This Serotonin Boosting Workout will flex, flow and flood your body with feel-good endorphins during a 30-minute full-body class.
Exclusive to the 2019 Balance Festival in London, it’s designed to trigger the release of your body’s natural happy hormones so you finish feeling phenomenal.
Designed by leading London-based personal trainers Alex and Maddy Weaver (AKA the Soul Sisters), this step-by-step guide to their Serotonin-boosting workout explains how to do the moves at home and why they leave you feeling (and looking) so happy.
“It’s widely known that Serotonin helps regulate your mood but it is also equally as important for appetite, digestion, sleep, memory and even sexual desire and function,” Maddy explains.
“When Serotonin levels drop, it can leave you feeling anxious and depressed and in turn, that can lead to a dependency on serotonin-boosting antidepressants with some not-so-pleasant side-effects.
“Our goal when designing this work out was how to harness the power of serotonin naturally to offer a completely natural high caused by a surge of ‘happy hormones’.
“The following seven moves will show you how you can do just that for yourself!”
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Move 1 – Tree Pose
Start standing straight, with your feet together and arms down by your side, once comfortable begin to shift your weight to your left foot. Then bend your right knee, reaching down to clasp your inner right ankle and using your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh. Be sure to rest the foot above or below the knee. Once you feel stable and your hips are aligned and facing forwards, press your palms together in prayer position at your chest. If you can, hold the pose for up to one minute and to release, step back into the standing pose. Repeat for the same amount of time on the opposite side. “This pose is great for stretching the thighs, torso and shoulders while building strength in the ankles, calves and toning our abdominal muscles. While the balancing posture is designed to help calm and focus the mind.”
Move 2 – Warrior 2
This standing pose enhances strength, stability and concentration. Stand in a wide-leg stance with your front leg slightly bent and facing forwards. With your arms out straight to the side, at shoulder height and parallel to the floor, bend your front knee as you exhale and sink your hips so your front leg is bent parallel to the floor. Like, Warrior 1, be sure to keep your back leg straight by pressing through your back foot. Turn your head to look across the tip of your middle finger in front of you, drop your shoulders and lift your chest. Breathe deeply and calmly for up to one minute. “This is not only a great pose to strengthen and open your hips and chest but allows us to focus and concentrate on our inner warrior.”
Move 3 – Boxing Drills
The high-energy box fit drills have been designed to increase your heart-rate and get your body moving. Incorporating boxing into any workout is a great way to not only mix-up your routine but to also release any built-up stress from your day! “We have used a variety of box fit drills to get the heart rate up and punch out any negativity we may be feeling. This is a great way to work out happy!”
Move 4 – Burpees
The burpee is simply a four-point move. Begin in a standing position, with your feet shoulder width apart. Drop into a squat position with your hands firmly flat on the ground, placed just in front of your feet. Once in this position, kick your feet back behind you, keeping your arms straight and back parallel to the floor so you are in a raised plank position. From this, jump your feet towards your hands leaping into the air with your arms above your head ad be ready to do the process all over again. You’ll be sure to feel the burn from this simple but effective high-intensity move. “No work out is complete without this full body exercise. Whilst no one loves a burpee, that feeling after you have done them is always guaranteed to leave you sweating and smiling.”
Move 5 – Crunch and Punch
This move is great for team work, so team up with a partner and get to work – if one you are on you own, not to worry as this can easily be done individually. The ‘crunch and punch’ is an evolution of your ordinary crunch and is a great way to build your core strength. As you would in a crunch, start by lying down on a mat, with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor – use your partner to keep your feet on the ground. As you exhale, lift your head slightly off the mat while keeping your hands in a fist position on your chest. Once at the top, throw a right punch towards your partner’s right hand. Inhale and lower yourself down. Repeat again but this time throw a left punch towards your partner’s left hand and return to the start position for on full rep of the exercise. Time to get together and workout with your partner. Make a friend whilst working those abs! Crunch, punch and laugh it out!
Move 6 – Breath Work
The final relaxation posture is a great way to end a workout as it allows a time to come back to your breath after the high-energy exercises. For this posture it is essential your body is in a neutral position, for this lie down on your back with your legs separate and your feet free to fall open either side. Bring your arms alongside your body and turn your palms so they are facing upwards. Tuck your shoulder blades onto your back for support. Once settled in the position, let your body become heavy and relaxed and your breathing rhythm to occur naturally. Stay for a minimum of 5 minutes or ten minutes if you prefer, but do give enough time to let your body and breathing settle. As you come up from the floor, begin with a deep breath and wiggle your toes and fingers to slowly reawaken your body. Stretch your arms over your head for a full body stretch and then bring your knees to your chest and roll onto your side. Slowly, using your hands for support, bring yourself back to a standing position. The most important part of the workout as it allows cortisol levels to reduce, to come back to your intentions and leave you feeling rejuvenated, restored and happy.
Try the Serotonin Boosting Workout for yourself on the main-stage at Balance Festival 2019. Standard Admission tickets to Balance Festival are priced from £24.50 for day tickets and from £50 for VIP day tickets. Weekend entry is currently priced at £90. Tickets are available here.