Skip and hula your way to summer fitness

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WANT to start shaping up for summer? Then it's time to revisit those old playground favourites.

Summer's here. There are lots of reasons to be skipping with joy at the moment.

Skipping, as it happens, is brilliantly healthy too.

It burns calories, tones all sorts of muscles, and even gives your brain a workout.

In fact, it's so good for you, there's a new wave of skipping classes across the country and fitness experts everywhere are predicting it'll be the new hip thing of 2015.

Which makes you wonder about other retro games, too. 

Maybe we don't need yoga in hammocks or Bikram ballet classes to get us ready for the coming summer - what we really need to do, is re-embrace our favourite childhood activities.

Here, we analyse the best old school ways of getting fit...

Skipping

Traditionally seen as something we did in the school playground, skipping is a great way to burn calories. Lots of athletes use it to help them train, including boxers, and you'll now find skipping ropes in lots of gym classes.

British Bulldog

A traditional playground game, British Bulldog incorporates lots of elements similar to that found in rugby. You need to have a quick reaction time, good acceleration and sustained top speed to evade other players.

Hula hooping

Hula hooping is a personal favourite, and the weighted hula hoop is much easier to use, allowing you to pick up the technique easily. A great tummy toner, as you brace your core throughout.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch allows you to work on your balance, helping with joint and core stability. Add some Sandbells [soft hand weights] into the mix by throwing them into one of the squares and then picking them up for more challenge.

Duck duck goose

A great way to introduce a little bit of team spirit into your workout. The stop/start nature of the game and direction change is a fun way to introduce some interval training with a difference to your workouts. Interval training is great for improving your fitness levels and increasing fat loss.

See full story in the Leader

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