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Relaxation

A Living Room Workout For Cold Winter Days

By Isa Tousignant

On those winter days when you look outside, shake your head, and go “I don’t think so”, working out at home is the coziest way to stay fit. Keep your dreams of summer alive with this series of exercises; they’re perfectly designed to strengthen the muscles you’ll need for the warm-weather sports you’ll soon be able to practice again. Yes, soon – we promise!

Kettle bell lifts for SUP: Stand-up paddleboarding calls upon the same muscles you need for the swinging action of a kettle bell. With this crossover move, you’ll strengthen exactly the same region in your back and shoulders – your trapezius muscles and deltoids – that you use when you paddle.

Holding your kettle bell in both hands, stand feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees, with the kettle bell between your legs, and, using the strength in your thighs and butt rather than your lower back, swing the kettle bell up above your head to the extreme right-hand side. Return to centre, and repeat on the left side – this is one rep. Do three sets of 12 reps.

Jump squats for soccer: Soccer is a sprinting sport that requires quick-reaction bursts of energy as well as long-term endurance. Squats are the key to rock-hard thighs that will sprint you forward in an instant, but add in a jump, and suddenly you’ve also got an insane cardio challenge.

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees and sit back – ending up with your knees over you heels – in a squatting position. Spring up into a jump, about a foot off the ground, with your arms above your head. Repeat, without stopping, for 15 reps. Do three sets with a one-minute break in between.

Plank jacks for tennis: Tennis is an all-over sport, but the power of your serve is directly related to the power of your upper body. Get killer strength in your shoulders, chest, triceps, and upper back while working your cardio with plank jacks, a jacked-up alternative to our favourite whole-body move.

Start in plank position, with your toes together, your heels pulling backward, and your shoulders directly over your hands. While engaging your abs, jump your feet wide apart, slightly larger than a yoga mat, then hop them back together. Do three sets of 15 reps with a one-minute break in between.

Repeat these three moves enough times before the spring thaw, and you’ll be limber and strong enough for all your favourite hot-weather sports!

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