THE COLONEL - You need to build up strength

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ELLIE, 27, from Wigan has been inspired by the UK’s great sports successes over the last year and has a question for our Xercise4Less fitness guru, The Colonel

Q: How can I incorporate training for sports like tennis and athletics, into my gym workout?

A: That’s a great question, especially with the backdrop of Wimbledon and the Olympic legacy.

The key to a lot of sport training is building up strength, no matter what sport it is.

Squats are great for this. Try a single leg squat.

This will improve your balance and strength and stability in your torso, which is vital for something like serves in tennis.

Aim for three reps of 8-10. To mix things up a bit and really get your blood pumped, add a jump in before each squat, this way you’ll really feel the burn!

The next tip is for strengthening your arms for sports like hockey or badminton.

In two sets of 8-10 reps, take an 8-10 pound medicine ball. Bring the ball over your head with both hands, and drive the ball down to the ground.

It’s also important to keep your muscles strong to prevent injury during sports.

Athletes protect their spine by squeezing their glutes (these are the muscles that make up your bum, it’s also the largest muscle in your body, so you need to look after it).

Do this by standing in an upright position, hold in your abs and keep your shoulders back, then squeeze your bum and hold it there for three seconds.

Do these in three sets of 8-12 reps.

It may seem like a worthless exercise but it keeps your muscles strong, and also tones your bum at the same time!

It’s great to see more people getting involved in sports since the Olympics – exercise makes us happy.

Choose something that interests you, and stick with it – and we’re sure it’ll keep that smile on your face!