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Five steps to fitness

Greg Pye’s Five Steps to Fitness

(Published in The Times – Oct 18, 2004)

Leg Rebounds

10 to 15 of these.

Lie on your back on the floor. Get a helper to stand behind your head and hold on to his ankles. Bring your legs up towards your head as if doing a backward roll but keep your legs straight. Get your helper to push your legs (back) down towards the floor; you have to stop your feet touching the floor but keeping your legs straight all the time.

This tightens the tummy muscles and improves core stability. It’s also excellent for posture.

Left and Right Oblique Twists

10 to 15 of these as well.

This is effectively a sit-up. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent, with your arms behind your head. Bring yourself up into a sitting position and as you do so twist to your right, punch the air with your left hand like a boxer. Repeat on the other side.

This works all three main muscles in the stomach and strengthens core stability – particularly useful if you have to carry a heavy school bag.

Floor Sky Touches

20 or 30 of these.

Start from standing position. Crouch down to touch the floor. Jump up and throw arms above your head as if you are touching the sky.

This provides good cardiovascular exercise and uses every muscle in your legs.

Boxing Skipping

Skipping with a rope, landing on one foot at a time (not jumping with both feet). Skip for 30 seconds to one minute, increasing your speed as you go, changing your footwork, crossing the rope and moving backwards and forwards.

This is a good fat burner. Children love it because boxers do it.



Jumping Jacks

20 to 30 of these.

Start from a standing position, arms by the side. Jump in the air with legs and arms out to make a star shape and then jump back in.

This provides good cardiovascular exercise, benefiting the heart and lungs and using all the major muscles of the body. It also helps to improve coordination and balance.


© Greg Pye / Sunday Times 2004