Category Archives: Workouts

The home of your next workout. No matter what you’re trying to do, we’ve got a workout for it. Building muscle, losing weight, improving stamina, flexibility… You name it, we’ve got workouts for it.

Tips for exercising at home easily that you should know


When you want to build up your muscles and stamina, tone your body and lose weight at the same time. There are some tips you should know !One of the best equipment’s to start with are Kettlebells.  There are varieties of exercising with a Kettlebell available, which you can try out. You will find below five of the easiest to begin with.

1.Kettlebell Slingshot

The slingshot is a very easy type of Kettlebell exercise, where you pass the Kettlebell around the body from one hand to the other. The benefit of slingshot is that you will adapt to the Kettlebell weight and involves working out the shoulder, core, and grip. It is important to keep the head and hip steady and still while passing the Kettlebell around the body. Once you get use to it this exercise it will be useful to catch the breath between other exercise or for a warm up before the main work out. To watch a video of the Kettlebell slingshot can be click here.

How to practice: To start , do 10 repetitions one way and then 10 repetitions in the other direction. Afterwards increase to 20 reps each way.

2.Kettlebell Halo

 The Kettlebell Halo exercise is another easy exercise for beginners to try. To do the exercise you have to lift the Kettlebell closely around your head in one direction and then switched into the other direction of your neck. It is important to keep the Kettlebell during the exercise close to the neck as possible and swing around the head in a slow motion. The benefit of this doing this exercise is to strengthen your connection with your mind- muscle. As this needs the full attention involving your shoulder, triceps, back and core to move the heavy weight round your head. Doing this leads to full focused, increased intensity and the effectiveness of the whole upper body which ensures the best results. As mentioned earlier with slingshot exercise, the halo can be used as a part of a warmup exercise or as a less intense exercise between other workouts. For an example of how to complete the exercise watch here.

How to practice: To begin with the exercise do 5 reps in one direction and switch and do 5 reps in the other direction.

3. Kettlebell Single Arm Deadlift

The Kettlebell Single Arm Deadlift exercise is one of the most effective exercise beginners can do. To start,  the weight should be lifted up using a movement pattern known as the hip hinge. It is crucial to keep your back flat as possible otherwise your back could be left damaged. Your bottom does most of the weightlifting. The benefit of this exercise is that it I useful for the entire body. By not wearing a footwear it will help the movement and will be easier to activate the muscle. Maintaining the weight on the back of the foot guarantees the best outcome. Follow  video of Kettlebell single arm deadlift by clicking here.

 How to practice: To start with this exercise you should do 5 reps with one hand and 5 reps with the other hand gradually.  Afterwards you can increase it to 15 reps either side to receive the best outcome.

4. Kettlebell Good Morning

By doing the Kettlebell Good Morning exercise, the stress within the majority of body muscles will be reduced overall when positioning the Kettlebell lower. It is advisable to work out doing this exercising before more challenging exercise such deadlifts. To begin with the exercise, make sure your hold the Kettlebell behind your back with both hands balanced, also the arms must be kept straight and shoulders lent to the back. Next step is that you make sure that your feet are slightly apart with your knees kept straight and leaning forward at your hip level. Afterwards bringing the top half of  your body as far as possible but also making sure your spine is straight. Follow the video of the Kettlebell Good Morning  exercise by pressing here.

How to Practice: To begin with the exercise you could do 5 reps to train your breathing when you lean forward. Afterwards build up to 10 reps.

5.Kettlebell Goblets Squats

 The Final exercise beginners should know , when working out with Kettlebells is known as the goblet squat. The main benefit of this exercise is  to strengthen the movement pattern of the barbell back squat as you lift the Kettlebell up to the chin level the  same way goblet would held. It is a heavy exercise  if you want to perfect your technique of doing heavier compound lifts and avoid back injury it is advisable to practice squats in advanced before taking heavy weights. The main purpose of the exercise is to burn fat due to the increased reps. The hips become more flexible due to the squats , also the strength of lower body will improved. Similar to the original squat position the only difference is that you hold a weight with both hand under your chin. To Watch a video about the Kettlebell Goblets Squats click on the link. 

 How to practice: To start with this exercise you need to practice some squats safely and than add the Kettlebell and do 20 reps. Afterwards increased it gradually.

How exercising improves our mental health

Did you know that doing exercise not only improves our mental health but also our sleeping habits? Research has found that exercise lifts your mood to help to reduce depression, anxiety and the stress level of a human which leads to feeling better overall within our self’s. By regularly exercising its motivates you to your mindset, which automatically improves your well being. Your happiness levels are increased which leads to sleeping better feeling more well rested and have more positive thoughts in general about yourself. Exercising is a natural remedy to maintain a good mental health. So therefore it is important to keep exercising not physically  but also mentally.

