Fitness with Mitch

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Hi! My name’s Mitch and I’m one of the Bounce Ground Crew, working on the road selling balls and giving customers the opportunity to taste our Bounce products all over Sydney. I’m also the resident fitness coach at Bounce Australia.

My role with Bounce allows me to combine some of my greatest passions, good quality nutrition and all things health and fitness. Anyone who has met me knows how hard it is to get me to shut up about any of these topics. So when the opportunity to contribute to the blog came up, I jumped at the chance to share my passion with you.

Health and fitness has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up surfing and playing football (Aussie Rules as we call it). I wasn’t the best in the world at either of them, but I loved having a go and being active.

As part of my football training I discovered the gym. I experimented with weights programs and quickly discovered the benefits of it. However, I became a little too focused on aesthetics and stopped training functionally (this is a term you will hear me use frequently in blog posts – it means training your body using natural patterns of movement). The “look good” approach to physical fitness saw me riddled with injuries (due to the imbalances I was unknowingly creating in my body). My list of past injuries is really quite impressive!

I began to search for a better way to train, safely avoiding injury and still achieving a physique that I felt good about. I was looking for a new “feel good” approach to exercise. This was a real turning point for me and I developed a strong desire to share my discoveries with others.

I abandoned a commerce and finance degree to fully explore this passion of mine. I’ve since held several different training positions, including managing a boutique studio, as well as running my own boot camp-style sessions on the beach. I’ve trained a whole gamut of different body types, men and women alike.

Through the Bounce Effect, I’ll be sharing with you some of my experiences and learning. I hope by sharing this with you, it helps you explore new ways of being fit and healthy, gain more energy and ultimately feel good within yourself and about yourself.

So to kick off, here’s a short but effective workout session you can do in your backyard or in a park using only your bodyweight. Generally, if I have the option, I prefer to train outside – in the sunshine and fresh air…it’s free and it feels good.

Warm-Up

It is important that we don’t just jump straight into a workout without getting our muscles warmed up and firing properly first. So make sure you perform the following warm up and core routine before you start the strength part.

1. Light jog (this can be around the block or even on the spot) 3-5 mins – just enough to get the heart rate up.

2. 30 seconds Squat Hold – This warms up those leg muscles. Sit in the bottom range of the squat for up to 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds and repeat. At first there may be some mild discomfort, if so come up a little bit. Let yourself sink lower and lower throughout the 30 seconds. You will find that your hips become more open, your glutes (butt muscles) become stronger and more flexible and over time any lower back tension that you tend to carry will begin to dissipate.

3. Mobility exercises – not only do we need to warm up our muscles before working out, but making sure our joints are warm and gliding properly is equally important to getting the most out of our training and avoiding injury. Perform each of the following movements for 10 repetitions in each direction – ankle/foot circles, shoulder rolls, arm circles, knee-drive/hip rolls (sometimes called opening and closing the gate) and forward bends.

4. Upward/downward dogs – These yoga moves are a great addition to a warm up. Hold each position for about 5 seconds, slowly transition from one to the other. This is a great movement for getting everything aligned, your core engaged and all other muscles firing. Repeat for 3-5 rounds or until you feel a little sweat coming on – this means you’re ready to go.

Pre-Workout Core Routine

Switching on the abdominal muscles is key to avoiding back pain. So here’s a little routine to switch on these muscles.

Movement Sets Reps Rest
1a) Hollow Plank 2-3 30-60 sec 15 sec
1b) Lying Leg Raises 2-3 10-15 15 sec

Hollow Plank

Start in a regular plank with forearms and toes on the ground. Gently lift your tailbone to create a subtle curve from your shoulders to your heels. Try to keep your thighs turned inwards in order to better engage core. If you are finding this hold difficult slightly separate your feet to increase the stability of your base.

Lying Leg Raises

Lying flat on your back bring your feet, knees and thighs to touch. With a gentle bend in your knee, slowly lift your legs until they are at 90 degrees at your hips, pause and slowly reverse the movement back down. Repeat.

Strength

Now for the muscle strengthening part –

Strength/Movement Sets Reps Rest
1a) Squats 3-4 12-15 45 sec
1b) Inverted row 3-4 8-12 45 sec
2a) Lunges 3-4 8-12 20 sec
2b) Push Ups 3-4 12-15 1 min

Squats

Stand with your feet just outside hip width apart and toes pointing slightly outward. Bracing through your tummy, slowly lower down into a sitting position. After a very brief pause at the bottom, explode back up (taking care not to lock out the knees).

Inverted Row

Using a bar, towel looped over a bar or a suspension trainer; lie in a horizontal position with feet slightly spread (legs straight or knees bent). Keeping your hands in line with the bottom of your chest, pull yourself upwards while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause at the top and slowly lower back down.

Lunge

From a standing position, take a big step forward. Centering your front knee above your heel. Slowly drop your back knee straight to the ground stopping just an inch short, pause and then push back up. Alternate sides. If you find that this movement is too light for the prescribed reps, you can progress it by raising your back foot onto a chair or bench and performing the exercise.

Push Up

Start with your hands shoulder width apart and toes (or knees) on the ground, and lower your chest to the ground, stopping when your elbows are at 90 degrees. Pause and then push back up as fast as you can. Make sure you brace your abdominals and keep a neutral spine position.

Conditioning

Finish off with some cardio conditioning.

Pick one exercise and complete 30 sec @ 90-100% then rest for 30 sec, repeat for 5-10 rounds.

  • Skipping
  • Star jumps
  • Hill runs

Don’t forget to stretch as you cool down. Making sure to include hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, hips and shoulders.

I’ll sign off now. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Mitch

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