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Warm Up Exercises – Neck, Shoulder, Back, Hips, Legs

The aim of a warm up is to prepare your body for exercise. A warm up should include dynamic stretches and movements because you’re quite simply preparing your body to move. Many people are at a loss for exactly what to do for their warm up. As a general guideline, I like to have people put their joints through a full range of motion and perform movements similar to those they would do as part of their work out. I’ve put together a basic warm up that prepares me for any workout. Work through each move eight to ten times.

Let’s start out with the neck:
-Simply look down, and slowly and gently just turn your neck from one side to the other, making sure your eyes follow the direction that you are going. You never want to lean all the way back, and be sure to protect your spine.

From the neck, we’ll take it down shoulders:
-Roll your shoulders starting with small movements. Gradually increase the movements, and then switch direction. Then make them really big circles. Do some in both directions.
-Take your arms our wide, and then cross them across your body. And then do that again—all the way out, and cross over.
-Take your hands behind your head. You want to gently pull your shoulders back, and then bring your elbows together.
-Repeat each move four or five times.

Let’s move on to the back:
-Cross your hands over your body. Then give a slight lean forward and then come back up.
-Leaning over, put your hands onto your thighs, and then pull your back all the way up—almost like a cat stretch, and then relax down. Similar to the cat-cow stretch, but we’re doing it standing.

Now, let’s take it down to the lower body:
-Hips: do some gentle hip circles to loosen up the hips. Just a few in both directions.
-Hamstrings: Standing straight, bring the foot up, bending at the knee, and then tap it back.
-Now, turn that into more of a leg swing. Keep the leg straight. Start off small and then as you progress, just gently bring your leg up a little further.

Make sure to do both legs.
-Another great hamstring one: Pull your knee up to your chest, keeping your back straight, and then release your leg back down. And switch sides.
-Quads: Do some simple squats with toes are pointing forward. Then sit back, as if you were sitting in a chair, using your arms. Do small movements to start with, then as you get comfortable, sit a little deeper and bring your arms our a little further
-To finish off, lift one knee up and hold. Then it pull across the body. You should feel the stretch right on the outside of the glute. Repeat on the other side. Make sure you’re not twisting your body, but you feel good holding your balance.

Now, once you’re done with all your stretches, it’s time to get the heart rate up—do some jumping jacks. So again, start out with small with mini jacks movements and then gradually increase your movements as you get going.

After your warm up, I hope you feel energized and ready to work out. Remember that we are all individuals, so spend longer working on areas of your body that feel tight.

Samantha Clayton, fitness expert and former competitive sprinter. I’m working with Herbalife to help you achieve a healthy, active life.

10 Minute Fat Burning Circuit

Controlling your intensity during a workout may seem like an odd concept. But if you’re always pushing yourself to the maximum, you’re burning carbohydrate as your fuel source. Your body predominantly burns stored fat as its fuel source during a long steady state exercise. Intense exercise is great as it promotes muscle building and your body will burn calories later in the day during recovery.

Join me as I do a 10 minute basic fat burning circuit and let’s burn some fat together. All you’ll need is a jump rope and a step. Let’s do 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest for this circuit.

JOG (20 seconds)
We’re going to start out by jogging in place for 20 seconds, slowly getting your heart rate up.

Rest (10 seconds)

JUMP OVER THE ROPE (20 seconds)
If you have a rope, put it down on the floor, in a vertical line. If you have tape, you can tape down the rope. And if you don’t have a rope, you can just use an imaginary line. Once the rope or imaginary line is in place, jump from side to side, over the rope.

Rest (10 seconds)

Now you’ll need your step. Step up onto your step, drive up with the knee, step back down. Alternate sides. You could always add weights to add some resistance. Always remember to step with your foot in the middle of the step.

Rest (10 seconds)

TRICEP DIPS (20 seconds)
We’re going to do tricep dips on the floor. Sitting on the floor, feet are apart, lift yourself up using the tricep muscles. Do these dips for about 20 seconds. You just want to make sure that you push yourself and feel the muscles in the back of your arms working.

Rest (10 seconds)
Jump back up onto your feet. Breathe it out.

POWER JACKS (20 seconds)
Power jacks are simple jumping jacks but they include a squat hold. Make sure you sit your body weight back in your heels when you hold. Make sure you’re working your glutes and hamstrings.

Rest (10 seconds)
Get back down on the floor because we’re doing abs next.

TOE TOUCH ABS (20 seconds)
Lie flat on the floor with arms out. Then we’re going to touch the toes, opposite arm to opposite leg. Be careful as you twist, try to keep your back nice and flat on the floor.

Rest (10 seconds)

ICE SKATERS (20 seconds)
Last exercise of the circuit is called ice skaters. Step to one side, then step to the other side, like you’re skating on ice. Make sure to slightly lean forward.

I’d like you to try to do this circuit three times through. But remember one time is always better than no times. I hope you enjoyed this fat burning circuit. Have fun putting together your own circuit using your own favorite exercises. It’s important, especially if you enjoy endurance based sports to become an efficient, fat-burning athlete. Building lean muscle mass in my opinion is the best way to burn fat long term.

Samantha Clayton, fitness expert and former competitive sprinter.

Advanced Circuit Workouts – Including Dumbell Exercises

Do you like circuit workouts? Then try my advanced circuit today.

If you’re ready for an advanced challenge, then get warmed up and join me for my advanced circuit workout. We’re going to work at a high intensity and perform some high impact exercises. As always, work at a level that fits your own personal level of fitness, and only attempt advanced moves when you are ready.