According to a study conducted by MIND revealed that 94 per cent said outdoor activities including running and walking had benefited their mental health.






Using Progressive Overload to Improve Fitness and Wellbeing, and How to Implement it in Home Workouts.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, home workouts have been paramount in providing a sense of normality, routine and enjoyment. Home workouts have become a new trend, flourishing amongst social media platforms and providing people with a way to occupy their increased free time due to the furlough scheme, or working or studying from home. Creating fitness and well-being goals have provided a healthy distraction during these seemingly never ending national lockdowns. Progressive Overload can be applied to training regimes to help people improve health and fitness by gradually increasing the demand on the body and muscles.

The Principles of Training acronym, referred to as ‘SPORID’, is a great way for people to both stay on track with their fitness regime and allow them to achieve their goals, potentially including mental wellbeing, improve toning, improve strength or overall physique. The components are: Specificity, Progressive Overload, Rest and Recovery, and Individual Differences.

Progressive Overload and Motivation

Progressive overload is a pivotal component in enhancing health and fitness and involves the continuous increase of difficulty or demand on the muscles by increasing the duration, weight or repetitions involved within the fitness program. This is an important factor in maintaining dedication and motivation to continue exercising, especially during the monotonous days during national lockdowns. Therefore, despite gyms closing, it is important to be able to apply progressive overload amongst home workouts to firstly achieve the desired outcome, but also remain committed to exercising. There are mental and physical benefits to exercising, suggested by the NHS, which are especially important during the difficult times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In relation to motivation, progressive overload is important to ensure the participant doesn’t plateau in their performance or improvements. Witnessing the improvements in fitness can instil motivation because repetitive exercises can be avoided and interesting variations can be included in the regime.  Seeing the results acts as a driver for further change until the desired outcome is reached…whatever that may be!

Progressive Overload at Home

To effectively achieve progressive overload, the principles of Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type (“FITT”) must be implemented within the workout. It may be ideal to include a combination of these principles, or select one aspect and focus on this in the training regime.

Frequency‘ relates to the amount of times you perform the exercise or routine each week. Increasing the ‘intensity‘ refers to gradually moving from a form of an exercise, to a more difficult form. The ‘time‘ component refers to increasing the duration which you perform that exercise/ routine for, or could refer to the reduction in ‘rest time.’ Finally, ‘type‘ means the sort of activity which you are performing within the regime.

Progressive overload can be included in training regimes at home, and even without the gym equipment. The shutting of gyms and the national lockdowns increased the demand for home gym equipment. This demand could not be met by all manufacturers, meaning variations for at home workouts are important for keeping them exciting, new and effective.

Progressive Overload Demonstrations

The following videos demonstrate a simple workout plan for 3 different, at home exercises, requiring just minimal space. Each exercise has 3 different variations to offer examples on how to use progressive overload to change the ‘type’ of exercise. The range of exercises vary significantly, providing suitable alternatives to accommodate your needs, perhaps dependant on your age or ability.

Squats offer an option for lower body work, press ups concentrate on the upper body, and burpees offer a cardio option for your fitness plan. However, a limited  variety of equipment, such as dumbbells, resistance bands and exercise balls can increase both the intensity and alter the type of exercise, thus recruiting a wider variety of muscles, improving overall fitness, and helping achieve goals and targets. This equipment is accessible by clicking here.

With hopes of national lockdowns being eased over the year of2021, and gyms reopening, a fourth variation of the exercises has been demonstrated to show how these can be further progressed with gym equipment.


  1. Air Squats:

Coaching points:

  • Chest and head upright, do not bend forwards.
  • Knees shoulder width apart.
  • Knees remain slightly outwards for all squats.
  • Squeeze gluteus muscles when upright.

2. Squat Pulses:

Coaching points:

  • Deep squat, 90 degree angle, squat 2 inches up and down.

3. Squat Jumps:

Coaching points:

  • Land softly on the balls of your feet.
  • Use your arms to generate more power and jump higher.

4. Weighted Squat Press:

Coaching points:

  • Keeping chest tall, hold weight at chest height.
  • Add overhead press. Push weight up, do not lock elbows out.

Press ups:

  1. Knee press ups:

Coaching points:

  • Arms directly under shoulders.
  • Soft elbows, do not lock elbows out.
  • Chest to elbow height.
  • Elbows out to develop chest muscles or in to develop tricep muscles.
  • Bring knees closer to make the exercise easier.
  • Engage the core to protect your back for all press ups.

