• Gym Rings Workout

    Gym rings workout pull up

    Training with gym rings has numerous benefits. It builds upper body strength, improves balance and agility, and works the core effectively. Try Sundried's gym rings workout to see for yourself how well it works!

    Gymnastics Rings Circuit Workout

    Training with gym machines all the time can be so boring. Mix up your training with our gym straps. With exercises like ring pulls ups and rows, there's a range of movements which will work the whole body.

    Let's go for 3 rounds as a starting point. The key thing to remember is that you can make any movements easier or harder depending on the positions of your feet (the more you put them under the anchor point, the harder it will become).

    one arm row gym rings workout

    - 10 Rows

    - 10 Push ups

    - 10 Bicep curls

    - 10 Dips

    - 10 One arm rows (5 on each side)

    - 10 One arm push ups (5 on each side)

    - L-Sit Hold (to failure)

    Have a 20-30 second break in between each exercise. As always, form is key.

    Good luck and have fun, this is what matters!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Surprising Ways To Get Fit

    Unusual Methods of keeping in shape

    We often go for the traditional approach to exercise and stick to the tried and tested methods. We jog, run, cycle, weight train and so on, but have you ever thought of trying something new?

    Fitness crazes are something we are used to seeing come and go because people can’t help but invent new ways to do things. A lot of sports just modify themselves slightly and create a craze that sticks. Spinning, for example, has become a massive hit and a great way to keep fit.

    So what else is there as an alternative for those who want to shape it up?

    Hula Hooping

    Hula hooping is a great way to get fit as it raises your heart rate, improves your cardiovascular performance, and will strengthen and tone your core, arms, legs, and back. If you'd like to know more about hula hooping, check out our ambassador Emma Barrett who does hula hooping full-time!

    Emma Barrett Hula Hooping Sundried Outdoors Graffiti

    Pole Fitness

    Pole fitness classes have gained a lot of popularity recently as a new way to get in shape. They are a fun and social way of getting fit as well as strong as it is very hard work! Pole fitness will improve your balance and coordination as well as your cardiovascular fitness and it's a great way to spend the evening with your friends. Pole fitness is suitable for both men and women. 

    Aerial Yoga

    If normal yoga isn't enough for you, then you may want to try aerial yoga. By supporting your body weight on an aerial sling, you will be able to achieve yoga poses and deep stretches in a more relaxed way. One of the primary features of using a yoga hammock is its ability to take pressure off the spine and joints as you practice stretches and positions with the support of the sling.

    Barre

    Ballet dancing is classically a great way to keep in shape but it takes a lot of discipline and a lifetime of practice. A ballet barre is a straight bar attached to the wall which ballerinas use to support them while they practice and hold demanding isometric movements. Isometric holds are exercises that you do while not moving (think of the plank.) A modern barre workout is one that has been adapted to suit modern gyms and uses weights and yoga poses to help you achieve a better posture and more toned physique.

    Ballet Barre Workout Class Isometric Holds

    Trampolining

    Trampolining is another gym-based workout that is gaining a lot of popularity. Using mini-trampettes, these classes are high intensity and fast-paced meaning you are bound to work up a sweat! This is a fairly specialised workout so your local commercial gym may not offer it, but if you go on the look out you will be able to find a gym nearby that offers this type of class. Check out this video of a trampolining class in action!

    Exercise is supposed to be enjoyable and it is worth exploring some alternatives whenever you can. The body gets used to the same type of training very quickly, so if you do the same thing at the gym every day you will stop noticing any changes in your fitness and physique. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • The Ultimate Fitness Couple Workout

    Full Body Fitness Couple Workout

    Working out with a partner can help to motivate you and getting fit with your other half can also be a great bonding experience. Follow Sundried's workout routine to become the ultimate fitness couple!

    You will need:

    Resistance bands 

    Medicine ball

    Warm Up

    You’re going to warm up using your resistance bands with four simple exercises. You should spend around 2 minutes on each exercise to ensure you are fully warmed up.

    Resistance band chest stretch

    Hold the resistant band in front of you with both hands. Start with your hands in front of your shoulders and then pull the band back, opening out your chest and pulling your elbows back, keeping them high. If you can, extend a little past this position to feel the stretch deeper into your chest and then release the resistance. This should be a constant fluid movement resisting and returning the band, rather than a static stretch, so be sure to keep it moving!

    Resistance band chest and shoulder opener

    Start by holding the resistance band tightly with both hands. Pulling against the band, lift your arms up above your head in a Y position and then as far back towards your bum as your shoulders comfortably allow, return to the start position and repeat in one fluid motion.

