All aspects of fitness, whether it’s speed, flexibility, mobility or endurance, require a base of strength. But strength, if not maintained, wastes away as you grow older, and its loss is a major signifier of wider health issues in later life.
This workout recruits the four fundamental movements – squat, hinge, push and pull. Perform it at least once a fortnight to ensure that you get stronger for every candle on the cake.
4 sets of 6 reps
Start your session with a squat variation that builds strength in your legs and positions the weight to fire up your abs. With a barbell resting on the front of your shoulders, your palms up and fingers underneath, drop your hips back to sink to a squat. When you are as low as possible, hold for a second, then drive up. Rest for 90 seconds between sets on all moves.
4 sets of 5 reps
Switch to another compound exercise to develop your posterior chain – the base for all athletic movement. With your back straight, bend down to hold the barbell in an overhand grip, your hands at shoulder width. Tense your back and think about driving your hips towards the bar as you stand, lifting the weight in front of your thighs. Reverse the movement back down.
3 sets of 8 reps per arm
Undo muscle imbalances by working one side of your body at a time. With a barbell in a landmine attachment, hold the barbell in the opposite hand to your front leg. Keep your elbow under your wrist as you press the bar forward and up. Lower under control.
One arm Dumbbell Row
3 sets of 10 reps per arm
Go from pressing to pulling and build muscle across your entire back. With one hand and knee on the bench, hold a dumbbell next to the bench with your other hand, your arm extended below your shoulder. Form a solid base with your back leg out to the side. Row the weight towards your waist, not your shoulder. Slowly lower the dumbbell.