When I travel abroad, I love to work out like a local rather than using a hotel gym or just running outside. It’s especially easy to find low cost to free activities, from Facebook events to happenings listed on town websites, day passes to gyms in the area or a community class outdoors. In Cairns, Queensland, I found daily Active Living Free Fitness on the Cairns Esplanade. In Melbourne, Victoria, I came across Docklands Outdoor Gym right by Buluk Park. In Coogee Beach, New South Wales, I participated in a Women’s Empowerment Boot Camp.
Australian native Kristy May led the boot camp, and has been a certified fitness instructor since 2008. She was tall, blonde, and exactly what I envisioned an Aussie fitness instructor to look like (curvy and fit in all the right places, with a killer accent). As she played her go-to pump up song, “Till I Collapse,” by Eminem, the group of local ladies and myself prepared for our 10 AM workout.
The approximately hour-long workout was divided into six exercises: burpees, double pulse sumo squat, glute bridge, jumping lunges, hollow hold, and bike crunch.
Each exercise requires eight rounds of 20 seconds of maximal effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. Once the final round is finished, to optimize cardio, complete a run to any given point and back (preferably uphill), then move on to the next exercise.
I’ve outlined the basic movements of each exercise below:
1. A burpee begins by standing upright and then moving into a crouching position with your hands on the ground before progressing into a plank position (for more difficulty, opt for a push up) and then jump springing back into a jump standing position.
2. A sumo squat is similar to a regular squat, except place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and turn your toes out slightly, lower down, and pulse twice before returning to standing position.
3. Glute bridges begin by lying face up on a mat, knees bent, feet flat, and arms flat at your sides. Lift your hips so they can line up in a downward slope between your knees and shoulders.
4. Jumping lunges are the same as a traditional lunge — shoulders straight, feet hip-width apart, stepping forward with one knee to almost touching the floor, both legs are at a 90-degree angle — except you will add a jump to alternate legs.
5. A hollow hold is lying flat on the mat, contracting your abs and trying to imagine your belly button the floor. Point your arms and legs away from your body and try to raise both shoulders and legs from the ground.
6. The bike crunch is also on the mat, with the lower back pressed onto the ground, hands behind your head with your shoulder blades off the ground, as you alternate bringing the opposite elbow toward the opposite knee bending in.
Why not give it a try this weekend when you’re looking for a new way to burn off those bonbons from your Valentine’s Day sweetheart? No equipment necessary, only you and a flat surface.
To see more Australian workout tips from Kristy May, check her out on Instagram @kmayfitness.
This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here