NSW Education LIVE – Bronte Campbell

This page is a transcript of the video NSW Education LIVE with Bronte Campbell.

Duration – 15:25

Olympic gold medalist Bronte Campbell takes us through a 'dry-land' workout that you can do at home.


Bronte Campbell

Hi guys, I'm Bronte Campbell, I'm an Olympic swimmer. This was going to be my third Olympics this year in Tokyo which is now being pushed back for a year.

So, like everyone else, I'm trying to do some training at home and I thought I'd try to give you some tips. This is not my normal area of expertise. We normally do all our workout in the water, we call this dry land exercise, I think you guys just call it exercise. So I'm gonna walk you through what I've been doing for the last few weeks. Sorry, it's a bit windy, so that might get in the way a little bit, but we'll work with it.

I think the hardest thing I found so far when I'm at home, is just trying to stay motivated to do something. I mean, when you're all by yourself, it's nowhere near as fun, and I'm definitely missing all my squadmates. So what I've been doing, and I'm about to get my friend on the phone, is just FaceTiming someone while I'm working out and get them to do it with me so that I'm not doing it all by myself. It also helps me keep myself a little bit accountable so I'm not letting her down. So I'll just grab Leah on the phone. She's been my workout buddy for the last few weeks, and she'll say hi and then we'll get right into it.

The other thing with staying motivated is it is quite difficult when you're by yourself, so this is a really important thing for me, but the other way to stay motivated is to give yourself a little reward for doing something. For instance, I now have earned myself a block of chocolate, maybe not a block, maybe a few squares of chocolate for this workout. So that's another little reward that I give myself for working out. Now hopefully she picks up. Sometimes she ignores me. But, come on Leah, there she is.


Hey girl!

Bronte Campbell

This is Leah. Wave, wave to the children.



Bronte Campbell

And we're gonna go through our little workout today. So thanks for joining me and we'll crack right into it.


Sounds good.

Bronte Campbell

I'm gonna chuck you on the side.



Bronte Campbell

So I always like to start with just warming up and moving a little bit. I'm no yoga master, I'm really bad at yoga and I can't actually tell you what any of the moves are called, but I'll walk you through a little flow that I do just to get the body moving and get the breath happening and everything sort of working together. So start at the front of your mat or the front of your carpet or wherever you are. And so reach up and breathe in, eyes to the tops of your thumbs, and you fall forward, breathe out. Really stretching through the back of your legs. I've really, really tight hamstrings, so this is not really what it's supposed to look like, but you're in your lounge room so who cares what you look like, right? So just bend forward, hold onto the back of your shins and really pull yourself into that fold. And you bring yourself into a halfway lift and you go hands to floor. If you're incapable of doing it, hands to the front of your shins. Hands down onto the mat.

Step yourself back into a crescent lunge. Try to hover that knee off the floor if you can. Sweep the arms up and be as tall as you possibly can. Open your heart up. Look to the sky. This sort of brings a lovely stretch all through your body. If you can't actually hover this leg, feel free to drop the knee down and stretch up, it does pretty much the same thing. Once you've done that, bring your hands sweeping back down and back into plank. Gonna hold here for a minute if you wanna do a little bit more core, or you can lower yourself gently, slowly down, the slower the harder it is. And into upward dog or if upward dog is a bit hard, just go into cobra where you go all the way into the ground and push up from there. So you're in that position, push back to downward dog, everyone's favorite. Kick your right leg up, right leg steps forward to the front of the mat, step forward, fold, and we're back where we started.

Up again and we do the other side. So it was hold your right, breathe out and fold, gonna do the left leg now. Halfway lift from the back, breathe out, fold again. Step the left leg back, up into crescent lunge. Deep breath in, out, and release. Back into the plank pose. Once again you can hold here if you want, or if not, just go through, straight through into upward dog or whatever the other one's called. Then it's down into downward dog again, and we stretch out here. Sometimes I like to pump the legs a bit, get a little bit of stretch happening. For me there's no right or wrong way to do it. Just whatever feels good. The three legged dog, bring that left foot through. Step down heel then toe. And step back to the front of the mat. Now for me that's just a really easy flow just to get things moving. I'm a little bit out of breath from it.

