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Jan 16, 2011

Man of the house

Don't feel like stepping outdoors in the heat? Skip the gym and burn fat in your own home.

1 Chair pressups
Repeat this circuit twice, doing the entire workout three times per week. Skip or jog for five minutes to warm up. Set up two chairs three feet apart. Get into a press-up position as shown. The seats should be just outside your chest with your body diagonal to the floor. Lower your torso by bending your elbows. Keep your back straight. Straighten your arms to press yourself back up to the start.

2 Stair lunges
Stand three feet away from the bottom of a flight of stairs. Stride forward on to the second step with your left foot. Keep your right foot dangling behind you and rise up onto your toes. Don't let your upper body droop over your hips. Push yourself back to the start with your right leg. Perform nine repetitions on each leg.

3 Towel curls
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Loop a towel under your left foot and hold the ends with one hand. Your palm should face your body. Curl the towel towards your shoulder so there is tension on the towel. Your bicep will tense without any movement taking place. Hold the tension for 60 seconds.

4 Upright row 
Place a heavy suitcase in front of your feet. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees to squat down and grip the case by its handle. Pull the case upward by standing upright and using the power in your thighs. Use your glutes to push your hips forward and straighten your legs. Pull the case to a point just below your chin. Slowly lower it back to the start. Perform 15 reps.

5 Lateral raises
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a two-litre oil container filled with water in each hand at your sides. Keep a slight bend in your elbows with your palms facing each other. Raise your arms out to your sides. Imagine the two jugs don't have lids on them, so you don't tilt your wrists forward. Stop when the weights are level with your shoulders. Pause, then lower them along the same path. Perform 15 reps.

6 Triceps lift
Hold a sealed paint can by its handle in each hand and bend over at the hips so your upper body is parallel to the floor. Your knees should be slightly bent and your feet flat. Bend your arms behind you so your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Extend your hands out behind you until your arms are straight. Squeeze your triceps at the end of the movement then return to the start position. Perform 15 repetitions.

7 Knee raise with drop
Lie on your back, with your knees behind your ears, hips and knees bent, and feet on the floor. Hold a phone book between your knees. Keep your lower back on the floor throughout. Flex your abs and pull your knees to your chest. Lower your knees to the right so they touch the floor then bring them back to the centre. Return to the start. Alternate sides for each repetition. Perform 10 repetitions on each side.

8 Reverse hyperextension
Lie face down with your torso on a bench or table from the navel up and your legs hanging off behind you. Holding on to the sides of the bench, use your glutes and hamstrings to lift your heels up into the air until they're parallel to the floor and your body forms a straight line. Hold that position for two seconds then return back to the start. Perform 12 reps.

9 Leg raise
sides and legs straight out. Extend your legs in front of you and raise your head off the ground. Keeping your knees straight, but not locked, lift your legs upwards. Pause for a second when your legs are at a 45 degree angle to the floor. Slowly lower your legs back to the start position. Perform 12 repetitions.

10 Single-arm row
Position yourself on a bench as shown. Fill up a bottle (minimum of two litres) with either sand or water and hold it in your left hand. Keep your back straight and pull the bottle towards your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side. Lower it to the start. Do 14 reps on each side.

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