Now that the lovely Irish weather is getting that bit cooler, you might find it takes a bit longer to warm up in the studio.

These 3 classics, done right, will have you working up a sweat in no time.

It was really hard to pick out only 3 exercises that will warm you cockles on these winter days but here is my top

Long Spine.

It can look a bit daunting at the start and can feel a bit sticky first thing on a cold morning, but it’s a great way to warm up the spine, use deep deep core muscles and work those hamstrings and hip flexors too.

On the way up, think of sliding your legs and feet up an imaginary wall. You also want to think more ‘length’ with the legs as opposed to letting the straps pull your legs back over your face.

We all tend to master the coming up and forget about coming down. Push the feet into the straps as you lower down, vertebrae by vertebrae – the straps are our pals here! Only lower the legs back to 45 degrees once the tailbone hits the carriage to get that lovely hamstring stretch.

And then to do it all over again…

Lunges.

Anyone who has come to my classes recently, knows I love a good lunge. Lunging seems pretty straightforward, but do you know how to get the most out of it?

We need to work our muscles for about 2-3 minutes to see results but our legs need even longer – more like 4 minutes! There are so many variations of the lunge I couldn’t possibly pick my favorite, but I do like to start with hinging the upper body forward as you lunge back. You can use the ball or band to add some arm intentional intensity in.

Some little tips to get the most out of it:
• Get as low as you can with the supporting leg on the ground.
• As you straighten the leg on the ground, imagine you are dragging the heel back towards the leg on the carriage.
• Feel like your arms are lengthened and long. Trust me, it will help distract from the intense leg burn.

Back Extension. 

Lately, I have a new found love and respect for this exercise. It not only feels amazing for the back of the body but the front of the body. It is most important we keep the abdominals engaged so as to stop it coming into your lower back.

Tops tips for this one are:
• Keep the arms straight and feel like you are trying to break the football in half with your hands.
• As the carriage comes in and you lift up into that extension, think of lifting the heart through your arms to really open out the front of the body.
• As you push back down, see if you can delay the upper body from lowering onto the box to get an intense stretch through the chest and abdominals.

Enjoy and hopefully I will see some of you in class soon.

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