Black Friday is almost upon us and as one of the busiest, most physically-demanding events in the shopping calendar, it’s the perfect time to put your fitness to the test as you slalom between the frantic shoppers all competing for the best ‘bar-gains’.

We’ve put together five workouts that can help you prepare for the day when shopping centres and supermarkets become gladiator arenas on 23rd November – and show you where you can put your existing skills into practice.

On your marks

To grab the last Garmin or Fitbit before anyone else, you need to get your legs in gear, so treat the shop doors as your starting line, and dash down the aisles to beat your competitors.

If you’ve skipped an early morning gym session to hit the sales, take advantage of the supermarket’s wide aisles with a little interval training – just be careful not to run into any shoppers.

Jay Curry, PT at Jay’s Way Personal Training says: “You’ll be able to replicate that stop-start nature of shopping while conditioning your body through interval training.”

Supermarket sweep

Supermarkets, department and hardware stores can be a fitness buff’s playground, with an average span of 35,000 – 45,000 sq ft, not forgetting the large car park of course.

To make your shopping a little more interesting, international fitness presenter, Lisa Brockwell, from ViBeatz, suggests adding an element of dance to train the brain to stay in-sync with the body:

“Think hip-hop, as the quick, sharp movements demanded by the beat will test the agility of any seasonal shopper.”

So instead of simply walking around the crowds of fighting customers, why not style it out with a smooth slide, or spin? It’ll be like shop-zumba.

Getting those top sales

While you stretch your shopping budget to fund those not-to-be-missed bargains, you’ll be stretching your body to grab the goods from those hard to reach shelves. Using machines, such as the Versaclimber, with increased resistance can help improve your flexibility and loosen your shoulders and upper back. Now you’ll never have the fear of missing out on a deal as you run to get help reaching the higher shelves.

Endure the queues

Standing in queues can be a test of our endurance all on its own, but throw in the added pain of carrying a 50” screen TV along with two baskets full of deals, and you may be ready to tap out and call it a day before you even reach the checkout. If you want to stay strong and ensure the goods you have claimed stay safely with you, follow the advice of Will Scevity from PT Will who says:

“Holding a kettlebell perpendicular to the floor for 10 – 15 seconds, resting and repeating, will help to improve muscular endurance and will prevent your arms weakening while standing in line.”

Leave no deal behind

Finally, perfecting your strength is essential for a day of lugging around heavy bags and boxes. Preparing your arms for the day’s activity with weight training exercises can help you build a stronger back and shoulders, ready for the day. Using kettlebells or dumbbells, see how far you can walk, or if you want to involve your legs too – lunge, and you’ll soon be perfecting your ‘Farmer’s Walk’.

Workout gloves can also be a godsend here; after all, no one wants battle scars when carrying our shopping bags back home.

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