Increase your daily fitness with these ten bite-size exercise snacks from National Group Exercise Manager at SLM — Everyone Active, Angela Ioannou.

If you’re new to exercise snacking and wondering what it is, read our guide here! Simply put, ‘Exercise snacking is about breaking down your recommended daily allowance of exercise into five-minute stints spread throughout the day’, says Angela.

These moves can all be done with limited space and next-to-no equipment. When done together they will work every muscle in your body and give you the same benefits as a 30-minute gym class.

Heart-pumping star jumps

We all did them back in school, and guess what? They’re great! Star jumps are the perfect exercise to get your heart racing, while also working your calves, glutes, abs and shoulders. Simply jump your arms and legs in and out as fast as you can, and try to get as wide as you can, too.

Ab-toning mountain climbers

These might be tough, but they’re hugely effective. Do them as fast as you can and they will work wonders for your abs, arms and glutes. Start in a press-up position on the floor with your hands shoulder-width apart. The aim is to bring one knee up through the empty space between your elbows, then straighten it out and swap legs without your foot or knee touching the ground. Alternate legs as fast as you can.

Thigh-firming squats

These thigh burners are a whole-body movement, but will particularly target your legs, glutes, back and abs. They might be tough, but when done in short bursts they’re more bearable and just as effective. Place your hands shoulder width apart on a work surface or desk for support if you need it, squat down until your bottom is parallel with your knees, then come back up – remember to keep your back straight and try not to arch as you come back down.

Leg-loosening lunges

These aren’t only great for your glutes and abs, but perfect for honing your balance, too. Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed, and chin up. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle before coming back up. Swap legs and repeat on the other side.

Back-strengthening Superman

Strengthen your lower back and improve your posture with this superhero-inspired move. Lay on the floor face down with your arms stretched out in front of you either side of your head. Raise your arms and legs as high as possible so only your stomach remains on the floor, hold for a count of three seconds, lower and repeat.

Shoulder-boosting shoulder bridge

Lie on your back face up with your hands by your side, palms down. With your feet flat on the floor, move your heels as close to your bottom as you can. Next, push your hips up into the air and bridge as high as you can so only your upper back and head are touching the floor, using your hands for stability. Gently lower your hips back down to the floor and repeat.

Core-working bicycle crunch

Strengthen your abdominals and obliques without the need for a bike, thanks to bicycle crunches. Lie on your back, fingers lightly touching your head. Crunch up bringing your right elbow and left knee up to meet, return and repeat with the opposite elbow and leg. Alternate this way as many times as you can.

Arm-strengthening press-ups

Work surface press-ups are ideal for working your triceps, shoulders and chest. Using a surface such as your worktop, desk or wall, stand about a metre away from it, hands shoulder-width apart on the surface, then bend your elbows and lower your body towards the surface before pushing back up. Repeat as many as you can

Thigh-bolstering ski squats

Another great move to strengthen those glutes and thighs. With your back against a wall, squat down so your legs are at 90 degrees, and hold. To increase difficulty, move away from the wall slightly and slowly ‘pulse’ up and down as you squat.

Glute-activating kickbacks

As the name suggests, these will target your glutes and legs. Kneeling on all fours, kick one foot out, up and back behind you, squeezing your bottom as you do so. Have a slight bend in your leg and reach as high as you can with your foot before bringing it back down and changing legs.

If you want to make it harder, add some ankle weights and really feel the burn.

Words: Angela Ioannou. Images: Shutterstock