It's not super hard, but it's a good way to stretch and to mobilize the body and get everything activated at the same time. So once I've gone through that, actually got my flu jab today, so that's gonna be pretty much as much arm work as I'm doing today 'cause my arm's gone a bit dead. So we're just gonna do a little bit of core and leg workout today. So my first little exercise which is really, really fun. I really enjoy it, is called a skating squat. So basically start on your right leg and then you swing your left leg behind you as if you were doing sort of ice skating. Step onto your left leg and do the same thing. So you can do sort of 30 of these. Everything I'm doing today is body weight because we don't want to have to have a heap of equipment at home. I know I don't. I don't have space for it. And it's actually impossible to get for most people. So then try to heaps of different things with our body. Our body's pretty good, my body's pretty good weight. It's like 65 kilos, so that's enough for me. If you're really finding this spot super easy, or you want to change it up a little bit, a fun alternative is to turn it into a little bit of a jumping squat. Just be careful not to hit anything or fall over, 'cause that's what I did the first time. I broke a lamp. And that's why we're doing it outside today. So it's the same sort of thing. You just jump from leg to leg. You can use your arms as a bit of balance along the way. The more dynamic you get with it, the harder it is. You could even put on a timer for say, 30 seconds, and see how many you can get done in that time, just to hold yourself a little bit accountable. Also, I really hate counting, so I really like using timers 'cause I know I don't have to count anything.

All right, after our legs have got a nice burn happening in them, we're gonna head down into the mat and straight into a core exercise. This one, I used to do it back when I was a young swimmer, and we call it cross dogs. I've no idea what its real name is. But basically you start by stretching out the left leg, get it as high and level with the body as you can, and then stretch out your right arm and try to get as much length as you can either way. Hold that for a few seconds and then change. It's not hard if you do it fast. It's all about being slow and controlled and really trying to get that cross body connection. It's actually super important for swimming, for any young swimmers out there, you can imagine this is sort of how we are poised in the water. You can do some swim strokes if you feel like you're missing swimming, you haven't gone to a pool for a while. And know I am. This is hilarious, by the way. This is not at all what swimming feels like, but it gives you a little bit of an idea. So it really strengthens through the core. So if we do, I don't know, maybe 10 of these. You're really trying to keep your hips as flat as possible. No twisting up or dropping down. You want everything to be as flat and strong and straight as possible. And stretching out as much as possible, not going in, just trying to get as much length as well. The longer your limbs are, the harder this will be. So lucky for you if you're a little bit shorter, this shouldn't be as challenging. I've no idea how many that is, but do as many until you feel like it's starting to burn a little bit.

We might head over to our bench. I'll remove Leah who's still going along with me. How ya doing, Leah? And we're just gonna do some step ups, back into some legs. I like to do 25 on my left leg and then switch over to the right leg. These are super simple exercise and it doesn't look that hard, but after you've done 50 of them, you really start to feel the burn. And this is great, you can use a chair or a bench, or whatever you've got. Hopefully you've got something. If you don't have any of those things, you can always try doing a little bit of a stair run, if you've got stairs. Stairs are the bane of my existence, so, I lost where I am. I wouldn't actually recommend working out without shoes on, but I hate wearing shoes, so that's what I'm going for today, the no shoe look (chuckles). It probably is safer and better to wear shoes for all your workouts. I'm just not used to it. We don't wear shoes when we swim.

[upbeat music]

All right. That wasn't very even but I've had enough of them. That's the fun thing about working out without a coach is that there's no one to tell you that you're doing it wrong, which is sometimes really good, sometimes a little bit bad. We go straight into Russian twists. Not sure why they're Russian, but they are. You can do this with a weight. If you don't have a weight, you can always get something like a big jar of orange juice or a big tub of water. Basically, you're sitting, bring your legs up, hover them off the ground, and then you're twisting as if you're gonna pick up something. I use med balls sometimes, and you put it on the other side and you move your legs over. So it's not a super fast movement. You want to be as controlled as possible. Move the body all in one go. Once you've done about ten of them, you should start to feel a bit of a burn. Once again, you can use a weight if you want to. I don't want to.

Once your abs are burning a little bit, we're gonna keep it going. I'm sure everyone's done something similar to this at some point. We used to call it dead cockroach 'cause you kinda look like a dead cockroach with your legs in the air. And then it's the same sort of thing, almost the reverse of the cross dog, just lowering opposite arm and leg and straightening back up. The idea again this would be not so fast with it, just try and go slow, breathe out as you lengthen, breathe in as you come back together, and going straight from the Russian twist to this one should start to really get your core going. Once again, you're looking not to drop out or move your body. Try keep your body as still as possible as you go. So that's probably about enough of that.

