Gentle stretches

Weight and resistance training can bring a whole host of benefits to our overall health, improving our cardiovascular health1, bone density2, muscle mass3, weight management4 and energy levels5 to name just a few.

We've teamed up with Personal Trainer, Beki Daniel of Strong Body Happy Mind, to get you started on your move more journey with these simple body weight exercises.

With a busy lifestyle you may find it hard to fit a workout around your demanding schedule, or perhaps you're someone who finds the gym environment slightly daunting. With these simple body weight exercises you can create your own workout that can be performed at any time in the comfort of your own home! 



Stand with feet roughly hip width apart, ensuring your hips, knees and toes are aligned. Keeping your chest and shoulders upright and your back straight push your bottom back (as if you’re going to sit in a chair). Make sure your heels stay on the floor and push your big toes into the ground as you lower your bottom towards the ground. Maintain your alignment, ensuring your knees are over your toes and make a conscious effort to push them outwards not allowing them to cave inwards. Squat down as deeply as your mobility allows, and then drive through the heels; squeeze your bottom and your core, exploding back into the standing position. 

Starting on your hands and knees, place your hands shoulder width apart with your shoulders, elbows and wrists aligned. Place your feet apart slightly this will help stabilise your body. Make sure to engage your core, initiate the move bending at the elbows, keeping them close to your body and lowering your chest to the ground. Be conscious not to dip your head, this puts unnecessary pressure on your neck. Lower your chest as far down as you can and then push back to the starting position, remember to keep that core engaged and be careful not to dip your back or lock your elbows as you return. If you struggle to perform a full press up, take it down to your knees and gradually build up to the full press up when you’re ready.


As many of us spend the majority of our day sitting, the glute bridge is a great exercise to activate our weakened posterior muscles! Lying on your back, raise your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms by your side in a neutral position. Engage your core, be conscious not to overextend your back, really squeeze your bottom as you raise your hips towards the ceiling until you form a straight line from your shoulders up to your hips and knees. Hold the position for a few seconds before lowering back down, continue to squeeze as you slowly lower back to the ground.

This exercise targets most of your major muscle groups in addition to improving your cardio fitness so this is a great staple exercise for your workout routine! The standard burpee consists of four points.

  • Starting in a standing position feet hip-width apart, drop into a squat position placing your hands on the ground slightly in front of your feet
  • Kick your feet back, landing them behind you in a raised plank position
  • Jump your feet back towards your hands
  • Using your arms for momentum jump up into the air and land back in the standing position

It’s important to maintain your form throughout this exercise as if performed incorrectly you may decrease the effectiveness. Ensure when you’re in the upright position you are looking forward, keep your core engaged throughout and try not to cheat each step, perform the plank as you would perform it on its own and if at first you need to take each step slowly, do so!


Start on your hands and knees and lower your elbows to the ground underneath your shoulders, creating a 90 degree angle at the elbow. Stepping your feet back one at a time ensure you keep your body in alignment from your shoulders down to your hips, knees and feet. Keep your head in alignment too, people often make the mistake of looking forward which can put strain on your neck, so keep focused on the ground below. Make sure your pelvis is tucked under and you're not pushing your bottom up, dipping your hips or arching your back. Engage your core, squeeze your bottom... and hold!


The forward lunge is particularly great for beginners as it’s similar to a movement we do every day… walking! Standing with feet hip-width apart, take a big step forward placing your heel on the floor first. Make sure you maintain the hip-width apart and avoid bringing your foot in front of your back foot as this will help keep your balance. Keeping your body upright, lower your body until your thigh becomes parallel to the floor, make sure your hip, knee and toes stay aligned and ensure your heel stays planted on the ground as you lower. Press your heel to the ground to drive the movement back to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.


Starting in a raised plank position (arms extended), with your hands underneath your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart for stability. Engage your core and squeeze your bottom as you would in a plank position. Slowly lift one hand off the ground and tap the opposite shoulder before lowering your hand back to the ground and repeating on the other side. Try not to rotate your hips or push your bottom up as you lift your hand, keep your weight distributed evenly and really focus on a slow and controlled movement to get the most out of this exercise.


Sitting with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, lean back so your back is roughly at a 45 degree angle to the floor, ensure you maintain a flat back throughout the exercise. Engage your core, link your hands together in front of you and slowly lift your feet of the ground. Rotate at the torso and move your arms from one side to the other, this is one rep. If you struggle initially, keep your feet on the floor during the exercise.

It's important to remember to stretch and ensure you've warmed up sufficiently before working out, if you need a few stretching ideas to get you started why not try these stretches below. 

1. Agarwal SK. Cardiovascular benefits of exercise. Int J Gen Med 2012 5: 541–5.
2. Chilibeck PD, Sale DG, Webber CE. Exercise and bone mineral density. Sports Med 1995; 19: 103–22.
3. Exercise - NHS.UK. (accessed Aug 6, 2018).
4. Gim M-N, Choi J-H. The effects of weekly exercise time on VO2max and resting metabolic rate in normal adults. J Phys Ther Sci 2016; 28: 1359–63.
5. Puetz TW. Physical activity and feelings of energy and fatigue: epidemiological evidence. Sports Med 2006; 36: 767–80.

By partaking in the exercises participants confirm that they are of able body and not aware of any medical conditions or medical history that may prevent them from participating in physical activity. They understand participation is entirely voluntary, they partake at their own risk and assume all risk of injury to themselves and agree it is their sole responsibility to seek medical advice. Participants understand Lepicol and Strong Body Happy Mind will not be held liable for any injury that may arise from carrying out the exercises detailed on this website.