    Resistance band travelling squats

    Tie your resistance band in a loop around the bottom of your thighs, just above the knee. Now squat and step laterally against the resistance, making sure to travel in both directions.

    Resisted runs

    Take it in turns to loop your resistance band around your runner and hold onto the ends like reigns. Now sprint on the spot, running against your resistance partner's resistance. Keep your knees up to further engage the glutes.

    The Workout

    We've all seen videos of couples working out together and it looks so fun! Make sure you enjoy yourselves while doing this workout routine and motivate each other to keep going!

    Med ball waltz

    Stand face to face with your partner with one of you holding a medicine ball to your chest. One partner steps into a forward lunge, the other steps the same leg back into a lunge. As you lunge forwards and backwards, pass the medicine ball between you with each step.

    Squat and dip

    One partner stands against a wall and sinks into a squat. The other stands in front of them facing away and puts their hands on their knees to do tricep dips. Complete a minute on each move before you swap over.

    Plank double jumps

    One partner sets up in a regular elbow plank, with elbows under shoulders and spine in neutral alignment. The move from this position is to jump both legs outwards and then inwards to the regular plank position. Your partner stands with one foot either side of your legs and as the planker jumps the legs out, they simultaneously jump their legs in. It should look a little like a human hopscotch. Be sure to concentrate and not land on your partner! 1 minute for each move before swapping over.

    Hand-held pistol squats

    Face your partner and grab their hands. Stretch one leg out straight, making sure it's the opposite to your partner. Sink down in unison into a pistol squat and then swap to give the other leg a turn.

    Push-up high fives

    Both assume the push-up position facing one another. Lower yourselves to the ground in sync and as you reach the top of the push-up, high-five each other with opposite hands. Complete as many as you can in one minute, resting or coming down to your knees if you need to.

    Russian twist passes

    Both of you sit on the ground beside one another, with one of you holding the medicine ball. Each of you is required to lean back, keeping a neutral spine to engage the core, then lift your legs off the ground with a bend at the knees so that the backs of your calves are parallel to the floor. As you twist, pass the ball to each other. Complete for 1 minute.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • The Effects of Hypermobility on Training

    The Effects of Hypermobility on Training Sundried

    You may well have heard people talk about being "double jointed" or brag about how flexible they are, but being "double jointed" doesn't really exist - just try to imagine someone with two elbows or two knee caps... it doesn't make sense! When people claim to be double jointed, what they really mean is that they are excessively flexible, which is a symptom of hypermobility. 

    What Is Hypermobility?

    Hypermobility is a very common condition in which the joints can easily and painlessly move beyond a normal range of motion. However, contrary to popular belief, being overly flexible is not a good thing! Common symptoms of hypermobility include pain in the knees, ankles, and hips, as well as an increased risk of developing conditions such as arthritis. 

    Am I Hypermobile?

    There is a simple way to check if you are hypermobile. Place your hand flat on a table and stand over it so that your arm is straight vertically with your shoulder above your wrist. Can you twist your elbow almost 180 degrees? If so, you are definitely hypermobile. You may also see people who stand with their knees bent back so that the legs appear to bow outwards, this is also a symptom. There are varying degrees of hypermobility, with some people who can bend their fingers all the way back, or people who are just more flexible than normal. This is a condition that must be treated with great care, especially when you are very active and engage in sports such as running and weight training as you are more prone to injury.

    Hypermobility In Pregnancy

    Hypermobility also affects pregnant women. When pregnant, a hormone is released called relaxin which makes the muscles and joints more flexible. The body does this to take the pressure of the body while pregnant and to allow an easier birth, but when women realise they are more flexible than usual, they might push themselves too far and this is when they can end up popping a hip or breaking a joint! Women always have more relaxin than men, which is why they are generally more flexible. Never push your joints too hard as you could really injure yourself. 

    How Hypermobility Affects Training

    If you are hypermobile, you need to be very careful when you are training as you are more at risk of injuries. If you are a runner, you may feel pain in your knees, hips, and ankles while you run. If you are a weight lifter, you may feel pain in your shoulders when doing the bench press. The ligaments are more lax which means that ankles and shoulders are more prone to becoming sprained. 