2. Full press ups:

Coaching points:

  • On toes, full length press up.
  • Keep body straight from shoulders to ankles.

3. Elevated Press Ups:

Coaching points:

  • Use a platform (e.g. a chair) to raise feet.

4. Weighted Press Ups:

Coaching points:

  • Wearing a weighted vest/ weight on back, perform a standard full press up.
  • Get somebody to help put the weight on your back.
  • Put the weight in the centre of your shoulders.
  • Engage the core to ensure the back is straight and protected.


  1. Staggered burpees:

Coaching points:

  • Squat – step into plank – squat – stand.
  • Engage the core to keep balance and protect your back.
  • Pause in the plank position to ensure your hips or back don’t drop.
  • Start slowly until comfortable with the technique.

2. Jumping burpees:

Coaching points:

  • Squat – jump into plank –  jump to squat – jump upwards.
  • Keep back straight when in plank position.

3. Tuck knee burpees:

Coaching points:

  • Tuck and jump, knees to chest, use arms to generate more power and height.
  • Landing on the balls of your feet.
  • Optional progression: incorporate press up when in plank position.

4. Weighted Burpees:

Coaching points:

  • Overhead press the dumbbells/ weight plate.

Safety Considerations

There are various safety implications which must be considered when applying progressive overload. It is vital that you adopt the correct technique. Maybe practice the exercises involved for 2-3 weeks before applying progressive overload.

Also, you must focus on being “progressive” in order to avoid overtraining. Increasing the frequency, intensity, time or type individually could reduce your susceptibility to injury and allow the body to cope gradual increased demand.

Finally, rest and recovery must be prioritised within any exercise programmes – it is during this period that the body actually adapts its shape and form. Read more about the importance of recovery by clicking here.








Going For Gold: A Comprehensive Guide To Starting Running

The most frequent question I am asked is ‘how do you get started running?’. Surely if you can walk then you can also run? Whilst running may seem simple to get started (well for the majority it is) there are a few basic tips I would like to recommend to help you train more efficiently. 

Whether you are a complete beginner or a casual jogger, we’ve put together 5 top tips which will help you to get going! 

Interested in a specific part? Skip right ahead  
1.0 Find The Perfect Shoe:
2.0 Be Realistic With Your Goal:
3.0 Preparing To Start
– 4.0 Listen To Your Body:
5.0 Most Importantly… Have Fun: 

Benefits Of Running: 
What’s great about running? Compared to other sports/exercises you may encounter, running simply doesn’t require much equipment to start off with – whether you partake on a treadmill or simply hit the streets, the option is entirely yours to make!

1: Find The Perfect Shoe:
Whilst it may be tempting to pick up a generic running shoe that is on offer at your local sports shop, we highly recommend that you get measured by a specialist. Whilst this is likely the more expensive option; as a runner, you’ll encounter almost every surface imaginable (depending on your location) from grass to concrete. Having shoes that have been adequately measured will ensure your foot is best cushioned for the impact it endures.

In the case of myself, I started out with an old pair of trainers I had lying around, whilst I thought this was quite sufficient – I quickly found I was getting a sharp pain in the instep of my foot which forced me to be sidelined for a couple of weeks. 

Photo by sporlab on Unsplash

2: Be Realistic With Your Goal:
As the classic saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ and nor is your first 5k!

If you are starting out from the very beginning, your first weeks into running may feel very difficult – that’s perfectly ok. Whilst everyone trains at their own pace, set yourself small goals to achieve – you may find many training plans posted online, spend time before you start to really find one that’s best for you.

We recommend starting out with two-mile runs for the first 4 weeks of your schedule – increasing the distance only once you’re consistently running that distance comfortably.  Should you struggle with pacing, we highly recommend that you check out the NHS couch to 5k app, this program alternates walking and running to help you build you up with the end goal of pushing you to run 5k (3.1 miles) after just 9 weeks! 

For me personally, I started running during my Erasmus year in Sevilla. I started with very little experience of running long distances and I didn’t really know where to begin. Thankfully, I happened to live 2 minutes away from the Guadalquivir river that had a 9.4km route marked out. Whilst I initially struggled to break the 3.2 km (2 miles) barrier, I found that after two months of training – 3-4 times per week, I was able to push myself further with a consistent 9.6 km (6 miles) run several times per week. 

It is noted: whilst this schedule worked for me – this may not be adequate for you. 

