There are workouts and there are Olympian workouts; we filmed four exercise sessions with Jessica Ennis that you can do from the comfort of your own home with zero equipment; it’s not every week you get to train with a gold medal-winning heptathlete!
But don't be intimidated. Jess's mission is to share her world-class fitness knowledge in a way that's realistic, achievable at home and makes best use of limited time. The workouts are a taster of Jess's fitness exercise app Jennis, which launched just over a year ago and is already a firm favourite with thousands of women, especially those who are pregnant or looking to get fit after giving birth.
Jessica is the poster-woman for just what's achievable after becoming a mum. She, of course, won Gold in the heptathlon at the 2012 Olympics and famously returned to form after having her baby Reggie in 2014. Less than a year later, she won the World Athletics Championships. If that’s not an inspiration for new mums, we don’t know what is. She went on to have a daughter, Olivia, in 2017.
Her fitness app Jennis features pre-and postnatal workouts as well as general fitness, combining both cardio and strength, based on HIIT principles. They are, she says, "inspired by all the exercise and training I’ve done over the years as an elite athlete. They actually use similar bodyweight exercises and circuits to those I used when training professionally."
During the first lockdown Jessica began filming her workouts at home, fitting it around home-schooling her little ones. And even though gyms reopened a few months back, these sessions have been a godsend when you don't have time to hit the studio
What's in the workout
Our first workout with Jess, which you can do here, is just over 20 minutes long and comprises of four sets of seven exercises - split jumps, arm dips, burpees, cross-body mountain climbers, squat jumps, crunches and high knees. No equipment needed.
You do each exercise in the set for 20-25 seconds followed by a ten-second recovery. Each of the sets is the same and there’s a 60-second rest between each set.
As a heptathlete, Jess had to use every single muscle group in order to be able to run, jump and throw ("there was no avoiding the things I wasn't good at") and in her workouts, you can expect to do the same. "In all of them, you’ll see that I’m making sure that we work our arms, legs, bum and core, so it’s all all-body workout."
It's what makes them so effective - vital when you only have a short time window in which to exercise. Expect to get your heart rate up as you tone and strengthen the muscles