Monique Eastwood: ‘Big Five’ Full-Body Workout

This ‘Big Five’ full-body workout method from Hollywood PT Monique Eastwood focuses on multi-directional movement to strengthen the large muscle groups and target those all-important smaller ones, too…

Related: Hollywood PT Monique Eastwood on fitness & ageing

Monique Eastwood’s ‘Big Five’ exercises are explosive, full-body strengthening moves that focus on balance, technique and strong form. Give this sequence a go by flowing from one move to the next. All moves need to be repeated on both sides. You can find this workout and all the multi-directional sequences from Monique Eastwood via her app, Eastwood Fit.

Full-body ‘Big Five’ workout by Monique Eastwood

monique eastwood demonstrates Squat with side-leg lift balance

Photography: Thomas Minnock | Clothing: Lorna Jane

Squat with side-leg lift balance

  1. Take a wide stance with arms overhead, then squat, ensuring your weight is balanced in your heels and your chest is forward and proud (A).
  2. Lift one leg parallel to the ground and up to the side – don’t go too high, just keep your balance and your core strong. Reach out and up with your opposite arm to keep your balance (B).
  3. Return to squat and repeat 10 times (each side).

monique eastwood demonstrates side to back lunge 1 monique eastwood demonstrates side to back lunge 2 monique eastwood demonstrates side to back lunge 3

Side to back lunge

  1. Start in a neutral position, feet wide, then lunge to the left, ensuring you keep your feet parallel and your weight in your heels, adding an upper body rotation and reaching to the left with your arms (A). Tip: make sure your pelvis stays centred.
  2. Return to centre and lift your left knee into a balance with an upper body rotation to the left (B).
  3. Then step into a back lunge with your left leg, arms overhead and feet parallel (C). Pulse twice but ensure you keep your body weight in the
    centre of both legs.
  4. Then go back to the beginning balance with knee lift (B) to repeat the sequence, stepping first to the side, knee lift then back, 10 times (each side).

plie combination 1 plie combination 2 plie combination 3

Plié Combination

  1. Stand with your legs wide and your feet slightly turned out. Squat down with a strong, upright body, arms out to the sides (A).
  2. From your deep plié position, lift your left leg into a bent knee position (B), straightening your standing leg as you do so.
  3. Lower that same leg into a curtsy with an upper body side reach (C), but ensure your pelvis stays neutral and balanced.
  4. Return to your plié position and repeat the sequence 10 times on each side.

monique eastwood movement method 1 monique eastwood movement method 2 Monique Eastwood: ‘Big Five’ Full-Body Workout

Multi-directional combination of moves, with lateral flexion

  1. On a diagonal, perform a single squat with a double pulse, keeping the front leg on the ball of the foot (A).
  2. Open the front leg wide to a plié position with slightly turned-out feet (B), and then perform a double pulse.
  3. Using the same leg (right, in photo), straighten the leg to the ball of its foot while reaching your upper body in the opposite direction, using same arm as straight leg (C).
  4. Return to the plié position then repeat the sequence 10 times on each side, starting from the diagonal single squat (A).

plank with single leg combination 1 plank with single leg combination 2 plank with single leg combination

Plank with single leg combination

  1. Start in a high plank position with feet hip-width apart and wrists stacked under shoulders. Be careful of any hyper mobility here – press though hands so you don’t sink into your shoulders.
  2. Bend one knee towards the opposite elbow (A), then circle it out to the side of your body (B). Ensure you’re maintaining a neutral spine.
  3. Use your legs and glutes to rotate carefully to a side plank (C) and bend top leg behind you, placing your foot flat on the floor.
  4. Lower your hips and lift to rotate back to the plank position, then repeat on the other side. Perform 8 reps on each side.
  5. To modify, simply put your bottom knee down when in the side plank position.

Photography: Thomas Minnock | Clothing: Lorna Jane

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