How I progressed during my training: left (week 1) – right (week 15)

3: Preparing To Start:
So – you’ve got your route, playlist and water (optional) sorted, that’s a great start. However, before you even think about lacing your shoes, take 5-10 minutes to properly warm up. Research shows that as many as 79% of all runners (regardless of skill) will get injured at least once per calendar year. Much of this can be avoided by simply taking the time to loosen up and mentally prepare yourself for what is to come. 

What should you focus on in this warmup? Ideally, you should focus on stretching your legs (as shown in the image) and slowly elevating your heart rate to minimise the strain once you begin – take a couple of minutes to walk at a brisk pace before setting off.

Personally, I like to use this time to focus my mind. Regardless of what you have done so far in the day or what you have to sort when you’re finished, put this to the back of your mind as you focus on achieving your goal.  

Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

4: Listen To Your Body:
We’ve all been there – 300 metres away from achieving that new personal best, but your body is telling you that it simply cannot go any further… listen. Not every session will result in you achieving a personal best – as a new runner, it is important that you learn to stick with your training plan and most importantly listen to what your body is telling you, don’t ignore them nagging pains. Whilst it may be frustrating to end your session, you could be preventing a serious injury

As I was training for my first 10k, I was coming extremely close to achieving my goal – I had gone 9k during my previous sessions quite comfortably and thought I would go the full distance. As I reached the 9.5km mark, a sharp pain in my left knee started. Instead of calling it, I wrongly decided to push for my new personal best and as a result aggravated the pain further. I found myself once again sidelined and when I did return, I was wearing a knee bandage to alleviate some of the pain (which I still have to wear). 

Mistakes Were Made.

5: Most Importantly… Have Fun:
Whether you are running for fitness or training for a race, I simply cannot stress this enough… have fun! 

I see far too many people consider running a form of torture. I can assure you; this couldn’t be further from the truth! Running can truly be rewarding, if you’re fortunate enough to live near rural areas, rivers or cities be sure to check them out or your run – there is a world out there just waiting to be explored! 

Sevilla, Spain. Captured on one of my runs

Ryan Smith

MSc Advertising and
Marketing Student


Apple Fitness+ is it worth it?

As I found myself particularly unmotivated during lockdown, with no idea of what kind of exercise to do without access to the gym… I pretty much stopped exercising. I used to struggle to close my apple watch rings, watching as my friends overtook me every day, my Apple watch is supposed to track my fitness, not track whether I get off the sofa at all. Things were getting pretty dire until I saw that Apple were bringing out ‘Fitness+’, a £10 subscription that connects with your Apple watch and other devices to bring the classes from the gym, home to you.

My pre-subscription performance compared to my friends.

At first, I was a bit overwhelmed, there were loads of workouts that I had never even thought of doing, so I decided to dip my toes in with a short yoga session, which I thought was an easy start and I only needed a yoga mat. Tip here, give yourself enough space, and place your iPhone or tablet at a level where you can see it stood up, or sat down, or connect to your Apple TV to watch. My lack of space was the main issue with this yoga session, but regardless, I still enjoyed it. Another thing I enjoyed about the yoga, was that within the group, one of the instructors would display an easier version of the yoga pose, so that beginners would be able to join in too. ‘Bird of Paradise’ was the final pose for my session, but I couldn’t manage that pose because it was so twisty, so I did the half version that was displayed for beginners. So if you want to learn a bit of yoga, Fitness+ is great for experts and beginners.

Fitness+ Front Page.

The next day, I decided to try the exercise bike classes on Fitness+, and don’t worry if you only have an old exercise bike, I attached my phone to the bike with blu tac for now, but I am going to buy a stand for my phone. The session was hard, you’re in charge of your own resistance, so it’s as hard as you want it to be, but when you have to go for it, it can be really hard. I decided to do my class with Sherica (one of the instructors), with the music being ‘latest hits’, but there was actually lots of options to choose from. After my intense 20 minutes on the bike, I was offered a mindful cooldown. The mindful cool down was actually really helpful too, with some stretches and breathing exercises to bring your heart rate back down, and properly stretch out your muscles.

Fitness+ Recap after your workout.

The ‘burn bar’ is a red bar displayed on the screen that allows you to see how you face up next to everyone else that have taken that class. I really liked this, because when I dropped down, I wanted to put more effort in to get back to the ‘front of the pack’ part of the burn bar. If competition isn’t your thing though, you can always turn it off. The instructor often mentions your burn burn, heart rate, and rings. When the instructor mentions these things they become highlighted and you get to see more details.

The mentioned ‘burn bar’ on the left, and my empty activity rings on the right.

