lunging and with this workout, jumping all over the place, you need to be able to trust that your leggings are protecting your dignity and see through leggings could see you making your big debut long before your wedding night. Sundried Ruinette tights are not only comfortable, they offer complete coverage of your behind through a full range of motion. They also have a double fastening waist secured with both a flat elastic band and a drawstring, for that personalised fit you can guarantee will go no where, so you can squat down low without your gym tights following suit. Now we’ve got that one cleared up, it’s time to get going.

    Warm up:

    Jog on the spot: 3 minutes, this is a light jog to start elevating your heart rate.

    Pelvis and hip openers

    This workout requires a lot from your hips and pelvis, so it’s important you warm up effectively. To wake up your hips and pelvis we start by bending one leg to bring your knee up in front of your chest and then circle your knee out away from your body, opening up your hip flexors. Repeat this 10 times per each leg.

    Deep squats

    This time we’re going for deep squats, taking our legs gently through the full range of motion. Start with your feet just outside of shoulder width and point your toes out. Squat down as low as you can, your bum should be hovered over the floor, with your thighs and calves pressing. Complete 10-20 deep squats to give your legs a preview of what’s to come.

    Lunge with Torso Rotations

    The final warm up exercise is a lunge with torso rotations. With each lunge forward, twist your body towards the outside of your hips. Complete 10 per side.

    Legs workout - AMRAP

    For this workout we suggest you go for 30 minutes - AMRAP - as many rounds as possible, however if you’re a wedding warrior, please feel free to bump up the time!

    Squat jump with floor touch

    Start by standing with your feet together and jump both legs into a squat simultaneously, as you do, touch a hand to the floor before jumping back to the start position. Complete 20.

    Jumping alternating lunges

    Jump into a lunge sinking down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Explode up and switch legs, so you land in a lunge on the alternate side. Same deal, 20 reps, but we will let you off with 10 per side.

    Front kicks

    Facing forward lift your knee up and extend the lower leg to snap into a front kick, with your toes facing up, leading with the heel. No wussy kicks, imagine you’re kicking someone away from you, making sure to alternate between legs each time. 20 reps, 10 kicks per leg.

    Donkey kicks

    Try this one standing for an extra balance challenge and calorie burn. Bend your supporting leg to provide a bit of extra stability and then lift the other leg off the ground. Kick backwards leading with your heel. You should feel this one in your glutes (aka bum) if you’re not, have a check of your form! 10 kicks per leg.

    Stair runs

    It’s time for a cardio interval. For 30 seconds go flat out as fast as you can running up and down your stairs, if you live in a bungalow and can’t find a step, high knees will serve the same purpose, just keep the intensity high and get that heart rate rocketing!

    Travelling squats

    For travelling squats, every step you take becomes a squat. Squat and step ladies, squat and step. 20 steps, 20 squats.

    Dumbbell swings

    Grab a dumbbell in both hands, the heavier the better, with a minimum of 5 kg. Sink into a squat and swing the dumbbell through your legs and then up to in front of your face with your arms extended. As the dumbbell reaches in front of your face you should thrust your hips forwards, before returning to your squat position as the dumbbell passes through your legs.

    Hip thrusters with pulses

    Lay on your back and raise your hips up to the ceiling, lifting your bum off the floor. With your feet on the ground. Return your bum down until it hovers just above the floor before thrusting upwards again. Complete 20 of these full reps, followed by 20 small hip pulses at the top of the movement.

    Those are all your exercises, but it’s not over yet! Whizz back to the start and carry on, remember it's a war against the clock so keep going until your time’s up.

    Cool down Yoga

    Once your 30 minutes are up, however exhausted you are don’t skip the cool down, it’s part of your recovery. Yoga poses can be a great way of relieving tired muscles and these stretches will help prevent stiffness post workout, although you should expect to ache when you’ve worked that hard.

    Recline hero pose

    The recline hero pose provides a deep stretch to the thighs, hip flexors and ankles and is an easy move to master - once you get the hang of it. Start by kneeling on the floor with your legs pressed together and feet very slightly wider than your hips. Keeping the tops of your feet flat on the floor with your toes facing towards you. Exhale and sit back in between your feet, without changing their position. From here you can then place your hands on the floor behind you and lean your weight backwards. Gradually lean back and shift your weight from your hands, down to your elbows and then lay yourself back against the floor completely opening your hip flexors and resting your arms by your side. Continue to the next pose by supporting yourself back up onto your elbows and then hands.

    Butterfly pose

    Sit down and bend your legs so that your feet are lined up touching. Now grab your feet and bring them as close to your body as possible. Now push your knees and thighs down as close to the ground as possible, gently lift and lower your knees (like butterfly wings) and then repeat, pushing your thighs to the ground. Exhale and bring your torso to the floor, inhale when you’re ready to return your chest slowly back up.

    Wide angle seated forward bend

    Staying in your seated position, now open your legs as widely as possible keeping your toes pointing towards the ceiling. Exhale and bring your torso forward, folding in half with your chest as close to the floor as possible. Inhale as you return to the start.

    Half frog pose

    Start by laying on your front and lift your chest up to the ceiling using your hands. Supporting yourself on one hand, use the other to reach and raise your foot towards your bum, folding your leg in half. Relax as you return the leg back down and reach to the opposite side with the opposite hand.

    Thread the needle

    Lay on your back, with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Cross one foot over the other leg so it rests on the thigh. Lift the other leg off the ground and feed your hand through the gap in your legs to pull your back leg up towards your face.

    Whilst these stretches will aid recovery, it’s inevitable your legs are going to ache, to improve any discomfort you may experience, grab yourself a torture device… I mean foam roller. Foam rolling your calves is particularly important if you’re walking down the aisle in heels.

    And when your partner laughs at your aching pins, warn him, next week we’re bringing in reinforcement, so he’d better grab his trainers!

    Posted by Victoria Gardner