Want to achieve your fitness goals before you have to make them a New Year’s resolution? Then what could be better than getting inspired by the biggest sports-movie of the month, CREED II? Personal Trainer Harry Jameson and future-Olympian boxer Oriance Lungu have created a 10-step workout (3 minutes per step) using the key elements of preparing for a fight for you to try at home. All you need is a mat, a kettlebell and, ideally, the Creed II soundtrack playing in the background…
1. The warm-up
Gentle and continuous dynamic movements that mobilise the full body. Use these three minutes to bounce around on your feet and loosen up your muscles and range of motion.
A mixture of heel flicks, light lunges, arm and wrist circles and star jumps.
Jump ropes have always played a big part in The Rocky series, so naturally they have to be a part of any Rocky workout. Alternate between methodical, steady skipping and skipping sprints for 15 seconds each until the three minutes are up.
Take note of the size of your skipping rope – your feet don’t need to come up off the floor any more than the thickness of the rope. Focus on continuous movement – not height jumped. It takes skill to sprint skip so hone the skill of coordination first.
3. Shadow boxing
Shadow boxing is a focus on technique. For the full three minutes, practice a mix of jabs (punching straight out), crosses (punching across the body), and upper cuts (imagine you’re punching someone in the chin, in an upwards motion). Try various combinations until the time is up.
4. Dynamic core
Do 5 each of the following and repeat until the time is up:
Toe taps: Lie on your back, lift your knees and straighten your legs so your calves are parallel to the ground. Lower your legs until your toes tap the floor. For extra effect, straighten your legs while you do this.
Mountain climbers: Get into a push up position and bring your knees, one at a time, into your chest as though you’re about to push off the starting blocks for a sprint. Go as fast as you can and, as ever, keep the core engaged.
Jack-knife crunches: Get on your back, legs straight out in front of you and just start bringing those limbs together. Engage the core and with arms and legs straight, reach up to meet your toes then relax slightly and then back up again.
Rainbow plank: Get in the normal plank position and when you’re feeling solid, roll over your ankles to follow a rainbow shape with your hips. So, you’ll be leaning on the right side of your right foot and then across the toes to the left side of your left foot.
High plank shoulder taps: Still in the plank position, lift one arm at a time and tap the opposite shoulder. Repeat for the other arm five times.
5. Static core
30 seconds high plank (arms extended)
30 seconds low plank (lower arms flat on the mat)
30 seconds side plank (depending on comfort arm can be extended or flat on the ground)
6. Lower body strength
For this you need a kettlebell (between eight and 12 Kgs is ideal) and each of these should last 15 seconds.
Start with swings: Keep back straight and core engaged and bring the kettlebell from between your legs till your arms are parallel with the floor. Don’t swing wildly, you need to maintain control.
Goblet squats: Hold the kettlebell in your arms, in front of your chest. Squat.
Reverse lunges: Stand with the kettlebell in the same position as the previous exercise and with your feet hip-width apart. Then, alternating legs, step back and dip the back leg low to the ground.
Sumo squats: Same as regular squats but this time you add in a little jump and, on landing, squat so low that your elbows are touching you knees. Keep your back straight.
7. Shadowboxing advanced
Advanced shadow boxing should incorporate quick feet and also some low dips to recreate the dodging of a punch. You need to get in your head a bit for this one and prepare yourself for any situation. Keep on your toes – quick as a cat.
8. Upper body strength
Grab that kettlebell again and it’s 15 seconds of each of the following:
Shoulder press: With the kettlebell firmly in hand and resting on the back of your wrist (take your watch off!) and extend your arm to the air. If you’re struggling to do this in a straight motion then the weight is too heavy and you need a lighter one. Repeat for the other side.
Drop the kettlebell and do 15 seconds of push-ups.
Get the kettlebell again and take a knee. Start with the kettlebell on the mat and then do seven single arm rows on each side pulling it up to hip height.
KB head circles: Hold the kettlebell above your head and circle it around your head making a halo shape.
15 seconds each of:
Fast feet: Stand up and run as fast as you can on the spot.
Start with a downward dog, relaxing the neck and leaning back into your hips while stretching the calves out at the same time.
Next, pull up one leg so it’s almost parallel with the front of the mat and, supporting yourself on your arms, stretch out those glutes. Repeat on the other side.
Lie flat on your back and scan your body for aches or tension and add in any other stretches you think are necessary.
Creed II is in cinemas now.