Right back up, back into some leg exercises. So this is what we like to call the toe taps. I'm not actually sure what its real name is, but that's what I like to call it. You get down in like a really low squat down here, and then you gotta try and tap your toes, so lift one leg up, and then the other one. It looks like you're marching but you're not going anywhere. You look like a weird little frog. I try to do 60 of them. That's 10. Already my legs are starting to burn. So it really gets me right there, not even sure if that's where it's supposed to bend, but that's where it really hurts for me. Also the lower you can go, the better it is. You can use your elbows just to rest on your knees a bit for a bit of balance and support. I'm gonna speed up because the slower you do it, the harder it is. Kinda look like a little boat rocking from side to side, but it's all right. You guys are probably all working out at home so no one can see you anyway. All right (chuckles) that really gets my legs going. I'm not sure, but you guys should tell us how it goes when you give it a try, but that's really, really hard for me.

We'll head back down to the mat and back on our backs so I can catch my breath for a little bit, and head into some single leg lifts. So you're still gonna be using the legs, but we're gonna be using the rear chain of our legs. So our hamstrings and gluts a little bit. Single leg lifts are pretty easy. Bring one leg up so it's at 90 degrees like in a tabletop position and then just push up through the other one. You really wanna push using your glut, that's your butt up as much as possible. You don't wanna be using your big quad muscle 'cause that's the one who's kinda greedy and wants to do everything, but you really don't want him working all the time. And then the other side. All right.

We're gonna finish with my least favorite exercise. Doesn't look hard, really hard. You'll be able to do this at home because we've all got walls. I'm gonna use this wall. You can use whatever wall you want. Basically we go into a two minute wall sit. Doesn't sound bad. It's horrific. It's my least favorite, but it's really, really good for the legs. So get into a low sit position, and basically just sit back on the wall. Easy, right? Doesn't seem like it's hard at all. And then in about 30 seconds in, it really starts to get you. So if you can, keep your shoulder blades back on the wall, put your elbows on the wall if you want, if you want you can move your arms around a bit. As it gets harder and harder, a way to make it a bit easier is to put your hands on your knees and take a bit of the tension out of it like that. I didn't start my timer so I've no idea how long I've been going for. I'm just gonna hang here for about another minute.

While we're hanging here, I just thought I'd have a chat about a few of my experiences in my sporting life and how I think that's a little bit relevant to what's going on at the moment. I think sport helps you deal with uncertainty a lot. I know everyone's dealing with a lot of uncertainty and not able to get back to school. I feel really sorry for all the students who are trying to do their HSC and it's a really tough time. So I just wanted to sort of send my best wishes out to you all and also just to say that uncertainty is a great time for growth as well, and there are some skills that you could learn in this time that'll set you up for greater things in your life. So wishing you all the best and I really hope that it goes well. And I appreciate that it's really, really hard, but message of hope, I believe we'll all get through it and when we do, we'll all have a good skill set that we would never have had to have before. So it's probably about a minute thirty in, and now it's like really hurting. So if you can last out two minutes, that's pretty good. I'm gonna stop. That's enough.

Well, that's it, really. That's my little dry land workout which I work through. If you feel like you haven't done enough, you can always go through again or add more reps or like I said, add weights along the way. I always finish up with having a bit of a stretch because it's good to lengthen the muscles when they're still warm. So going back into that sorta lunge pose and just going up with the same arm that the leg's down. You get a real nice stretch all through your body. You can even lean over if you want. Use this hand to sort of be your counter weight. It's a good stretch. Hold stretches for 15 to 20 seconds. Now you can lunge back as you stretch that hamstring. Once again, this is not what a flexible hamstring looks like. Some people do it like all the way back and get their heads down to their knees. That's not me. That's not me at all. Don't forget to do the other side. Same thing. This is my favorite bit. It's like a stretch all the way down. And then just lunge back.

There's a few ways to stretch calves, but I like to do it a little bit actively, just by going on all fours and just stretch one leg back and just sort of rock into it, and back. Tuck your toes under. That's a nice way to stretch calves where you're still sort of using your body and not just sitting there. If I end up just sitting there, I get real bored with stretching. Maybe just like 8 or 10 little rocks there just to stretch it out.

And the last ones we should stretch are our gluts which hopefully got a bit of a workout doing those single leg lifts. Just bring one leg parallel and lean over the top of it. I have really tight gluts so once again, somebody might be able to get all the way to the ground. Not me. Once again few seconds on that side. Swap over. And that's it. Once we've done this, we're done.

I know it's really hard to get moving at the moment, a few of you are going back to school, but most people are home all day. So it's really important just to get up if you can in between lessons, at the end of the day, get moving. I always find that I'm not very motivated to do it when I start, but by the time I'm finished, I'm super motivated. And having Leah on call also helps me a lot. Good luck everybody. Good luck with all your tests and exams and hope you guys can get up and get moving and enjoy a bit of a workout.

End of transcript.

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