Boost your brain in 6 moves!

7 October 2015 by
First published: 9 April 2015

We all know that exercise has multiple benefits for the body, whether it be weight loss, toning up or improving fitness levels, but it is also proven that exercise is great for the brain which is why we’ve come up with a workout to boost your brain in 6 moves. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Aerobic training gets the heart rate elevated and blood flowing, meaning the body will be pumping more blood to the brain, delivering oxygen that will help boost memory and cognitive function. Circuit training is ideal as it will increase the heart rate rapidly while also making your brain work that little bit more as you are constantly challenging yourself with a variety of exercises. Mix combination moves such as the squat and shoulder press with simple star jumps to challenge and then reboot your brain as you go.

Perform each exercise for the given number of reps or time. Rest at the end of the circuit for one minute and repeat through twice more. Enjoy!

Squat and shoulder press: 15 reps

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, raise your arms (with one dumbell in each hand) to just above shoulder height, with your elbows bent at right angles
  • Bend the knees into a squat position so the thighs are parallel to the floor
  • Straighten the legs as you raise the arms up in the air to an almost fully extended position
  • Then smoothly squat back down, lowering the arms back to their original position

2. Star jumps: 20 reps

  • Stand with your hands by your sides.
  • Jump up high in the air, extending the legs out and the arms up, landing with the feet apart, knees slightly bent and the arms in the air (so your body is in a star shape). Then immediately jump back to your starting position and repeat.
  • TIP: Always land into each jump with soft knees

3. Ball pike press-up: 10 reps

  • Place your feet on a balance ball, with the hands on the floor in a press-up position, just beyond shoulder-width apart
  • Keeping your legs straight, raise your bum towards the ceiling, drawing the ball towards your arms
  • Hold for one second then roll the ball back to the original position
  • Once you are in a straight line, bend the elbows into a press-up
  • Straighten the arms back to the original position

4. High knees: 30 seconds

  • Jog on the spot, bringing the knees up in front as high as possible towards your chest
  • TIP: Make this harder by keeping the arms stretched up above the head

5. Lunge with lateral raise: 20 reps (10 reps per leg)

  • With a dumbbell in each hand, step forward with your right foot into a lunge position, bending both knees and at the same time raising your arms to your side up to shoulder height. Ensure the front knee does not go over the front toe.
  • Then step back as you lower the arms
  • Repeat with the left leg

6. Plank up and down combo: 10 reps

  • Start on your elbows and toes in plank position with the core engaged
  • Push up on one hand, followed by the other so you are in a high plank position
  • Lower back down on to your elbows, one arm at a time.
  • Halfway through, switch leading arms (so if you went up and down with the right first, switch it up and go on to the left hand first)
  • TIP: Keep the core engaged and hips as still as possible throughout