All this doesn’t work without an Apple Watch, so if you haven’t got one, I’d recommend you go down the Fitbit route instead, or a Samsung smart watch. There are so many options for wearables now that if an Apple Watch is out of your budget, you can still track your fitness with a cheaper alternative, instead of spending £300 on an Apple Watch, some exercise gear and/or machines, and the £10 monthly subscription, but if Apple Watches are your thing and you already have some of their devices, the £10 a month is completely worth it. 

Price comparison of Apple Watch and Samsung Watch.

The next day I decided to try a core workout, with the use of dumbbells. Just like the yoga, this was difficult due to my lack of Apple TV or iPad. It was enjoyable, and gave me a variety of workouts that I wouldn’t have thought of doing without Fitness+, but it’s very expensive to take full advantage of it, if you don’t already own the devices.

My core workout details.

The best thing about the watch and Fitness+ combination is the motivation and direction it gives you. I want to exercise, but with lack of direction, I’ll just carry-on watching Netflix. With the watch telling me that I need to do more exercise and close my rings, I can pick a workout of my choice from Apple’s offerings. The workouts always include a playlist as well, and if you have Apple Music, you can listen to all these playlists in your own time as well.

The Apple Watch face.

One thing I don’t like about this subscription, you can’t just log in on your laptop or cast to your tv. You can only view it on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Trying to watch on an iPhone is difficult because you have to keep moving it, and iPad would probably be quite good, but I’m not paying out even more money to be able to use it. An Apple TV costs around £150, and this would be the best device to have fitness plus on, as you could hook it up to any tv. You can connect to anyone’s Apple TV…so if you live with someone who owns one and likes you, you’ve saved some money. No one wants to pay even more just to exercise, so once again, Apple Fitness is great… as long as you’re already integrated with Apple devices.  

Fitness+ on an Apple TV.

So all in all? If you already have an Apple watch ? Go for it, get the subscription. If you’re not an apple user? I’d just get a fitbit and try one of the many other workout subscriptions online, such as peleton or zwift, but it works for me, and it’s given me the motivation and push I need to exercise every single day.

My activity rings after Fitness+.

4 Tips to Fitness With Less Exercise; Always And Forever!

Wondering how to reach fitness with less exercise whilst staying healthy and young always and forever? Then keep reading, because this blog has got you covered. But before we start slicing the cake, have you ever heard the saying prevention is better than cure? I bet you have. Keeping that in mind and as a Generation Z /millennial member, one of the smartest gifts you could give yourself is to personalize this saying in terms of your health and nurture your God-given healthy skin and body into your desired form and shape by practising the 4 tips below

4 Tips to Fitness With Less Exercise; Always & Forever!

1. Have a Life

Yes, it’s that simple; have a life. Life is too stressful to be serious at all times. So, whether you are a student or a worker, ensure you live a balanced life. How is this possible? Pick one or two healthy activities which are of interest to you and practice them at least once a week. In my case, I chose to dance Kizomba once every Thursday for about 3 hours in heels. By so doing, I ended up burning my calories, obtained a toned body and improved my body fitness. This obviously doesn’t require much exercise in comparison to other alternatives. In effect, I achieved an enviably toned body, mastered the art of walking and dancing in heels and overall, obtained improved mental wellbeing. The trick, however, is to begin practising this strategy whilst you are young and fresh.

2. Have a Workout Plan

Identify areas of your body which you would love to tone and then create a mild workout plan around them to undertake twice a week. Since our end goal is to remain healthy and fresh forever, It is advisable to get one or two workout equipment in your household as an alternative to the public gym. This will ensure you have 24/7 access to them in the face of any unforeseen circumstance in the future.

Workout Plan

3. Be Conscious About Your Diet & Eating Habits

Pay attention to everything you consume daily: you can’t afford to be passive about this. Thus, control your nutrients intake. Especially, in this 21st century where myriad information exists regarding nutrition and how to go about it.  Click here in case you aren’t sure where to start. You also might want to eat slowly by chewing all your meals thoroughly to expedite digestion as this process begins with the saliva in your mouth. Drinking more water also helps in keeping your body & skin healthy as it keeps you hydrated and flushes out toxic materials from your body. A rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water a day.


4. Get Enough Sleep

Sleeping is so vital to the body and your health such that, you cannot underperform it. Your brain depends on it to function properly and what I love most about sleeping is that it involves zero exercises, yet it helps your body and wellbeing in tremendous ways. Medical experts have posited an average of 6 to 10 hours.

Tips to Fitness With Less Exercise

Okay, there you have it. Your comments are welcomed.

Connect with me: