Time off work is time well spent. From the moment you skip out of the office to start your holiday, thoughts of alarm-free mornings set to work on your soul straight away. These are good moments, but it’s time to focus on movements. Functional movements, of course.
Of course, the day comes that we must return. But don’t wait until your first day back in September to start a routine. Recharge the batteries and return with confidence and clarity by establishing a more regular functional movements fitness plan, especially if you’ve let it slip on holiday.
With this back to work workout, you can energise your body and mind to beat the back-to-work blues.
The back to work workout formula: functional movements + relaxing self-care
Exercise before your return to work is as much about your mind as it is your body. You might feel daunted at the prospect of syncing back into your nine-to-five routine. There may be colleagues you desperately don’t want to see. You might absolutely loathe your boss.
Be good to yourself: this back to work workout should be performed in the weeks leading up to your first day back so you can take on anything that comes your way.
The functional movements
After you’ve warmed up, sprint as fast as you can go for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower yourself into a squat, bending your knees and sitting into your hips quickly as if you’re lowering into a small chair. As you do this, swing your arms in front of your torso.
- Extend your knees and hips as you jump back up explosively, pulling your arms back for more height.
- Land softly with knees slightly bent and repeat.
- Do two sets of 10 to 12 reps.
- From a plank position, bring your left knee up behind your left wrist. Your toes should be pointed.
- Slide your knee to the top of your arm until it’s near to your shoulder. Keep your abs tight and back flat.
- Slide your knee back to starting position and repeat.
- Do eight to 10 reps, then repeat on your right side.
- Lie with your back on the floor, legs extended, holding a kettlebell straight over your right shoulder with your right elbow locked.
- Extend your left arm to the left and turn your head to look at the kettlebell.
- Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the ground next to your glutes.
- Using your left hand and right foot at support, roll towards your right side.
- Bridge your hips and bend your left knee as you slide it under your body into a half-kneeling stance.
- Stand up from this position. Don’t rush.
- Reverse the steps until you are back to starting position, then repeat on the opposite side.
- Repeat for eight to 10 reps, alternating sides.
The relaxing self-care
Sprinting is a wonderful physical outlet, but it can be heavy on your nervous system. Follow high-intensity interval training with a contrast shower, which will activate chemical messengers in your body to tell it to slow down. After this workout, put the shower on cold for 30 seconds, followed by a hot stream for another 30 seconds. Repeat five times.
Feel more energised after high-intensity exercise by ending it with belly breathing. Contracting your diaphragm, letting your belly expand as you inhale, rather than your chest. Every deep breath you take fills the body with oxygen, ultimately lessening stress, boosting confidence and circulating your blood more effectively.
Keep these healthy breathing techniques going when you return to work to prevent stress setting in. Functional movements to get back to work are great, but balancing the body and mind helps you perform better in work and in the gym, preparing you for whatever’s ahead.