A LEISURE centre operator with five sites in Taunton and Wellington, has released a series of top home exercises to keep people active during lockdown.

January is traditionally a popular month to begin a new fitness regime, but the closure leisure centres has raised concerns around physical and mental health.

The Leisure-net Post Lockdown 2.0 Recovery Survey, published recently by Leisure-net Solutions, revealed that 69 per cent of respondents had been less active during the second lockdown than during the first in March.

With gyms due to be shut until at least Monday, February 15 in a bid to tackle Covid-19, alternative ways to keep fit will play a key role in the health of local residents.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know as England enters into third lockdown

Keen to help the community achieve its fitness fix, Everyone Active’s fitness manager Stephanie Heath has picked out five key exercises which can be done at home.

Everyone Active, in partnership with Somerset West and Taunton Council, runs Blackbrook Leisure Centre and Spa, Taunton Swimming Pool, Wellsprings Leisure Centre, Wellington Sports Centre and Vivary Golf and Adventure Centre.

This is The West Country: Squat example

Squat

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Bend from the hips and knees and push the hips backwards, lowering the bottom to just above knee height.

Push the knees out slightly as the body lowers and keep both feet on the floor. Keep the chest lifted and eyes looking forwards, then push back up.

This is The West Country: Press up example

Press-up

Lay face down and place hands on the floor, in line with the chest. Curl the toes under and push the body up, keeping the body strong and straight through the core.

Slowly lower the body until the chest is three or four inches off the floor, then push back up. Alternatively, you can do this movement with your knees on the floor – a three-quarter press-up.

This is The West Country: Back extension example

Back extension

Lie face to the floor and place fingers on the side of the temples, with elbows out. Then engage the legs (glutes) and lift the shoulders and chest off the floor. Hold the extension for two to three seconds, then gently lower the chest.

Keep the neck in line with the spine and eyes looking down. Ensure the feet are on the floor throughout.

This is The West Country: Side lunge example

Side lunge

Stand with hips square, facing forwards. Step the right leg out to the side and bend the right knee, keeping the left leg straight. Drive the hips backwards, sinking deep into the movement. Keep the chest lifted and facing forwards.

Both feet should have toes pointing forwards and hips should be facing forwards throughout. Lift up by straightening the right leg and pushing the right foot back to the starting position.

This is The West Country: Plank example

Plank

Lay face to the floor, curl the toes under and place the forearms on the floor. Elbows need to be tight to the body, roughly in line with the shoulders, and hands should be clasped together in line with the face.

Lift the body off the floor, keeping it straight and strong, focusing on pulling the tummy tight and squeezing the glutes. Avoid letting the hips drop. Feet can be together or, to make it easier, hip-width apart.

This movement should be held strong for 20 seconds or more, depending on the fitness level. Alternatively, this can be done from the knees and is known as a three-quarter plank.