Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan Foot up split squat1 Foot up split squat2 Glute bridge heel drag 1 Glute bridge heel drag 2 Front squat kettlebells 1 Jumping squat 1 Jumping squat 2 Jumping squat 3 Front squat kettlebells 2

Over the coming weeks we will take a look at how best to break workouts down in order to focus on different areas, from legs and glutes to arms, core and abs, for example.

It is important to say at this stage that no matter how much you want to work on a certain area, it is most beneficial to train the entire body to get the best overall results and the optimum fitness.

Simply training the one or two body parts that you want to work on will leave you with overworked muscle groups prone to injury and an unbalanced shape.

As your body adapts to working out, you can look at breaking your training down to target specific muscle groups and areas, which does two things:

• it gives your body ample time to recover, yet

• it still allows you to exercise other muscle groups and benefit from the calorie burn of not needing a rest day after each workout.

Furthermore, it enables you to make sure you are working out each muscle group to its optimum.

Certain muscle groups work very well together – for example, if you target back muscles you will find biceps are also included to an extent. Therefore, targeting the back and biceps together makes sense.

The same can be said for the chest, shoulders and triceps – when you target one of these, all get a workout, so you should choose to train a secondary muscle group like triceps with a larger muscle like the chest.

Now this is only a starting guide – there are many ways of breaking the body down to focus on different areas and types of training, so the body need never adapt to the regime and can always be shocked.

Remember too that having a structure for your training programme is one of the best ways of achieving the results you are aiming for.

If you plan your workout week, and which areas you want to target, you will be less likely to miss training days. Let’s be honest – the more you are focused on your training, the quicker you will see results.

Let’s start this week with some of my go-to leg exercises below:

Breaking down your workouts: week 1, legs

Jumping squat

1/ 9970 9971 Start with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms bent by your sides.

2/ Bend at the hips and knees into a semi-squat position, leaning your torso slightly forward.

3/ Then simply push off your feet, jump straight up in the air and land in a semi-squat position. Repeat 12-15 times.

Foot up split squat

1/ Start in a split squat position with one foot up behind you on a step or bench and the other foot firmly on the floor.

2/ Squat back and down, keeping your back straight and making sure your knee does not go over the toe. Return to start position.

Glute bridge heel drag on swiss ball

1/ Start on your back with your legs straight and your hips bridged, with your feet on the Swiss Ball.

2/ Drag the ball towards your buttocks, bending your legs at the knees. While keeping the hips bridged, roll your feet along the ball. Then return to start position.

Front squat with kettlebells

1/ Start by standing upright holding the kettlebells at shoulder height with your palms facing in and your feet flat and shoulder-width apart.

2/ Then lower your body towards the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees. Keeping your back flat and your head up, push through your heels to return to start position.

12-15 reps

Health & Living

This article appeared on Independent.ie