Try This 9-Move Workout Inspired By SA’s Fittest Athletes And Celebs
We wanted to know the South African fittest athletes and stars’ secrets for looking as good and performing as well as they do. Turns out, there’s no secret: they just put in the work and reap the rewards (we’ve been telling you this for years)!
If you want to look like these guys, work out like them. Try get through round 1 and 2 and if you can, do it again. Here’s how:
Round 1: Athlete Action
1. Pull Up
Chad le Clos just got home from making waves in Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He smashed a record for the 200m butterfly there, just like he’s smashing these pull ups.
Do It: Using an overhand grip, place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the pull-up bar. Start from a hanging position and pull yourself up so that your chin reaches over the bar. That’s one rep. Lower back to the start so that you have straight arms again. These are strict pull-ups, so don’t swing or use a kip. Do 8.
2. Two-Handed Landmine Press
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Wayde van Niekerk is the current 400m world record holder, world champion and Olympic champion and he holds the 300m world-best time. He wasn’t able to compete at the Commonwealth games due to a knee injury, but this 25 year old has vowed to come back stronger than ever.
Do It: Wedge one end of a barbell into a corner and load the other with weight. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the weighted end of the barbell with both hands in front of your chest. Push the barbell away from your body. Pause, and return the bar to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Do 8.
3. Arm and Leg Extension
AB de Villiers makes the Proteas one great cricket team and is a local favourite amongst fans. He is considered one of the best batsman in the world, holding many records.
Do It: Start on all fours on an exercise mat. Pull your abs up and in whilst extending your right arm and your left leg until they are both parallel to the floor. Hold and then return to start position. Repeat the move with the opposite limbs. That’s 1 rep. Do 8.
4. Barbell Squat
Jesse Kriel doesn’t just look like a force to be reckoned with, on the rugby field he is one. A former Men’s Health cover guy, Jesse shows you how much hard work goes into looking and performing like a super rugby star. If you want to supersize your squats, try adding the bands like him (beware though, this isn’t for the faint of heart).
Do It: Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart. Hold the barbell across your upper back with an overhand grip. Slowly squat down and lower yourself till your hips are aligned with your knees, legs at 90 degrees. Explosively push yoursel back up till you are standing straight up. That’s 1 rep. Do 6.
Round 2: Music’s Muscle
1. Jumping “Jack”
Jack Parow, Afrikaans rapper and and now a fitness junkie lost 35kg when he trained for a charity boxing match. Jumping around on stage for an entire performance takes effort and counts as a workout move. He’s getting some serious air!
Do It: With your feet together and hands at your side, simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump just enough to spread your feet wide. Reverse the movement. Do this for 1 minute.
2. Chin Up
This recording artist and record producer, Cassper Nyovest, doesn’t mess around when he steps up to the bar. Chin ups are one of the best moves you could include in your workout.
Do It: With hands facing towards you and closer than shoulder-width apart, grab the bar. As you breathe out, pull your body towards the bar until your head is inline with the bar. Hold. Breathe in as you slowly lower yourself back to start position. Do 8 reps.
3. Split Jump
When you’ve got your own TV show, there’s some pressure to look good and stay fit and Somizi Mhlongo doesn’t disappoint. We’re sure being a choreographer helps to keep him active all day too.
Do It: Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Take a large step forward with one foot and then lower your body towards the floor. Once you’ve lunged both legs should be bent at a 90 degree angle. Lower your back knee slightly and jump to switch feet. Whilst in the air switch the leg in the front to the back and the back to the front and land in a lunge position. That’s 1 rep. Do 10.
4. Bicep Curl
Lloyd Cele, the runner up on the 6th season of Idols not only lifts his microphone well, he’s pretty damn skilled with the weights too. This move is guaranteed to give you sleeve-busting guns like Lloyd!
Do It: Hold the bar at arm’s length infront of you. Turn your arms so your palms face forward. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the bar as close to your shoulders as you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms. Do 10.
Francois van Coke, turned his life around after over a decade of touring and indulging left him overweight. Look at him now and you would never guess it. If you want to find out how he did it, he’s in this month’s issue of Men’s Health where he talks workouts, diet and a whole lot more (his trainer even shares a few secrets). Buy it in stores or get your digital copy here.
Do It: Start with a loaded barbell at your feet. While maintaining a neutral back and straight arms at the bottom of the lift, pull the barbell up towards the ceiling. Once it reaches your hips and you’re standing upright, that’s one rep. Lower it slowly back down to the start. Do 5.