Ceri Hannan, National Product Development Manager for Virgin Active South Africa says: “winter can be a sluggish, rugged-up time for many but a structured workout programme throughout the season will keep you healthy and motivated and will deliver great results come next summer.”

Hannan recommends High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as the most effective and time-efficient way to stay or to get into shape.

HIIT workouts alternate between high intensity periods of exercise and low intensity or rest periods. Research suggest that 15 minutes of HIIT can be more effective for calorie burning than running for an hour.

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HIIT workouts also kick your body into repair mode, enabling you to burn calories long after your workout is over.

Hannan recommends 5 winter HIIT workouts that build the beach body


15 Tricep Dips with Kick-Ups

Tricep Dips with Kick-Ups are a must for the arms, chest and shoulders. Start by sitting on the floor with the bench step behind you, putting both hands on the edge of the bench. Lift your body up off the floor and kick out with your one leg whilst the other stays on the ground and then swop legs. As you’re kicking out, you’re lifting your bum off the ground.

20 Squat Jumps

Squat Jumps are the key to toned calves. Start by standing and facing a bench step. Bend down into a comfortable position and then jump onto the bench step, landing in a squat position. Return to your original position in a slow and controlled manner.

20 Gliding Mountain Climbers

Gliding Mountain Climbers are a great workout for the legs. Start in a plank position on the floor and make sure that your wrists are below your shoulders and your feet are on top of the gliders, hip-width apart. Glide your right knee toward your chest and then alternate with your left knee. Try to switch feet as quickly as possible.

15 Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings work the abs, hamstrings and hips. They’re quite difficult to get right, so be sure to stick to the following steps. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, looking straight ahead. Hold the kettlebell between your legs using both hands. Keep your lower back arched, bend your hips back until the kettlebell is behind your legs, and swing it up. Let the kettlebell swing back between your legs and bring it up again. Please see GIF attached.

Throw in a Grid class at least once a week

Virgin Active’s 30-minute Grid class ensures that you get the most effective workout in a short amount of time. The Grid uses your six core movements – push, pull, bend, lunge, twist and squat – and mixes them to blast 500 calories in one session.

– Virgin Active