We’re going to work in an interval style, doing 45 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of an active rest core move.

High Intensity Move: SQUAT JUMPS

First, we’re going to do squat jumps. Sit in a squat position. Jump forward, then shuffle back. As you squat down, always sit back on your heels. The further you sit back and jump forward, the harder it is.

Active Rest Move: CRUNCHES

For your rest move, I want you to do some crunches. Make sure to lift your shoulders off the floor, eyes towards the ceiling, and chin off the chest. If you’re not sure how to do a crunch, see my video that explains this move here:

High Intensity Move: PUSHUP JACKS

These are my favorite. Get into pushup position, and then jack out the feet. Always focus on your form—hands should be just slightly wider than shoulder width apart with wrists and shoulders in a nice straight line.


For our next rest move, get onto hands and knees. And then just lift and extend one leg. Bring the knee in, and then extend it out again. Do a few on one side and then switch sides. You’ll work the core for this move.

High Intensity Move: SWITCH LUNGES

Get into lunge position, and then simply switch lunge positions with a jump. Just jump and switch. If you’re not quite ready to do that, you can always stop in the middle. You want to go for height! Really push up out of that lunge.

Active Rest Move: BICYCLE

Get back down to the floor for bicycle for this next rest move. Lie with your back flat against the mat, and twist carefully—elbow to knee.

High Intensity Move: DUMBBELL SNATCH

Our last move of the circuit is called a dumbbell snatch. Take one dumbbell and place it on the floor in front of you. Then sit back putting weight in the heels, and then lift the dumbbell up. Put the dumbbell back down, and then jump. Switch sides and then lift the dumbbell with the other hand. Pick a weight that’s comfortable, and never jump with the weight.

I’m Samantha Clayton, fitness expert and former competitive sprinter. I’m working with Herbalife to help you achieve a healthy, active life.

Active Lifestyle Nutrition

Every pound of muscle in our bodies burns 7-10 calories a day, while each pound of fat burns just 2 calories per day. Include strength training in your exercise programme alongside cardio. Eating 20g of protein with every meal and snack helps prevent muscle wasting. Have you had your shake after your workout?! “Important! Don’t skip your protein shake after you exercise and think that you’ll save calories! A protein shake after training accelerates lean muscle growth, which in turn revs your metabolism and burns more fat.

Chest and Back Workout

Over working the mirror muscles, the ones that you can see?! Get on your way to a fit body with this new chest and back workout from Samantha Clayton.

With our modern lifestyle, sitting at a desk all day, it’s very common for people to have weak back muscles and tight chest muscles. Although I will often say my back muscles are tight, in fact usually the opposite is true. They’re overstretched and my chest muscles are tight. Why not warm up and then join me as I do a balanced body chest and back workout. You’ll need a set of dumbbells that are a nice weight for you.


To start, pick up your dumbbells. Make sure you stand in athletic stance with feet just slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, slight bend in the knee. You’re going to hinge forward at the hips and let the weights hang down to the chest. Then pull the weights to the chest and back down. Pull up and back down in nice, controlled motions.


Let’s go onto our press. Bring the weights to the shoulders and then push the weights up front, turn the weights out and come back down. It’s really great if you don’t go directly overhead. Make sure to keep a nice tight core, athletic stance with a very slight bend in the knees.


Now let’s take it down to the floor and do a plank row. To do this, get into a plank position, but hold onto one weight. Keep your hips square, the wider the base the better. Hold on to one weight, pull the elbow back, and then lower into the floor. Switch sides.


Now, we’re going to do a pull over on the stability ball. So first, get into position by sitting on the ball, holding the weights either side. Slowly walk your feet out. Make sure the ball supports your upper back. Simply bring the weights back and lift the weights up. You’ll feel your triceps working. The whole time, you’ll have to make sure that you keep the core tight. Come out of the position the same way you went in—just walking your feet up.


Next exercise is the chest fly. Again, you’re going to need two weights and slowly roll back out again. Find that comfortable position, supporting the neck, making sure your core is tight. Make sure your eyes are looking up high and slowly bring the weights out, and bring them back together again. After you’re done, always make sure that you slowly come out of this move.

After this first set, stand up and have a little stretch out. Take it from the top and go through again focusing on form. Do 12 of each exercise, try to do three sets. I like to go from exercise one to five, and then repeat it. But if you prefer to complete one set of each exercise before moving on to the next, that’s fine too. Be sure to complete a full warm up before every workout. And always allow time to stretch afterwards. Finally, master each exercise using light weights. And only increase your weight as you become comfortable. It’s important when you’re in the gym to address both the front and back of your body.

Samantha Clayton, fitness expert and former competitive sprinter. I’m working with Herbalife to help you achieve a healthy, active life.

12 Weeks to a Stronger, Fitter, Slimmer You – Body Transformation Challenge!

The Level 10 Body Transformation Challenge encourages participants to reach their ultimate goal and be the best they can be whether it be weight loss, body fat loss or even gaining lean muscle. The Level 10 Challenges will run locally, regionally and nationally with the best achievers being recognised with the chance to win £000’s in prizes.


What does the Level 10 Challenge involve?

  • Performing personalised body analysis with participants
  • Offering customised programmes and meal plans
  • On-going consultations to support participants to reach their Level 10
  • Providing nutrition and exercise education
  • Weekly meetings to help follow up with your challenge participants
  • Customers can compete for £000’s in prizes and giveaways

Level 10 Results on Facebook