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Leisure operator offers top home fitness tips

11 January 2021 : Council news, Sport and leisure, Community

Local leisure operator Everyone Active has released its top home exercises to combat inactivity in Taunton and Wellington following the announcement of a third national lockdown.

January is traditionally a popular month to begin a new fitness regime, but the Blackbrook Leisure Centre and Spa, Taunton Swimming Pool, Wellsprings Leisure Centre, Wellington Sports Centre and Vivary Golf and Adventure Centre, managed by Everyone Active in partnership with Somerset West and Taunton Council, are currently closed in line with Government guidance.

With gyms due to be shut until at least Monday, February 15 in a bid to tackle Covid-19, alternative ways to keep fit will play a key role in the health of local residents.

Keen to help the community achieve its fitness fix, Everyone Active’s fitness manager Stephanie Heath has picked out five key exercises which can be done at home.

Squat
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Bend from the hips and knees and push the hips backwards, lowering the bottom to just above knee height.

Push the knees out slightly as the body lowers and keep both feet on the floor. Keep the chest lifted and eyes looking forwards, then push back up.

Press-up
Lay face down and place hands on the floor, in line with the chest. Curl the toes under and push the body up, keeping the body strong and straight through the core.

Slowly lower the body until the chest is three or four inches off the floor, then push back up. Alternatively, you can do this movement with your knees on the floor – a three-quarter press-up.

Back extension
Lie face to the floor and place fingers on the side of the temples, with elbows out. Then engage the legs (glutes) and lift the shoulders and chest off the floor. Hold the extension for two to three seconds, then gently lower the chest.

Keep the neck in line with the spine and eyes looking down. Ensure the feet are on the floor throughout.

Side lunge
Stand with hips square, facing forwards. Step the right leg out to the side and bend the right knee, keeping the left leg straight. Drive the hips backwards, sinking deep into the movement. Keep the chest lifted and facing forwards.

Both feet should have toes pointing forwards and hips should be facing forwards throughout. Lift up by straightening the right leg and pushing the right foot back to the starting position.

Plank
Lay face to the floor, curl the toes under and place the forearms on the floor. Elbows need to be tight to the body, roughly in line with the shoulders, and hands should be clasped together in line with the face.

Lift the body off the floor, keeping it straight and strong, focusing on pulling the tummy tight and squeezing the glutes. Avoid letting the hips drop. Feet can be together or, to make it easier, hip-width apart.

This movement should be held strong for 20 seconds or more, depending on the fitness level. Alternatively, this can be done from the knees and is known as a three-quarter plank.

These can be combined with the company’s Everyone on Demand service, available with a month’s free trial as part of the NHS Better Health campaign and working in partnership with Public Health England.

The fitness service will give people access to more than 2,500 fitness classes without leaving their front door.

For further information on Everyone Active and its leisure centres, visit www.everyoneactive.com.