    What You Can Do About It

    Hypermobility is a genetic condition and doesn't have any negative medical implications, you just need to be careful. Isometric exercises (exercises where you don't move like the plank or wall sit) are good for those with hypermobility as it allows you to strengthen your muscles without extending and contracting your joints. Proprioceptive exercises (exercises where you feel the space around you) are also good, such as balancing exercises. If you are a runner, focus on your running form and make sure it is perfect at all times, and when you become fatigued make sure you don't let it become subpar. If you train at a gym, make sure you do not over-extend your joints while you are training. A common example of this is over-extending your elbows at the top of a press up. Make sure there is always a slight bend in your arms and legs while you are training. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Beginner Jump Rope Workout And Skipping Guide

    Beginner Jump Rope Workout Skipping Guide

    So you’ve got your rope, now what? You used to skip as a child so how hard can it be? It may be surprising but there is far more to skipping than initially meets the eye. When I started skipping as an adult I was surprised at how different it was to what I remembered from being a child. So let’s learn how to skip in the best way possible!

    Is Skipping A Good Form Of Exercise?

    Skipping is a fantastic workout and can burn up to 10 calories per minute if done at a high intensity! In order to get skilled at jumping rope, it's important to practice and to break it down into sections.

    Let’s start with the jumping. When most people start skipping for the first time they jump too high, just going for it and doing what feels natural without any knowledge on proper technique. But skipping too high is not efficient for a workout and will leave you unable to skip for longer than a few seconds.

    When skipping, the key is to not actually jump. Wait, what? That’s right! If you change your mindset about what your feet are doing, it becomes a lot easier. Instead of jumping, think about doing a calf raise. Practice doing it without the rope to start: raise your heels so that you are on the balls of your feet, and then lower yourself back down using your calf muscles. You’ll soon realise there’s a reason why boxers have such defined calves! You may need to increase the strength and stamina in these muscles before skipping feels easy. Take your time and enjoy the process.

    Once you’ve practised a few times without the rope, try applying this technique with the rope. You should only come a few centimetres off the floor on each bounce. Keep your ankles loose and feel the balls of your feet flex. See if you can keep it up for 30 seconds without stopping.

    Your Arms

    After your feet, what you do with your arms is the most important part of skipping. Hold the handles near the rope-end as this is the most efficient and will allow the rope to swing better. Keep your wrists loose, and your elbows close to your hips. It is a very subtle movement; you do not want to be swinging your whole arm, just a slight movement of the wrist. It will be tempting to tense your arms and lock them by your sides, so try to relax from the shoulder.

    Your Posture

    This moves us onto your posture. Make sure you are standing tall, with your shoulders pulled back and down, and your core and glutes tight. The key to skipping is to relax! If you are skipping for the first time in a gym or a public place, it may be a little daunting, and you may worry about tripping in front of everyone. Let go and have fun and try not to take it too seriously, at least while you are starting out. The looser and more relaxed you are, the less likely you are to trip over and you are less likely to incur an injury.

    Is Skipping A Good Cardio Workout?

    Skipping is a surprisingly demanding cardio workout! If you are skipping for the first time as an adult, you will be shocked by how out of breath you get on your first try! Don’t let this deter you, take your time. If you are new to fitness altogether, then you may wish to just skip in 20-30 second bursts. If you are a seasoned gym-goer, then skipping for intervals of 60 seconds may be more for you. Try our skipping workout plan and see what works for you! Or create your own jump rope routine. Supplement your skipping with leg exercises and mobility drills so that you do not get injured, especially if you are not used to exercising. Skipping has the fantastic benefit of being great for weight loss and by adding skipping into your existing gym routine you can expect to burn up to 10 calories a minute.

    Where To Jump Rope

    Where you choose to do your skipping is important too. If you are skipping outdoors, try to avoid jumping on concrete as this can be harsh on the joints. Skipping on softer tarmac or grass will be better. If you are indoors, avoid carpet as this can make the rope more likely to bounce which can cause you to twist your ankle. Hardwood floors are the perfect surface on which to jump rope.

    How Long Should You Jump Rope For A Beginner?

    When I first got back into skipping as an adult, I was really put-off by the fact that I couldn’t do it well. I saw lots of people in the gym skipping with ease and doing neat tricks so it deflated me somewhat that I was finding it so hard. But don’t let this be the case! After only a few sessions my technique improved hugely and skipping started to feel a lot more natural. Take your time, enjoy it, and maybe even let us know how you get on by leaving a review of the Sundried skipping rope on our website!

    Beginner Skipping Workout

    Day 1

    Skip for as long as you can, rest for 60 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes.

    Day 2

    Skip for as long as you can, rest for 45 seconds, repeat for 7 minutes.

    Day 3

    Skip for 20 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes.

    Day 4

    Gym cross-training - leg, ab, and back exercises

    Day 5

    Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes

    Day 6

    Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 10 minutes.

    Day 7

    Rest

    Read more about Skipping on the Sundried Skipping page.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren