That Girl Sunday morning work out

That Girl Sunday morning work out

Co-founder of That Girl, Christina Howells, has designed the perfect Sunday morning workout for Bare Biology readers. Christina is a leading fitness expert and personal trainer to the stars. We can’t wait to try this!

The essence of this morning workout is working on exercises that are fundamental to how we move in everyday life and will help you move more effectively. We will work the whole body as a unit rather than working body segments separately. The end result is a more effective workout with a bigger result for your time and effort.

How she does the workout

Perform each move below for 60 seconds, rest for 30 seconds between each exercise. Take two mins rest and repeat the circuit.

Glute bridge

Christina howells workout

Why she does it

This is a fantastic exercise to activate your glutes and improve butt strength, as well as teaching you how to extend your hips whilst keeping your core braced. Strong glutes can help reduce risk of injury by taking the stress off the lower back and helping with hip function.

The position

Lie on your mat, arms by your sides and legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Your feet are hip width apart and heels rooted to the ground.

How she does it

Engage your abdominals and push down through your heels. Squeeze your glutes to extend the hips so your pelvis comes into one straight line.

Hold at the top for a count of two keeping the glutes engaged before releasing and lowering back to the ground.

Be mindful

Don’t just throw yourself up as this will simply send you into excessive lumbar extension, move through the movement carefully.

Squat

Christina Howells squat workout

Why she does it 

The squat is a fundamental exercise that everyone should be doing and is able to do. They challenge strength, mobility, balance and flexibility in your hips and ankles, which all translates into helping your body move more effectively. You will primarily be working your butt, legs and abdominals.

The position

Stand with feet firmly planted on the floor about shoulder width apart, toes slightly turned out. With your hands clasped in front of your chest, gaze forwards, back straight and chest proud.

How she does it

Ground down through your heels as you sit your hips backwards, allowing your knees to push outwards in line with your toes as your butt lowers just below parallel. 

Be mindful

Do not let your knees collapse inwards. You can always reduce your range of movement as you work on your technique.

Press up

Christina Howells press ups

Why she does it

If you thought the press up was just a chest, shoulder and arms exercise; think again. Done properly, the butt, abdominals, back and legs play a key part in the press up and developing coordinated strength.

The position

In full plank position, shoulders are in line with wrists and feet together. Firm your thighs, locking out the knees and drawing your legs together. Squeeze your butt tight and draw your abdominal in creating a strong, solid body.

How she does it

Keeping your body solid from head to toe in the plank position, slowly lower your body all the way to the floor. Once your chest is on the ground you have two options. 

  1. Keeping the thighs firm, buttocks tight and abdominals engaged, push down through your feet and hands and return to plank position.
  2. If you can’t push yourself up from the bottom of the pushup, that is okay, just return to the top with your knees on the ground.

Be mindful

If the lowering phase in full plank is difficult, it’s perfectly OK to perform the movement on your knees, slowly lower and return.

Crawls

Christina Howells crawling exercise

Why she does it 

This exercise integrates your whole body, whilst challenging the nervous system, to learn new movement patterns and proprioception (awareness of your body in space). From an aesthetic point of view this one really works your core and is great for working the upper body too.

The position

Come onto all fours with your knees just forwards of your hips. Your knees hover 2 inches max off the floor. Spine is neutral and gaze down.

How she does it

Purposefully crawl your left hand and right foot forwards working in unison (lifting and placing the hand and foot at the same time). As your crawl, keep the movement purposeful and try not to extend the gap between the hands and feet.

Take 4 steps forwards and 4 steps backwards, repeat x 10 

Be mindful

Keep your knees close to the floor throughout the movement.

Plank touches

Christina Howells plank exercise

Why she does it

I love this variation on the plank as it really focuses on body awareness, engaging the mind and physical body.  You will work your core whilst challenging co-ordination and balance.

The position

Come into a full plank position on your hands and feet. Your gaze is down and abdominals engaged.

How she does it

Focus on rooting down through the non-moving hand and foot. Engage your abdominals as you move opposite elbow to knee, and return under control.

Be mindful

As you move, focus on keeping your hips as still as you can and keep the movement precise and controlled.

Step up with knee lift 

Christina Howells step ups

Why she does it

This exercise is excellent for strengthening the glutes and legs whilst boosting your metabolism.

The position

Stand in front of a step/bench, with the left foot firmly on top. Your spine is straight and hands clasped in front of your chest.

How she does it

Root down through your left heel and focus on “firing” the left glute as you step yourself up to stand tall, bringing the right knee towards the chest.

Return the right leg slowly to the start position, keeping the movement slow and controlled.

Be mindful

If you’re struggling with balance, step the right foot onto the bench rather than taking the knee to the chest.

Personal trainer to the stars, Christina Howells MSc BSc will be joining us at Be Fit London fitness festival this April. This is a rare opportunity to get personal advice from one of London's most sought after personal trainers, find us at stand B118!