This Retro Aerobics Workout Will Improve Your Cardio Fitness In 5 Minutes

·5 min read
(Photo: Getty/HuffPost UK)
(Photo: Getty/HuffPost UK)

(Photo: Getty/HuffPost UK)

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Workout routines don’t have to be overly complicated. Sometimes, all
you need is to touch step to Wham!’s back catalogue and start moving.

That’s the manta of dance and fitness instructor Frankie Taylor, the founder of Retroglow who’s bringing your mum’s favourite moves back from the 80s (leg warmers optional).

“People should think of working out as ‘me’ time; a time to sweat but also a time to smile,” she tells HuffPost UK. “Remembering my mum’s super happy face as she sweat it out to her Jane Fonda VHS in our living room is a memory that has inspired me to work in fitness.

“The retro cardio exercises of the 80s and 90s aerobics movement do
just the trick. What is great about these moves is that they can be done
with or without impact (i.e., jumping or no jumping) and require no
equipment. They are super easy to follow, need minimal space and are
pre and post-natal friendly.”

Below, Taylor has provided us with a fast, five-minute retro workout that’s especially beneficial for those who sit at a desk all day. It’s designed to get the blood pumping by working the heart and incorporates others useful 
elements such as spinal rotation.

As Taylor says: “These uplifting and fun moves are best served with a side order of 80s bangers.” Over to Frankie! Enjoy.

Knee Drive

Starting position for the knee drive (Photo: Retroglow)
Starting position for the knee drive (Photo: Retroglow)

Starting position for the knee drive  (Photo: Retroglow)

Knee drive moves one, two and three (Photo: Retroglow)
Knee drive moves one, two and three (Photo: Retroglow)

Knee drive moves one, two and three (Photo: Retroglow)

This one was in every VHS my mum had! Start facing on a slight diagonal with one leg in front (front knee is slightly bent) and the other leg straight out behind you. Hips are facing forwards and both hands are on your hips. Your core is engaged by pulling your belly button into the spine.

Lift your hands up above your head whilst keeping your legs in the same
position with the hips facing forwards. Pull your back leg in towards your body and slightly upwards, with a bending of the knee. At the same take a slight rotation of the spine, rotating towards that bent leg.

The final part of the move is when the knee is fully bent and pulled in
towards your body and you have taken a full rotation of the spine over
that bent leg. This move is great as it encourages some movement in
the legs as well as some spinal rotation.

If you are pre-natal, avoid rotating the spine and simply stay facing
forwards as you drive the knee towards the body.

Knee Curl

Knee curl, repeat both sides! (Photo: Retroglow)
Knee curl, repeat both sides! (Photo: Retroglow)

Knee curl, repeat both sides!  (Photo: Retroglow)

Start with your legs a bit wider than hip distance apart as if you are
about to squat, with your feet in parallel and your knees slightly bent with
your bum slightly pushed back. Your chest is lifted and your core is
engaged. Your knees should remain soft (i.e., not straight and locked).

Step to one side and as you put the weight onto the standing leg, your
opposite leg curls by bending at the knee and you send your foot back
towards your bottom. Make sure your foot makes contact with your
bottom for maximum efficacy.

Repeat on the other side. You can add a jump or keep it low impact.
These are great as they really wake up and work the hamstrings. A stone
cold classic!

Grapevine

Grapevine (comes in handy when line dancing). (Photo: Retroglow)
Grapevine (comes in handy when line dancing). (Photo: Retroglow)

Grapevine (comes in handy when line dancing).  (Photo: Retroglow)

Here’s an oldie but goodie: the grapevine! Start with your feet in parallel
and your arms out in front of you. Your ‘leading’ leg should be on a slight
turn out with a nice soft knee.

Step with that leading leg and as you do, bring the opposite leg behind
you. Knees are staying soft. At the same time as stepping behind, bring
your arms down. Hips should remain facing forwards and core is switched on.

Step again with the leading leg and again, leading leg is on a slight turn out and arms shoot back out again.

Switch the weight between your legs, so that the new leading leg is now
the opposite leg (this is to get ready to repeat and go the opposite way)
and bring your arms back down. And repeat! You can always add a little jump as you switch the weight to the new leg.

Heel Digs

Start with your hands on your hips with your feet on a slight turn out and
core switched on.

Starting position for heel digs. (Photo: Retroglow)
Starting position for heel digs. (Photo: Retroglow)

Starting position for heel digs.  (Photo: Retroglow)

Heel digs moves one, two and three (Photo: Retroglow)
Heel digs moves one, two and three (Photo: Retroglow)

Heel digs moves one, two and three (Photo: Retroglow)

Extend one leg out in front of you with the heel on the floor and the toes pointing to the ceiling. Then take your arms out to your sides. Make sure the arms stay at shoulder height and are extended super straight. The fingers are pointing upwards towards the sky.

As you switch legs (and as each heel touches down on the ground) you
swing the arms inwards so that they are in front of you (still with the
fingers facing the celling). The arms then swing back out to the side
when you bring the leg back in, ready to heel dig with the other leg.
This one is great as it incorporates a little extension for the calf muscles
as well as some isometric arm action.

Cheer Digs

Cheer digs – imagine those pom poms. (Photo: retro)
Cheer digs – imagine those pom poms. (Photo: retro)

Cheer digs – imagine those pom poms.  (Photo: retro)

Similar to the regular heel digs however these ones are on a slight angle
with different arms. Start with your feet in parallel and your arms straight
out in front of you. Knees should be soft and core is switched on. One
fist should be on top of the other (arms are crossed over one another)
Imagine you are a cheerleader for this one, it helps!

Switch the weight to one side (this is your standing leg) – at the same
time open your arms in a ‘L’ shape over the opposite leg. Your arms are
nice and straight with a closed fist. The leg that is extended should have the heel on the floor and the toes facing upwards, towards the sky. Your weight is on your standing leg. Come back to centre, and repeat. Pom poms not essential.

Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features encouraging you to add movement into your day – because it’s not just good for the body, but the mind, too. We get it: workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can move more without dreading it. Whether you love hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.

(Photo: HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser)
(Photo: HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser)

(Photo: HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser)

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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